In a dominant 36-point effort, Kawhi Leonard has introduced the Toronto Raptors to inside one sport of their first championship with a 105-92 win over the Golden State Warriors, and at Oracle Area, no much less. Leonard and the Raptors had been stellar on each ends of the ground, and the punishment of enjoying 100 playoff video games within the final 5 years have lastly caught up the Warriors; Kevon Looney compelled himself to play by a fractured collarbone, Klay Thompson was visibly hindered by his hamstring harm at instances in Sport 4, and so theyâ€™re nonetheless with out Kevin Durant after the famous person strained his calf throughout the Western Convention Semifinals.
However none of that adjustments the truth that Leonard, after one other monster efficiency, was made for this actual situation. Heâ€™s an ideal participant for the playoffs on this period, and for all of the jokes we make about his robot-like character, he really might have been made in a manufacturing facility by a mad basketball genius. He shoots 40% from three, 90% from the road, makes use of his monstrous fingers and gigantic wingspan to continuously disrupt the opposing offense, and his launch level on all of his pictures makes it nigh unblockable.
The midrange shot has been denounced because the worst shot attainable in at the momentâ€™s league, however Leonardâ€™s consolation and consistency from that vary has been invaluable. He can get to his spot and hit his shot when the Raptors want a bucket to regular issues out, and he did so on quite a few events throughout Sport 4.
The final time Leonard was within the NBA Finals, he put an finish to the dynasty that was the Miami Warmth. His sole responsibility was to make the lifetime of LeBron James as tough as attainable, and he did that higher than maybe anybody in historical past. He could do it once more 5 years later. For all of the discuss of unicorns in at the momentâ€™s NBA, there isnâ€™t anybody fairly like Leonard. There are guys who can defend in addition to Leonard (though not many) and there are guys who’re higher scorers than Leonard, and a few can do each. However nobody can defend and rating on the identical degree that Leonard can proper now.
The Raptors are a workforce on a mission, and Leonard is main the cost with out a smile nor a scowl. His cool demeanor, impression on each space of the ground, and sheer dedication make it clear: he was made for this second, and solely wants one final famous person efficiency to show it to the world.