Kawhi Leonard on Clippers' Title Hopes: 'We Just Can't Be in a Rush'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers' Kawhi Leonard dribbles during an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Kawhi Leonard isn't panicking about the 28-13 Los Angeles Clippers' current place in the standings as they pursue an NBA championship.

Per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk, Leonard explained after Tuesday's 128-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers why the fourth-seeded Clippers can take a patient approach.

"We just can't be in a rush," he said. "That's what I'm [telling them]. Just be patient. It's hard to win a championship. The pressure isn't even on us now. Just enjoy the process and have fun."

The Clippers entered the season favored to win the title after adding Leonard and Paul George over the offseason.

George missed the first 11 games of the season recovering from offseason shoulder surgeries, but he's been terrific since returning, averaging 23.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 39.5 percent from three. Leonard, the reigning Finals MVP, is averaging 26.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.9 steals per game.

In the West, seeds Nos. 2-5 are separated by just one loss, and the Los Angeles Lakers have the best record in the conference (33-7), five games ahead of the Utah Jazz.

As the second half of the season begins, Leonard appears to be hitting another level. He's scored at least 30 points in three straight games for the first time since Oct. 28 to Nov. 3.

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