Dallas Mavericks key to victory over LA Clippers: 2. Slowing down Kawhi
Kawhi Leonard dominated the Mavs in the 2020 playoffs. He averaged 32.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 2.3 steals in 39.1 minutes per game. He shot 53.8 percent from the field and 85.5 percent on his free throws. LA would have not have won the series without Kawhi.
The Nuggets held him to 25 or fewer points four times in the next round and won three of those games. Slowing down Leonard is the easiest way to top the talented Clippers. Look no further than the 51-point win Dallas had over LA this season with Kawhi out.
The Mavericks slowed him down a bit during the regular season. They made every shot difficult and held him to 20 and 22 points in the two meetings. The teams split the games. See Tim Hardaway Jr. not give the Klaw an inch as he goes for a mid-range jumper.https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/03/17/0022000625/249/e70f188a-cde4-8b3b-fac5-1887fbd8a4b6_1280x720.mp4
Leonard will attempt to feast on the Mavericks in the mid-range. They will need to keep a hand in his face at all times and force some misses. The goal should be holding Kawhi to 25 or fewer points in every game. That gives the Dallas Mavericks a chance to take the series.
Next: No. 1