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Kawhi Leonard Wants To Play More Minutes Next Season

Reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard knows that he has a lot to prove next season. Leonard is looking to follow up his Finals performance with the best regular season of his career, but he pretty much says he is going to need more minutes in order to do so.

During the 2013-14 regular season, the Spurs didn’t have one player on their roster average over 18 points per game for the season. Kawhi Leonard played a near team-high 29 minutes per game, he averaged 12.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. In the playoffs Leonard averaged 32 minutes per game, averaging 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

Heading into this season, head coach Gregg Popovich wants Leonard to be more consistent throughout the next season and make that next big leap as a player. Kawhi says he is going to need more minutes next season if he wants to get to that level of consistency. Via My Sa: 

“I’m probably going to talk to him more about consistency now,” Popovich said. “He’s reached a certain level and if you look at those last three games he played they were pretty special. But to be in that top echelon of players in our league it’s a huge responsibility to have to come and do that every night. The Duncans, the Durants, the James’es and all those kinds of guys do it night after night after night and it’s a huge responsibility.

Conversely, Leonard had a challenge for his coach: Give me more minutes, and I’ll have that much more opportunity to reach those levels on a regular basis.

“In the Finals I’m playing 35 minutes a game, so I’m on the floor more and able to score the ball more and get more rebounds,” he said. “So I’m going to have to get consistent minutes to play at a consistent level like that. I’ve been trying to (be a dominant player) since I’ve been here.

“It’s just in order to get me more involved in the offense, that’s what I go by. Like I said, if I’m going to get seven more minutes on the floor, that’s going to be important. We’ll see what happens. I mean, my role was supposed to expand last year and we played pretty much the same basketball. So we’ll see what Coach Pop has.”

 

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