Last night, Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard demonstrated exactly why Donovan Mitchell and every other NBA fan calls him The Klaw.
There are few sights in basketball more predictable than Kawhi Leonard prying the ball off a ballhandler. The Klaw has an insane handspan, a huge wingspan and deft hands combined with great foresight. This allows him to swipe at balls that few other players are capable of.
Leonard and Jimmy Butler are the only 2 active NBA players who have fewer fouls to their name than steals. Leonard has routinely featured near the top of the steals charts ever since he began playing heavy minutes for the Spurs.
Now Donovan Mitchell has been one of the premier scorers of the postseason thus far. He’s actually on course to finish the playoffs with 1 point for every minute played. This would put him above the likes of Michael Jordan and Jerry West all time.
But Mitchell is unlikely to keep his stellar offense up in the next 4 games if Kawhi Leonard has anything to do. And Kawhi probably will, judging from how Game 3 played out.
Kawhi Leonard steals from Donovan Mitchell and dunks it on the break
The Clippers’ win today was fueled by some excellent first-half defense. They were successful in keeping points in the paint down low even though the Jazz kept raining it from beyond the 3-point line.
Donovan Mitchell thought he had a step on his primary defender at one point on a drive in the first half. Little did he know that Kawhi was lying in wait for the Spida to make his spin move.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) June 13, 2021
Kawhi jumped into Spida’s path, took the ball away from him and went off like a hare on the break. It took him roughly 3 more seconds to deposit the dunk in the mail and extend the Clippers’ lead.
Kawhi looks like he’s turning it up on both ends at just the right time for the Clippers yet again. They will be favorites to take this series if both Kawhi and PG continue playing as they did today.