The San Antonio Spurs began their quest for a sixth title with a commanding performance against the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday night with a 106-74 playoff opener. The Spurs were led by Kawhi Leonard’s 32 points but it was the team defense (13 steals and nine blocks) that set the tone for the night.
“I got some easy shots going into that transition, getting some layups and dunks,” Leonard said. “That’s how you get in rhythm, for my teammates as well. If they’re able to get an easy layup, they’re just going to gain more confidence.”
A day later, the NBA announced that Leonard was named the Defensive Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season, becoming the first non-center to win the award back to back award since Dennis Rodman did it back in 89-90, 90-91.
The Spurs take the court tonight looking to go up 2-0 against the Grizzlies who are hoping his young team gets some valuable experience going up against the Juggernaut Spurs.
“We’ve got some young guys that are going to get better,” Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger told the team’s official website. “We will go back and watch the video and come back and try to get a little bit better and look for making a bigger dent.”