Following an undefeated week that saw his team capture the 5th seed in the NBA Western Conference Playoffs, Los Angeles Clippers wing Kawhi Leonard has been chosen as the conference’s Player of the Week.
Leonard led the Clippers to a 3-0 record for the week of April 3-9, including several crucial victories over Western Conference rivals also vying for a seat in the upcoming playoffs.
The Los Angeles native averaged 25.7 points, 10 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game during that stretch, which included victories over the cross-arena rival Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns – whom the Clippers will face in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.
In that game against the Lakers, Leonard recorded 25 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists and eclipsed 4,000 rebounds for his career, the Clippers organization said.
Leonard, 31, has been tasked with a larger offensive burden to close out the season after his co-star on the wing, Paul George, suffered a right knee injury three weeks ago that sidelined him through the remainder of the NBA regular season.
Having missed the entirety of last season with a torn ACL, this is Leonard’s first Player of the Week award since Jan. 20, 2020. He has been awarded the honor on seven other occasions.
The Clippers are slated to open the playoffs at Phoenix on Sunday, April 16. The 4th-seed Suns are 8-0 in games featuring Kevin Durant, whom the team acquired mid-season.
In the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee Bucks forward-center Bobby Portis was named Player of the Week. The Bucks’ sixth man was inserted into the starting lineup for the league’s No. 1 team as the Bucks opted to rest some of their critical players in the final days of the regular season. Portis averaged 20.7 and 12.3 rebounds per game during that stretch.