Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard showcased his defensive prowess during a preseason game against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday in Seattle. The Clippers, under the guidance of coach Tyronn Lue, were pleased with their defensive performance as they continue to work towards their regular-season goals.
However, while the team has shown intensity and energy on defense, they still have room for improvement when it comes to knowing their offensive plays and staying healthy. Leonard acknowledged that some players are still unfamiliar with the plays and stressed the importance of focusing on that aspect during practices.
Despite missing key players due to injuries, including Ivica Zubac who left early in the game with back spasms, the Clippers managed to defeat the Jazz 103-98. Coach Lue expressed optimism about Zubac’s recovery and emphasized the importance of having a healthy roster for a successful season, considering the team’s past struggles with injuries to star players.
Looking ahead to the regular season, the Clippers hope to improve their offensive execution. Although they have been finding open shots, their shooting percentages have not been ideal. Coach Lue has prioritized defensive-oriented practices, which have shown promising results against Utah, but he acknowledges the need for the team to catch up offensively.
Throughout training camp, Leonard has displayed a more lighthearted and jovial attitude. However, he has also taken on a leadership role on the court, holding his teammates accountable during timeouts and ensuring that everyone knows and executes the plays correctly.
The Clippers have two preseason games remaining before the start of the regular season. Leonard emphasized the importance of better execution and understanding of plays during these limited game reps, as it will be crucial for their success when the actual season begins.
Overall, the Clippers are focused on improving their offensive consistency, maintaining their defensive intensity, and staying healthy as they aim to compete for an NBA championship this season.
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