Jun 15, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) speaks during a press conference after game five of the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant Seems to Think Paul George Is Better Than Kawhi Leonard

The Spurs just destroyed the team that destroyed the Pacers, with the 22-year-old Kawhi Leonard taking home Finals MVP honors. Though the young wing struggled in Games 1 and 2, he was brilliant thereafter, averaging 23.6 points per game on an absurd 24-of-35 (68.6%) shooting in Games 3, 4, and 5.

That is incredible for anyone and even more so for a player who just became the fourth-youngest Finals MVP in league history.

On Twitter, Kevin Durant had some thoughts about Leonard and it drifted into talk comparing Kawhi to Paul George.

Now, I don’t consider this as KD really bashing Kawhi. He’s pointing out that Leonard doesn’t typically put up big numbers and that his success is aided by playing under Gregg Popovich while Paul George’s offensive game is restricted by playing in Frank Vogel’s often nonexistent offensive system.

Moreover, I think Paul George is the better offensive player at this point, and it’s probably not all that close.

Then again, reasonable minds can disagree.

In terms of the Pacers, however, the real question is probably not whether Kawhi is better than this George but George Hill.

And that’s a question more for Larry Bird than Kevin Durant.

Tags: Indiana Pacers Paul George

  • Frank Robert Coleman III

    Paul George is definitely better than K. Leonard. Leonard is a very nice player; but the Spurs smashed the Heat w him averaging 17 a game. PG scores even though he is the focal point for defenses to stop; teams don’t gear up to stop Kawhi and he still scores less. Kawhi also benefits from playing with an actual point guard who can give him great passes. Nobody on the Pacers is considered a great passer.

  • Jack Wright

    Pop’s able to squeeze every drop of potential out of his players.

  • Layton Harman

    == Is Kawhi Leonard set to become the NBA’s next big star?

  • love

    Kevin durent is mad because he choked in the WCF and he isn’t half as great of a defender as kawhi. SHUT UP KEVIN!

  • Harry Kays

    Defense is in my mind why he won the MVP and Paul George is NOWHERE near the defender that Kawhi is.
    George does not have the inside offensive game that Kawhi has . George is not even close to the offensive rebounder Kawhi is.Kawhi in his short career already has THREE POSTER DUNKS ON IBAKA. Have you seen the forearms on Kawhi? Paul George is a shooting guard in my mind so how do you compare that anyway?

    • nate thomas

      Harry what have you been smoking? PG was on the 2014 NBA All-defensive 1st team. The two years before that he was on the NBA all-defensive 2nd team.

      PG is nowhere near the defender that Kawhi is? You are smoking something fierce. Glad the NBA seems to disagree with your assessment completely. He also had a higher Drtg than Kawhi. You would think if Kawhi was that good of a defender that he would have made ONE of the last 3 Defensive teams.

      • Harry Kays

        What was the Spurs record while Leonard was out with a hand injury? 8-8 . Without Leonard Spurs barely make the playoffs if at all. If he is only a good player because of a “system” then
        that makes Durant’s ridiculous comments look even more insane.

        • Harry Kays

          Kawhi Leonard 52% shooting percentage last season TOPG 1.2
          Paul George 42% shooting percentage last season TOPG 2.8

          • nate thomas

            Offensively-wise Kawhi is a godsend for the Spurs. And their record is definitely better with him, I was responding to your insane suggestion that Kawhi is a better defender than PG. To argue that he’s a better offensive player MIGHT be a solid debateable topic, but PG is the better defender, this is undeniable.

          • spock500

            “Undeniable”? Nate, what have you been smoking? Did you see Kawhi’s masterful defensive performance against LBJ in G3-5 of the Finals? Against the best player in the world, no less? Masterful. How did PG’s defense work out for you guys against LBJ in the ECF??? I see . . . I would take Kawhi’s defensive performance in the Finals against LBJ that helped win a championship over a stinkn’ All NBA Defensive team selection (which is absolutely meaningless, selected by a bunch of sports writers) *any* day. Kawhi is the better defender, and there is (now) no denying that. So, place that in your pipe and smoke it.

