Kawhi makes wise statement about Clippers' defensive philosophy

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers / Michael Owens/GettyImages

After their win over the defending NBA champions on Wednesday, it is evident the LA Clippers are beginning to figure some things out. Defeating the team they had lost to 11 times in their last 12 tries was a major milestone in this hectic and uncertain season for LA.

The Clippers earned their win over the Nuggets with defense. After giving up 36 points in the first quarter and looking like they would let Denver run away with it, LA locked down defensively and held Nikola Jokic to one of the worst shooting performances of his career.

Other tweaks like the lineup decisions concerning Russell Westbrook and James Harden helped too, but the focus for the Clippers was unquestionably their defensive effort. Kawhi Leonard echoed this in his postgame press conference. "We still want to be a defensive team first," he said.

Kawhi says the Clippers want to continue being a defense-focused team

It is easy to get caught up in all the generational offensive talent the Clippers have and want to make that the primary focus of the team. After all, few teams have ever had as many big names with as many scoring titles and All-NBA appearances as LA currently does.

But it is important to remember that offense alone will not win an NBA championship. We have seen many teams over the years neglect the defensive side of the floor and it ultimately cost them their chance at a title.

Kawhi Leonard sees this reality as much as anyone watching from the sidelines. "Even though we have a lot of talent offensively, defense wins championships," he said.

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There is no one in the Clippers' locker room who knows more about what it takes to win a championship than the two-time Finals MVP. LA will undoubtedly need to continue pursuing their defense-first mindset if they are to give themselves a chance to win it all this year.