Opinion: One way for Kawhi Leonard to be named MVP

Last night was absolutely disappointing. My gut was telling me the Spurs would not win last night, as reflected in my analysis of Game 1. However, I wanted to believe that the Spurs would win this game, mainly because of how Coach Pop was talking about the game. I should’ve trusted my gut on this one.

Kawhi Leonard is such a great player that he makes playing against the Golden State Warriors look easy. Clearly, it’s not easy, because the Spurs’ rhythm has been off ever since Leonard was taken out of Game 1 on Sunday.

But, you know what? I know a way Leonard can be named MVP, despite all the talk of other players like James Harden being the front-runner for MVP. If he pulls this off, his name should be mentioned in the same sentence as Michael Jordan.

If Kawhi Leonard gets the OK to return to the series and somehow helps the Spurs win this series, that alone should make him MVP.

In fact, that would make a strong case that the Warriors are an overrated team. Golden State may have a very strong lineup not unlike that of the Jordan-era Chicago Bulls, but in such a case, it would be very clear that they don’t have their own version of Jordan.

For all the media hype of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and even Steph Curry being “the next Michael Jordan,” I can’t name a single situation in which any of those players single-handedly got their team out of a 0-2 deficit to win a playoff series. (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.)

If Kawhi Leonard can somehow pull this off, given that he’s healthy enough to return to the series, this series could end up being one of the greatest NBA playoff series in history and certainly one of the best in Spurs history. (I don’t think anything will ever top the Memorial Day Miracle in 1999 or Game 5 of the 1999 NBA Finals, as far as legendary moments in Spurs history are concerned.)

Not only that, Kawhi Leonard would be considered one of the greatest players in NBA history — possibly the best player in the history of the Spurs franchise.

This series isn’t over just yet. Let’s just wait and see if Kawhi Leonard is healthy enough to return. If he is, we may be looking at a very hard-fought six- or seven-game series. And we may very well be looking at another future Spurs legend in Kawhi Leonard.

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