It was the final moments of a recent morning shootaround in Atlanta. Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard was alone at one basket putting in work on a jump hook shot still under construction.

Sensing something not quite right coach Gregg Popovich strode over took the ball himself and easing his 64-year-old backside into Leonard's broad chest demonstrated the proper way to execute the shot.

If his coach's hands-on teaching approach was a sign of how much more is to be expected of Leonard this season well Leonard didn't see it that way.

“He does that maybe twice a year” Leonard said chuckling. “Just out there trying to be a coach I guess.”

Entering his third season Leonard 22 has been tabbed as a future star and the future face of the franchise by Popovich.

Now comes the hard work of lifting Leonard to that lofty level.

Leonard raised his scoring average by four points to 11.2 per game his sophomore season then upped the ante by notching 14.5 points and 11.1 rebounds against Miami in the NBA Finals.

With Leonard's standout June finish as a springboard Popovich said he plans to use him in greater and more varied ways on offense this season.

The Spurs will use the 6-foot-7 Leonard at times in the post a place Popovich has not dispatched a small forward with regularity since Sean Elliott retired in 2001.

Popovich said he also plans to call more plays for Leonard within the offense. That part should be easy.

“I've called as many plays for him as I used to call for Mario Elie and that was zero” Popovich said. “I probably have to call his number more.”

In return Popovich said Leonard must promise to take any shot available to him.

“We want him to shoot more” Popovich said. “I want him to make me tell him it was a bad shot. I don't want to have to go to him and say 'Hey you're open. Shoot it.'”

The full force of Leonard's growing new role was on display early in a 121-96 preseason loss at Miami on Saturday.

Thirty seconds into the game Leonard received a pass on the wing took one hard dribble to free himself from defender Dwyane Wade and buried a pull-up 20-footer.

In the second quarter the Spurs posted Leonard on consecutive possessions. On the first he passed out of a double team to an open Danny Green for a corner 3-pointer. On the next he drew a foul on Wade.

“It's going to add something new for us” guard Manu Ginobili said of Leonard's occasional adventures on the low block. “With his length those huge hands and long arms he can really finish. It gives the other team something else to guard.”