For the first time this season, a Clipper has been named Western Conference Player of the Week. Kawhi Leonard earns the honor in a week when he led the Clippers to a 3-0 record and took full control of the offense in the absence of Paul George. Ben Simmons was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
Over the week, as the Clippers beat the Cavaliers, Magic, and Pelicans, Leonard averaged 38.0 points, 5.0 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game. He shot 58.6% from the field, 52.4% from 3-point range, and 87.5% from the free-throw line.
"My job is to go out and be aggressive," Leonard said after the win over Orlando. "If it’s me taking a shot or creating action for a teammate, you know, same thing on the defensive end, just trying to bring my team energy and a sense of passion and just competing hard every 48 minutes."
This is the seventh time in his career that Leonard has been player of the week, but the first with the Clippers. Leonard also achieved a number of franchise-specific milestones over the past week:
- Leonard has scored at least 30 points in five straight games, becoming the third Clipper to do, along with World B. Free and Bob McAdoo.
- Against New Orleans, Leonard became the fourth player in franchise history to have at least 35 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals in one game.
- Leonard now has five games this season with at least 30 points and 3 steals, tying Chris Paul's mark set in 2013-14.
"I feel like Doc has put him in great position for that, getting him open looks," Rodney McGruder said. "The team has done a great job finding him."
"He’s a terrific player, he really is, and you can feel the team and him slowly building and getting our stride," Doc Rivers added.