On Monday night, San Antonio Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard made his rookie debut by coming off the bench to help defend Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay.
"It felt good," Leonard said. "I just went out and tried to have fun and get a win."
Fun is the same word Leonard used to describe guarding Gay after Monday's win.
Now, just two days later, Leonard gets another challenge, and perhaps more fun as he will likely be asked to help defend almost-Spur Caron Butler.
Oh yea, and snaring away rebounds from the Clipper's Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan will be a tall task as well if that wasn't enough.
But if you thought playing against the new-look Clippers was going to faze the rookie forward, you'd be wrong. It's business as usual for Leonard
"I'm just looking forward to playing another game today, just doing what I'm told, doing my role to help the team win," Leonard said.
As for defending Butler, who averaged 15 points per game last season with the Dallas Mavericks, Leonard didn't give it a second thought.
"Every game is a challenge, so I'm just going to go out and play my hardest these games so I can help the team out with a win," Leonard said.
It's clear from just a few questions that winning is on Leonard's mind a lot more than individual matchups, just like the other 12 players on the roster.
While the Spurs took a risk on Leonard on draft day, it looks like that risk is already paying dividends.
"We expected him to be a rotation player," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "There's more there than I expected."
"Both basketball IQ wise and skill wise, he's more than I expected," Popovich said.
Paul Garcia contributed to this post.
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Blair and Splitter defended the interior, Jefferson came out smoking, Anderson proved something tonight and the spurs won over the clippers with flying colors. As usual Manu and TP were themselves and TD just taught the youngsters. As the games progresses, the spurs will have back to back to back schedules. They need reinforcement. It would be good to complete the lineup with 2 pf/c.
@rtesoro440 they dont need 2 pf/c. they need 1 big as a backup incase of injury and nothing more. Kawhi is a dominant rebounder, and that was our biggest issue in the memphis series. second chance points absolutely killed us. tiago has improved defensively by leaps and bounds. he banged with griffin and kept him out of the paint every time he was on the floor and he proved monday at the grizz game he can bang with some of the best inside now. Kawhi has the wingspan of andrew bynum, hands the size of shaqs, and a solid vertical to boot, and unlike RJ he actually crashes boards. All of that along with his elite defending skills is exactly what the doctor ordered. I cannot wait for him to develop his shooting a little more. He will be an all-star caliber player sooner rather than later