          • nate thomas

            Talk to me when Kawhi wins even ONE all NBA defensive team. Your insinuation that your opinion matters more than the people who watch all the NBA games and make it their livelihood is just laughable.

            I have no idea what you mean because your words make zero sense. LBJ had 22,28 and 31 points in those three games. He averaged 33.2 ppg against the Spurs and 22.8 vs the Pacers…. but tell me again how Kawhi did a better job on LBJ.

            So again, I deny it completely and you’re obviously not looking at stats but still enamored by the fact that he had a great offensive series and won MVP deservedly because of it.

        • SHORTY22

          “Without Leonard Spurs barely make the playoffs if at all.” okay now youre just crazy, Leonard is still the 3rd/4th option for the spurs on the offensive end so the Spurs would still have easily made the playoffs w/o Leonard, plus its not like everyone else on the spurs cant play D, Leonard is just far better

  • kDMayasS

    1 ring kawhi KD 0 PG 0 KD trash talking they can’t even beat the Spurs win 1 championship first fake MVP

  • Derek Cooper

    off topic- what moves id like the pacers to make this summer. i know im very ignorant compared to ppl that make the real moves but i just like to make up my thing for fun.objective: improove bench+spread out the floor for lance+paul to do their thing with good players that fit and retain strong defensive identity.
    2 trades: #1 roy hibbert (15mil) to the bucks for larry sanders(11mil) and danny granger(free agent so ? 2 or 3 mil considering hes played poor+ been injured) and trade#2: david west(12mil)+ cj watson(2mil) to charlette in a sign+trade for josh mcroberts(free agent 6?mil)+trevor ariza(free agent 8?mil).
    so trade 1= 15mil for 13 or 14 mil. and trade 2= 14 mil for 14mil or more perhaps. and resign lance at about 10?mil.
    starting lineup= lance-paul-ariza-mcrobers-sanders. bench= g.hill(in attack mode_about starter level mins) copeland(looking for some points from him and spaceing at the 4spot) soloman hill(heard the front office talks like hes the second coming of scottie pippin…so makybe at least a good role player?) granger(a gamble- if hes healthy and willing to play the 4spot and just shoot open 3s and post up a small defender and move the ball. or if s.hill isnt good maybe some wing time-just a gamble to cover the unknowns of cope+s.hill. figure of those three probably 2 work out.) mihinmi(mobile rim protector- 5 or 6 mins?)
    ariza: reputation as a very good defender, and i read he can guard even point guards well. i read lance hates guarding little quick guys and isnt too good at it. so with ariza he paul and stephenson can take turns by the game and share the tough job of guarding the point- with lance taking the slower third of them. so this enables lance to be point of offence, and we have 3 big guards that can rebound super well.
    ariza does it all – used to playing off the ball- hes supposed to be a smart make the right play type. 5 or 6 rebounds 14 points can rebound run defend drive, shoot 3s…6′ 8” able to play a little 4spot in small lineups if needed. veteren- won a titile with the lakers…perfect fit.
    mcroberts: 6’10” 240lbs i think hes a little thicker than he used to be.in 30min. he put up 8.5 pts 5 reb 4 assists (and a 4:1 assist : turnover ratio_ thats 2nd in the league) and shoots 3s at 36%. and i think i read he puts up like 3 or 4 3s a game , which just shows consistant ability. with he and sanders both being long and athletic they should front the post+ help on the lob when theres a big post threat. josh dribbles really good for a big too. a unit with him at a big spot has enhanced ball handling and passing ability. also i believe with the fronting the post scheme, you could play him at the center spot part of the game- which gives you 5 shooters for those times. i also read his defence is improoved. he can drive.his kinda weak rebounding is more than made up for by the other 4 starters being great. can run the floor on the break.
    sanders: 6’11” and 7’6” wingspan. athletic.235lbs. last year he was injured alot but 2 seasons ago in 27mins he put up 10pts 10rbs 3blks 1ast 50%fgs 62% fts. i read he just scores on picknroll allyoops, putbacks, and he runs the floor on the break. also some writers said he was the best rim protector. and he can move his feet good in picknroll defense situations and defend out to the perimeter–stuff that roy has big trouble with. allyoopable athletes have to be respected by the defense. lance when he was in the summer league with miles plumlee showed the ability to hook him up with oop passes out of a pick and role..so same thing.
