After playing injured for more than 50 minutes, Kawhi Leonard, makes one more heroic play at the end of game 3, as he chooses the right moment to double, gets the deflection, and then somehow beats Brogdon to the ball, even tho he’d been limping throughout the whole game.
And the next possession Kawhi goes hero mode for one last time as he faces the double team but determined to score Leonard fights his way and goes all the way to the basket to win the game for Toronto.
And just wait till you see the numbers to fully understand just how clutch he was. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
Taking a look at the crunch time numbers starting from the fourth quarter, all the way through the 2 overtimes, you can see that Kawhi went 6 for 12 during that time span, and the rest of the team was 6 for 22.
His 19 points that he scored at the end of the game is basically what kept the Raptors alive and ultimately won the game for them.
And I’ve said it before, and I will continue to emphasize it.
What I love about Leonard’s game is that he is really smart about how he gets his points.
Kawhi absolutely knows where he wants to go. Operating mostly inside the 3 point line.
The difference in this game however was the fact that he got a lot of transition and fast break opportunities.
And the Claw was able to endure those sprints despite the injury that he suffered early on in the game.
Although we could see that he was hobbling Leonard willed himself and his team to this victory both on the offensive end, as well as on defense, guarding Giannis at the end of the game and forcing a few key stops down the stretch.
After the game he wouldn’t admit to any injury despite the fact that cameras caught him looking absolutely drained from this battle.
And all of the heroics on offense, the key stops on defense, playing hurt, and single handedly holding an entire team on his back on the way to a must win, to me it was extremely impressive.
But now, the flip side of things.
Honestly I’m not even sure how Toronto won this game.
Milwaukee threw double and even triple teams at Kawhi down the stretch, just to get the ball out of his hands, and none of the Raptors could consistently benefit off of that.
I am 100% certain that for game 4 the Bucks will double down on this strategy as they see how tight the role players for Toronto are in crunch time.
The Milwaukee Bucks themselves had a bad game and that’s what ultimately allowed the home team to survive and stretch out this series.
I don’t expect to see another 12 point performance from Giannis so the Raptors better come out strong.
We still don’t know how healthy will Leonard be, and if anyone other than him will finally step up in the clutch-when it matters the most.
I picked this team to come out of the east before the playoffs, I was tired of seeing the same old story of them shying away from the big moment and I thought that they would finally go over the hump. On the back of Kawhi the Raptors somehow got this far, but now he needs the help from everybody in order to beat this excellent Bucks team.
Let’s see if they show up ready to play.
That’s it for now, if you liked this video subscribe and hit the notification bell so that you don’t miss my future in depth analysis. Talk to you in the next one. Peace out.