Clippers takeaways: Kawhi Leonard rounding into form

Kawhi Leonard jumps to throw the ball past three defenders.

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard makes a jump pass against the Raptors defense. He was often double- and triple-cast during the five-game journey.

(Frank Gunn/Associated Press)

His minute limit hasn’t been lifted, but things are starting to return to normal for Leonard, who averaged 23.2 points and 35 minutes over four games during the trip, with Lue acknowledging that Leonard is in the Essentially its normal amount plays.

“As far as explosiveness goes, I don’t think that’s quite back or fully trusted now,” Lue said, “just his decision making, his timing to get to his spots and get to his shot and me think his timing of playing passes when teams play doubles teams, reading right in right game, that’s really good.

After 17 points in the third quarter against the Pacers, Leonard said he’s “still on track, still feeling healthy, and that’s what it’s about.”

Lue plans to continue to sway Leonard and George’s minutes. It’s a defensive boon but also presents an offensive challenge, Lue said, still allowing the offense to play through Powell and Kennard.

On the road trip, the Clippers had mixed success handling lightning strikes against Leonard and George in Philadelphia, Toronto and Boston before doing a “much better job” by far, in Lue’s assessment, passing doubles teams against Indiana.

The tactic resulted in Leonard and George being passed at much higher rates than their season average during the trip – more than double in Leonard’s case.

“It’s just a compliment for me to see this onslaught of double teams and blitz,” Leonard said. “That means I’m doing a great job, either getting my spots or making plays for my teammates.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/clippers/story/2023-01-01/los-angeles-clippers-kawhi-leonard-five-game-trip-takeaways Clippers takeaways: Kawhi Leonard rounding into form

Emma Bowman

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