When discussing the career of Kawhi Leonard, there not many legitimate criticisms when it comes to production on the basketball court. After beginning his career playing behind some of the all-time greats in San Antonio as a defensive specialist, Leonard developed into a full-fledged star.
After taking home the 2014 Finals MVP, Leonard's game expanded to that of a two-way menace. While continuing to lock up the opposition on his way to the Defensive Player Of The Year award in 2015-16, his offensive abilities blossomed as well.
Soon, Leonard became one of the best all-around players in the association. The only knock on his game left was that he was injury-prone. It is a label that he has had a difficult time shedding, especially after finishing the last three postseasons for the Clippers injured.
But recently, Kawhi has seen an unexpected streak of good health. He is yet to miss a game for LA this season. In fact, when he took the floor with the Clippers on Thursday evening against the Warriors, it tied his longest number of consecutive games played since 2019. If he plays the next game, it will be his longest streak since that same 2016 season where he earned DPOY.
Kawhi Leonard is on the verge of playing his most consecutive games since 2016
The old adage says that availability is the best ability. Having played in all 24 games for the Clippers in 2023-24, Kawhi has showed a surprising ability to stay on the floor this season, despite being older and suffering several major injuries over the last several years.
The player that many have criticized for taking back-to-backs off or having to sit for more minor injuries is proving many of his doubters wrong. And truthfully, most of the judgement for Kawhi's resting over the years has come from a place of ignorance (or jealousy that he does not play for that fan's favorite team).
Kawhi has said it himself: the best bet for winning involves having your best players on the floor. The Clippers have been able to execute that strategy this season with their unquestioned most important player on the floor for every single game, and it currently has them trending in the right direction.