Out of the Timeout: Kawhi Leonard’s game winner
Alright, we’re going to do another of these this week. Let’s have a look at Kawhi Leonard’s game-winning shot against the Rockets on Wednesday night. While Leonard’s shot was’t out of the timeout, nor was it one of Gregg Popovich’s famous late game sets, it’s fun for us to look at, so here we go.
Cory Joseph (1) brought the ball up court with both big men, Gani Lawal (5) and Frank Hassel (4) down low. Kawhi Leonard (3) is on the right wing and Danny Green (2) was spotted-up in the corner. Leonard cleared out to the opposite corner and Lawal curled around Hassel on his way to the top of the key.
Joseph dribbled to his right over the Lawal screen and stopped on the right wing. Lawal rolled to the middle of the lane after setting the pick for Joseph. Kawhi Leonard, recognizing that he wasn’t in a position for Joseph to find him with a pass, moved from the opposite corner to the opposite wing.
Cory Joseph hits Leonard with a pass. Pretty simple. Or is it?
In this screenshot, you can see how wide open Kawhi Leonard was when Cory Joseph passed him the ball. The man guarding Leonard got sucked into the lane when Lawal rolled to the basket. As Leonard’s man sunk in, Leonard floated up to the wing.
Once Leonard got the pass from Joseph, Leonard’s man is scrambling. Because he’s moving at full speed to close out on Leonard, Kawhi is able to get him off balance with a jab step to the right, dribble to the left and then the step back. It was a very quick series of moves from Leonard. When he shot it, I didn’t think Leonard had his legs under him enough to get the requisite arc on the ball and hit the shot. But I was wrong, which is not unusual.
And now, the moving pictures in which you can relive Leonard’s preseason game winner in all its glory.
Fast Draw play diagramming software provided by Fast Model Sports Technology.