Through 24 games this season, the LA Clippers own 14 wins and are steadily climbing back up the Western Conference standings. After falling as far as 12th in the West, LA is now tied for sixth place in the conference.
Their improvement can be attributed to the adjustments made by the coaching staff and the players' willingness to do whatever is necessary to build a winning team. But the biggest reason for the Clippers' resurgence has been Kawhi Leonard.
The unquestioned best player on the team since the day he arrived in town in July 2019, Leonard has always been the reason Clippers fans have felt their team had a shot at winning a championship. Now, he is showing that despite his past injuries and increasing age, he can still play at an MVP level.
Kawhi Leonard is playing at an MVP level for the Clippers
The Clippers' six-game win streak has been a big indicator of just how much they have improved. Leonard's otherworldly output has played a big part in getting LA back into the win column, as he has been averaging 28.7 points per game on 58/54/90% shooting splits in his last nine outings.
He has done it all while showcasing his usual strong defense and court awareness as well. For a short while earlier in the season, there were rumblings about whether viewers should be concerned with Leonard after a couple of inefficient outings, but he has quickly put those conversations to rest.
There is no reason Kawhi should not be mentioned with Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid and the other players considered to be at the top of the MVP rankings. He is guiding the Clippers' ship back to the realm of the elites in the Western Conference.
MVP voters have ignored Kawhi's stellar play in the past because he often does not do it with flashy, stylish plays. But whether he is given the respect he deserves or not, everyone who is paying attention can see the kind of impact he is making for this Clippers team.