    so the whole starting lineup is great for defend-rebound and run-all 5 can run+ finish. also the halfcourt should work well with 4 3-shooters and 3 oop threats (paul-sanders-mcroberts) on backcuts and picknrolls. 4 guys that can dribble drive pass and shoot 3s with one nasty athletic oopthreat center. id hope for ball movement and plays but even if paul and lance still iso too much this is still much improoved.
    mcrobers-sanders-ariza all 3 dont need the ball in their hands- while paul and lance kinda do or should. but mcroberts and ariza and do a little something anywhere with the ball if they need to –.
    if the shotclocks running down just spead out and sanders come out and do a pick and roll with whoever has the ball. -way better that pauls super difficult bail outs last year.
    if cope and granger somehow didnt play well ariza could play a little 4spot as long as s.hill was good for some wing minutes.
    sanders i read does get into some foul trouble- so when that happens we have mihinmi to go to. actually if josh worked well at the 5 spot some of the time id like more that and just a tiny bit of mihinmi –but u know always got mihinmi to fall back on.
    financially youd need to cut scola(besides the financial aspect, frank would screw up the lineups if he had scola…)-even with paying him the guarenteed 2 mil and signing another free agent and your 2nd round pick to get up to the 13 player roster minimum the salary comes to a million or two under the projected lux tax threshold of 77mil. if you were really confident in s.hill and cope u could get by without granger and take someone cheaper….
    heres one unit that would have great ballhandling+passing across 5 positions: g.hill-lance-paul-ariza-mcroberts.
    hibbert in milwalkee might go well for him- playing next to illiasova a stretch 4 that rebounds really well. if they just feed him the ball after some sneeky distractions, in the space their strech 4 creates. and when roy gets shots and gets his confidence up no ones blocking that hook. he just doest fit with lance and paul cuz they are so talented they should have the ball really.
    david west is awsome- i just beleive u need to space things out for lance and paul. also west isnt worth his contract if u arent going to him offensively. so trade him i figure.
    our new offence would depend on paul-lance(starters)-g.hill-cope(reserves)– and good spaceing(3-shooting) and ball movement. oh and running more often. not like run and gun but more than we have.
    our defence may actually improove as well…
    oh and id hold onto sloan in case of injuries.
    oh and u could sneak lance into the post occaisionally against the other point guards- thats actually kinda a big deal.

    • achoo

      seriuosly Derek? did you not watch the NBA finals? do you understand that the Spurs didnt win because they had the better combination of players (though that was part of it) but moreso because of CONTINUITY?
      every guy that got significant playing time had been on the team for 3+ years, their stars all for 12+ years. their big 2013 FA acquisition, Belinelli, mostly rode the pine because he had no experience playing with those guys, not because he wasnt good enough to go up against the Heat

      and you’re saying trade away our starting frontcourt and our longest tenured player for junk? maybe sanders could be good for an undersized guy, but we’ve had mcBob and he is horrible. he can be great on a shit team with a dominant offensive lowpost threat, but put him next to Sanders who does nothing down low and you are looking at Pacers ~2010 (aka right before they started becoming decent)
      and Ariza is junk too. sure he hit 6 threes to steal game 1. then what did he do the rest of the series?? …..NOTHING.

      maybe one day that team could be soemthing, but you’re throwing away a team that is one mental roadblock away from a championship. the lineup the Pacers currently have CAN win it all, they just came up short. hard to argue that, re-watch them going 33-7 if you forgot.

      blowing up the team to pile on scrubs… what are you on my man? i expected better of you.