Kawhi Leonard is looking to get to his favorite spot on the floor. And that is the elbow midrange area. Once he is there, it’s easy to just bump his defender, step back and hit the jumper.
And with Kawhi you know that you’re going to get this and you know that you can count on it when it matters the most.
He’s been absolutely incredible for the Raptors in these playoffs. But besides him, there isn’t another consistent player on this team.
And the great Charles Barkley said something that I found very interesting and really telling not only about Toronto’s struggles in this series, but their entire playoff run.
Let me play that for you and then break things down. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
And to go deeper into this great analogy by Chuck, I wanna start with Marc Gasol who’s been the biggest disappointment for me in these playoffs.
Instead of being extra aggressive and looking to improve his regular season numbers, Marc is down to only 8 points per game on bad shooting percentages.
That’s especially been the case in the 2 games against the Bucks where he’s been horrible offensively.
Trading for him was the move that I thought made the Raptors the best team in the East and the difference that would lead Toronto to the NBA finals.
And while they still might end up there, it’s definitely gonna be because of Kawhi Leonard’s heroics and not because of Gasol.
Next up, Honestly I’m not even going to spend too much talking about Kyle Lowry. I feel like a lot has been said about his postseason hiccups and I even made a whole video about it.
All I’m gonna say is that in these playoffs he’s had a game with 0 points, he failed to reach double digits in 4 games, and in the deciding game 7 against the sixers he had a miserable 10 points on 4 for 13.
Pascal Siakam has had a breakout season. And even a solid playoff run. But I would like to point out that he’s been slowing down each round culminating with these first 2 games.
Look, when going to the basket he’s one of the few players who are hard to stop. And he’s shown that even against Milwaukee. So I’d like him to always be in attack mode looking to get to the basket. Take a look at these 3 point shots. Milwaukee is leaving him wide open. And for a good reason. They are willing to take the risk and let a 28% three point shooter to try and beat them. The result? He’s shooting 2 for 11 so far in these 2 games. So don’t settle for the outside shot, and don’t bail the defense out. Attack and cause problems inside the paint. Siakam is one of the best at that.
And finally the bench. Led by Fred Van Vleet.
Dude’s been a ghost in this postseason. His 11 points per game during the regular season turned into 4 points on 28% shooting. That’s unbelievable.
And even as a whole, the second unit is second to last in production in these playoffs dropping to 22 points per game from 36 in the season. A full 14 point drop off.
And going against a team with the best transition offense, the best defense, and possibly the MVP, you can’t have that many inconsistencies and bad performances, and expect to win a playoff series.
Game 3 is a must win at home, and it will show what the Raptors are really made of.