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SportsKawhi Leonard was worth it, even if he leaves the Raptors

17:07  13 may  2019
17:07  13 may  2019 Source:   msn.com

NBA playoffs 2019: Raptors' Nick Nurse praises Kawhi Leonard's 'big-time' performance

NBA playoffs 2019: Raptors' Nick Nurse praises Kawhi Leonard's 'big-time' performance Leonard started the Toronto Raptors' series against the Philadelphia 76ers with 45 point and 11 rebounds.

Anyone who thinks Kawhi Leonard will stay with the Toronto Raptors this summer because of that mind-blowing, buzzer-beating, game-winning Yet thanks to where the Raptors are now, even if a familiar place, the bet on Leonard feels justified. It feels as though the way Toronto got to this point

Even if he is healthy and motivated, the Raptors —still reeling from their disastrous post-season— are far from a powerhouse. But DeRozan isn’t just leaving against his will. It was all on display, the complete Kawhi Leonard show, and why it was worth staging in Toronto this season, even against

Kawhi Leonard was worth it, even if he leaves the Raptors © Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

That shot against the 76ers forever cements his Toronto legacy even if he departs this summer.

Anyone who thinks that Kawhi Leonard will stay with the Toronto Raptors this summer because of that mind-blowing, buzzer-beating, game-winning jumper at the end of Game 7 on Sunday doesn’t really understand that Kawhi Leonard doesn’t follow the plot all that well. Kawhi is a legend in spite of going completely off script as a superstar. No matter what happens this season in Toronto, it’s always been the case that Leonard is going to do what Leonard wants to do this summer, whether that’s stay in The North, move to Los Angeles, or whatever.

Kawhi Leonard’s body language after Game 3 loss sparks concern

Kawhi Leonard’s body language after Game 3 loss sparks concern The body language of Kawhi Leonard after the Toronto Raptors’ 116-95 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday sparked some fan reactions. Leonard’s Raptors were beaten thoroughly, trailing almost from beginning to end. It really got away in the fourth quarter as Philly cruised to a 21-point victory. The Sixers now lead the series, 2-1. When Leonard sat down for his post-game press conference, he looked exhausted and defeated. Kawhi's body language speaks volumes pic.twitter.

Anyone who thinks that Kawhi Leonard will stay with the Toronto Raptors this summer because of that mind-blowing 13 May 2019 12:52. SB Nation: Toronto Raptors . That shot against the 76ers forever cements his Toronto legacy even if he departs this summer.

Kawhi Leonard was worth it , even if he leaves the Raptors . But the Raptors can reboot almost entirely and clear the books if it chooses next season, too. Lowry, Fred VanVleet, and Gasol will all become unrestricted free agents, while the team can make Siakam, the league’s Most Improved

What that incredible shot to vanquish the Sixers did is prove that even if this only lasts until the Raptors are eliminated or win the 2019 championship (whichever comes first), the risk was worth it.

Toronto had a perfectly cromulent team before general manager Masai Ujiri traded DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a pick to the Spurs for Leonard and Danny Green. Given that LeBron James slid over the Western Conference early in free agency, the Raptors would have been justified in running it back. DeRozan and Kyle Lowry had proven they could carry a team deep in the playoffs, and their primary NBA Finals obstacle had removed himself from the situation.

In a dark time, Kawhi Leonard is the hero we need

In a dark time, Kawhi Leonard is the hero we need We needed that. In the year of no spring, at a time when our leaders seem to be giving up on the future itself, in the grey days after yet another Maple Leafs let-down, we needed a hero. Kawhi Leonard is that hero. We’ll be replaying The Shot for years to come, savouring every bounce of the buzzer-beater to beat all buzzer-beaters. Thousands of words have been spilled describing it, with thousands more to follow. For us, we’ll just endorse the reaction of the great LeBron James: “!! !! !! !! !! !! !!” Now, our expert colleagues in the sports department tell us, it gets harder. Maybe too hard for these Raptors.

Kawhi Leonard was worth it , even if he leaves the Raptors . Here we go again. Leonard will match up, once again, against the Warriors team that cost him a season when Zaza Pachulia slid under his jump shot in the Western Conference Finals two years ago. Leonard will now have a chance to exact

In 2019, he led the Raptors to their first NBA championship in franchise history and won his second Finals MVP award. champions, UConn.[11] Leonard was named to the Second Team All-America and left San Diego State " Kawhi Leonard Proves He Is Worth Risking It All". The New York Times.

