Lebron James Versus Kawhi Leonard: Who Wins it all this Year?

Lebron James versus Kawhi Leonard in the Finals

While the NBA has a handful of notable rivalries, it’s Lebron James versus Kawhi Leonard that’s perhaps the most compelling.

If there ever was a reason for you to look forward to the NBA playoffs, it would have to be Lebron James versus Kawhi Leonard. Considered as two of the most dominant players at the small forward position, it’s always great basketball whenever their teams meet. Yes, even when it’s a blowout like what happened the other day. With that said, is it possible for these two players to continue their rivalry again in the postseason?

The Cavs aren’t looking good

One of the most pronounced threats to a possible Lebron James versus Kawhi Leonard meeting in the Finals is the Cavaliers’ readiness. Consider this, After the All-Star Break, Cleveland has been just a mediocre team. In fact, they’re less than mediocre. Of the 28 games they’ve played since that time, they only managed to win 8. The Spurs on the other hand, have the second best record in the league in the same span of time.

A lot of the Cavaliers’ woes have to do with the fact that they’ve been bad on defense. They still have a very potent offense with Lebron James and Kyrie Irving playing. However, the rest of the team hasn’t been the same since the year started. Kevin Love and J.R. Smith both lost a chunk of time with an injury. The same goes for Iman Shumpert who’s also seen a regression on both ends of the floor.

San Antonio isn’t looking to good either

While San Antonio has been playing really well as of late, their chances of getting to the Finals aren’t too good. Like the Cavaliers, the team is second in their conference. Unlike Cleveland though, the Spurs have to contend with teams like the Warriors and Rockets. Thanks to this, I actually feel that they have a slightly lesser chance of getting to the playoffs.

So a Lebron James versus Kawhi Leonard matchup is a no-go?

It’s still possible that we’ll be seeing Lebron James versus Kawhi Leonard in the Finals. However, there are a couple of things that need to be factored in before this were to happen. The first of these is fixing what’s ailing the Cavaliers. If coach Tyronn Lue can get his players to put more effort on defense then the Cavs should be able to get back to the Finals. For the Spurs, they’re going to have to do a better job at being consistent on a nightly basis. This is especially important considering the type of competition waiting for them in the West. The Spurs can have the best regular season record in the NBA and they still won’t be guaranteed a Finals spot.

Lebron’s loss

It would be a huge loss for basketball fans if a Lebron James versus Kawhi Leonard matchup didn’t push through. More importantly, it would be a hug mark on Lebron James’ dominance if he can’t avenge that 2014 Finals loss to the Spurs (when he was still with the Heat). As for Kawhi Leonard, a matchup against the Cavs could further cement the legitimacy of his star status. Yes, he’s already won a championship and a Finals MVP. However, that was with Tim Duncan still around. He’s already proven that he can lead in the regular season. His challenge now is to lead the Spurs back to the Finals.

What do you think about a possible Lebron James versus Kawhi Leonard match-up in the Finals? Can the Cavs still make the necessary adjustments to improve their defense? How about the Spurs? Do they really have what it takes to come out on top in the super-competitive West? Make sure to share your thoughts with us down on the comments section!

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