The San Antonio Spurs are holding a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Clippers in their Western Conference semifinal series, thanks in large part to San Antonio's Big three who has so far carried the team in the first two games against the Clippers.
As they gun for a 3-0 series, the Spurs will need more help on both ends of the floor playing against a Clippers team that will play all out to avoid a 0-3 hole.
While playing in the postseasons often requires a serious tone, it is also important that players are happy with their team, such as the case for Spurs' rookie Kawhi Leonard and second-year guard Gary Neal.
Leonard is excited to play Game 3 against the Clippers because he will be playing close to home. In two games against the Clippers, the Spurs' defensive-minded forward has averaged 10.5 points, grabbed 6.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals while making 53.8 percent of his shots.
Apart from his excitement, the rookie also mentioned his thankfulness for being a Spur.
"I would never have imagined this, being with this team and (starting) in the playoffs. I wanted to always be on a winning team like this, and now I'm just living in the moment and just trying to play every game as hard as I can."
On the other hand, Neal saw his minutes diminished in the playoffs.
In two games against the Clippers, Neal is averaging 6.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in just 12.5 minutes per game and doesn't complain about it.
"It's a game-to-game thing," Neal said. "I just try to do my best to stay ready. I don't really have a role. With Tony (Parker) playing 36 to 40 minutes at the point-guard spot, there's really nowhere for me to play, not with Danny (Green) and Manu (Ginobili) at the two.
"When I get my opportunity to play, I just try to stay ready."
"You can’t over-analyze," Neal continued. "This is a great team and a great organization. I would be an unwise character to complain or not be satisfied with my minutes, whatever they are, five minutes or 25 minutes."
"I’m just happy to be here, and I'll keep trying to make the best of it, whatever it is."
With their players knowing their roles and having high characters, the Spurs avoid drama in the locker room or off the court issues.
Leonard and Neal may be happy to be a Spur, but the Spurs had to be glad for picking players like them.
(Photo via mysanantonio.com)