Hasn’t patience proven to be a powerful tool in the NBA this season, after all? Consider the closely fought series to produce the second conference finalist in the West. The Blazers were swept out of the first round by a No. 6 seed last year. The Nuggets didn’t even make the playoffs. Neither team made major changes to their roster last offseason. And here they were, worthy competitors fighting to the last moment for a spot in the conference finals. Patience paid off for them.

Ujiri and the Raptors opted to roll the dice instead, trying to create something greater at risk of conceding stability for the long-term. DeRozan was around for the long run; Kawhi could have been a destabilizing rental. (He still could be.) But in that one season guaranteed with Leonard, the Raptors could be great. They could destroy the demons. They could do something more.

And here they were. The bet paid off.

Raptors' Nurse not sweating over Kawhi's health: 'I think he's fine'

Raptors' Nurse not sweating over Kawhi's health: 'I think he's fine' If Kawhi Leonard is ailing then the Toronto Raptors might be the world's best poker players. Leonard gutted out the Raptors' blowout win over the Milwaukee Bucks to even the Eastern Conference final at two games apiece and at times appeared both hobbled and tired. With his supporting cast picking up the slack, the superstar scored 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting in only 34 minutes of action. This came just two days after he landed awkwardly on his leg early in Game 3 and looked uncomfortable throughout the contest. But Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was quick to calm any fears that Leonard is dealing with a serious injury. "We were concerned.

Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard showed how vital he is to the Raptors , scoring 39 points to go with 14 rebounds and 5 assists in his team’s win over PHILADELPHIA — It was all on display, the complete Kawhi Leonard show, and why it was worth staging in Toronto this season, even against ominous

Kawhi Leonard was worth it , even if he leaves the Raptors . Brooks Koepka will shame his colleagues into fixing golf’s slow play problem Brooks Koepka played one of his worst major rounds of the year on Sunday, but it was what he did in between the shots that had us cheering.

It’s true that the Raptors under DeRozan and Lowry also made the Eastern Conference finals. That incredible shot by Leonard — one that will anchor every Raptors hype video for the near and long-term future, barring a sequel in the next round — aside, Toronto hasn’t actually accomplished anything more than the last version of the team.

Yet thanks to where the Raptors are now, even if a familiar place, the bet on Kawhi feels justified. It feels as though the way Toronto got to this point — against a worthy foe in an ultra-close series, with a Raptors’ hero making one of the greatest shots of the millennium — makes whatever happens in July acceptable.

Of course, the Raptors would love for that shot to cement mutual and long-lasting love between Kawhi and the people of Toronto. Maybe it will. Maybe Kawhi loves warm weather and Doc Rivers a little bit more. We’ll see. But even if Toronto ends up back in the lottery next season because Leonard has fled, for this moment — this rare moment that so few NBA fans experience — it will have been worth it.

These fleeting moments of unbridled joy and unfathomable hope are why anyone gives so much of themselves to be a fan. You stick through the painful losses and the memes and the jokes and the daggers for moments like this. You risk getting burned for that rare opportunity to explode with happiness. Vulnerability is a prerequisite for what Toronto experienced Sunday evening.

Trading for Kawhi with no guarantees for next season made the Raptors more vulnerable than ever. At least the DeRozan and Lowry duo for sure wanted to be in Toronto. But the vulnerability created by Kawhi’s uncertain future and Raptors fans’ belief in Leonard made Sunday more special. You can’t win big without risking a little. The Raptors did that by betting they could bring Kawhi back into the spotlight. It worked.

Now we see if it’s enough to get the Raptors somewhere they’ve never been before: the NBA Finals.

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Raptors' Green suggests Leonard has battled knee issue.
Toronto Raptors guard Danny Green may have accidentally revealed the type of injury Kawhi Leonard has been battling during the playoffs. Leonard has been hobbled at times with an apparent leg injury, though the Raptors have steadfastly refused to go into detail and say that Leonard is fine. Green, however, suggested that the star forward has been playing through some sort of knee injury en route to the NBA Finals. Listing off team injuries, Danny Green mentioned that Leonard's been dealing with a knee issue.

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