Weekend Reads: What they’re saying about Kawhi’s historic Raptors series-clincher - PressFrom - Canada
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Weekend ReadsWhat they’re saying about Kawhi’s historic Raptors series-clincher

19:55  13 may  2019
19:55  13 may  2019 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Is this the Raptors’ endgame?

Is this the Raptors’ endgame? Down 2-1 to a rising power, with Kawhi Leonard’s decision looming, the future looks stormy in Toronto. Something I think about every time the Toronto Raptors are at some crossroads is that Masai Ujiri, the famed front office maestro, almost tore this team apart when he first arrived in the North. He traded away Andrea Bargnani for a pick and Rudy Gay for spare parts, and in that moment, it would have been easy to imagine Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, and even DeMar DeRozan hitting the market. But the Gay trade sparked an internal reformation under Dwane Casey, and the Raptors became quite good quite fast.

USA Today — Inside Kawhi Leonard’ s historic buzzer-beater that lifted Raptors into East finals. “It was crazy,” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said . “It was one of those moments where it’ s just like a real-life game winner, Game 7, like, count it down when you’ re back home, and everyone was celebrating like

TORONTO — Twenty-four seasons, 1,920 regular-season games, 18 playoff series , 99 playoff games. It took until the 100th postseason game in franchise history , but the Toronto Raptors clinched their first N.B.A. finals appearance with a 100-94 victory on their home floor against the Milwaukee Bucks on

What they’re saying about Kawhi’s historic Raptors series-clincher © Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Just the single biggest moment in Toronto Raptors franchise history, and a fitting capper to one of the most dominant individual performances in NBA lore. No big deal.

The sports world is abuzz following Kawhi Leonard‘s Game 7-winning buzzer-beater — the only shot of that kind in the history of the League — and, as we do following each Raptors playoff game, let’s take a look at the many things the out-of-market media are saying about Kawhi and the Raps following a monumental moment:

Sports Illustrated — Kawhi Leonard’s Superstar Performance Carries Toronto in Game 7 Thriller

Is there any player you’d rather have left in the playoffs than Kawhi Leonard? Perhaps an injured 7-footer in Oakland has a case, though the Raptors’ megastar (potential) rental is currently on a tear unmatched throughout the league. He poured in 15 fourth-quarter points in a 41-point effort on Sunday, draining a game-winning three at the buzzer to defeat Joel Embiid and the Sixers 92-90. Leonard’s buzzer-beater dagger bounced off rim four times before going down as if kissed by the basketball gods, and Toronto’s gamble in July 2018 may go down as the best deal in franchise history. The Raptors will now square off against Giannis Antetokounmpo in the Eastern Conference finals, and the Larry O’Brien Trophy is just eight wins away. Toronto will go as far as Leonard takes them.

Raptors-76ers Game 7 breaks Canadian viewership record

Raptors-76ers Game 7 breaks Canadian viewership record Canadian hoops fans have stayed glued to their televisions this postseason. 

Kawhi Leonard shocks 76ers with nail-biting series clincher . Leonard hit a shot from the corner over Joel Embiid at the buzzer that bounced off the rim four times before falling to give the Toronto Raptors a 92-90 victory over the 76ers on Sunday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

While they do feel he has helped the Raptors to exceed expectations, they ’ re skeptical of him actually winning, calling him “…praiseworthy but not exciting enough.” The Ringer has been impressed with Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors recently. Not necessarily because of the victory they posted against

The Ringer — In Kawhi Leonard’s Hands, Anything Is Possible

…Eighteen years ago, Vince Carter attempted a similar shot roughly 60 feet along the same side of the court, under similar circumstances, against the same franchise. Eighteen years ago, the ball clanked off the right side of the rim and the reverberations from that miss have haunted the team until … now. Nearly two decades of the city’s anxious self-fulfilling prophecies—spanning the void that Carter left upon his forced exit, then the existentialism brought upon by LeBron James—brought Toronto right back to a past they’d long hoped to overcome, mirrored on the other side of the floor. Vince had two seconds; Kawhi had four—as if time had to account for folding on top of itself. But with this second chance, they’ve broken through. This shot. It’s the greatest moment in Toronto Raptors history.

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.

After the Raptors ’ Game 4 victory on Friday, the Raptors only need one more win to bring home a championship. Here’ s what American media are saying . No longer underdogs, the Raptors are the clear favourites to win the NBA Finals. FiveThirtyEight’ s algorithm says there’ s an 89 per cent chance

She praises Kawhi Leonard’ s calm nature, calling him the “anti-LeBron,” and notes Marc Gasol’ s involvement with the Mediterranean refugee crisis. Game 1 had the lowest American rating for any first game of an NBA title series in a decade, according to ESPN. In his nightly newsletter Reliable

USA Today — Inside Kawhi Leonard’s historic buzzer-beater that lifted Raptors into East finals

Kawhi Leonard isn’t emotionless. You just don’t see it from him often.

“I’m a guy that acts like I’ve been there before,” Leonard said after making one of the biggest shots of his career and one of the biggest in Toronto Raptors franchise history.

…It was Leonard’s 39th shot of the game, the most he has ever attempted in his NBA career.

Leonard isn’t a gunner or chucker. High-volume shooting is not part of his offensive repertoire. In his eight-year career, he has never taken more than 20 shots per game during the regular season and never more than 20 a game during the playoffs prior to this postseason.

Efficiency is his game — high shooting percentage from the field and the foul line.

But Game 7 called for something different. It called for Leonard to take as many shots as necessary to get the Raptors past Philadelphia.

SB Nation — Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer beater was the best thing that’s ever happened to the Raptors

…Any leftover grumbles over Toronto parting ways with its former star, DeMar DeRozan, have to be put to rest now that Leonard not only knocked down one of the biggest shots in franchise history, but carried his team along the way. He scored 41 points on 16-of-39 shooting with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. He was the clear source of offense all game, up and through the final seconds. The rest of Toronto’s roster deferred to him in the clutch.This is why Kawhi Leonard is one of the best players on the planet, and why choosing talent over culture is wise, although it’s painful. This memorable moment was not just a win in the short-term, it’s one in the long-term, too.

New York Times — Kawhi Leonard’s Buzzer-Beater Puts Raptors in Eastern Conference Finals

When the ball left Kawhi Leonard’s hands on a fadeaway from the right baseline, with the final buzzer blaring as it arced toward the basket, it looked just a bit off.

Bucks rally to take Game 1 from Raptors

Bucks rally to take Game 1 from Raptors Brook Lopez scored 13 of his career playoff-high 29 points in the fourth quarter and Milwaukee closed the game on a 10-0 run to beat the Toronto.

Raptors star Kawhi Leonard delivered on the final shot of game 7 to lead Toronto past the 76ers. The Raptors will face the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern “Everybody says defence wins championships. I think tonight we did a great job on defence and even when they had to score some baskets we had

Three Raptors , remarkably, outscored or matched Kawhi Leonard in the clincher : Kyle Lowry delivered 11 of his 26 points in the game’ s first two-plus Said VanVleet of the Raptors ’ roster construction around Leonard: “None of our guys probably, other than Kawhi , are in that big boy club.

But then it bounced on the rim once. It bounced twice. Miraculously, it bounced a third and a fourth time. And as if the ghosts of Toronto Raptors past, the Damon Stoudamires and Morris Petersons of the world (and Jose Calderon sitting courtside), secretly gave a helpful nudge, the ball went through the net, in a split second drastically altering the fortunes of two teams, perhaps commencing the dismantling of one.

…In a shining example of basketball being a game of inches, Leonard was this close to being a scapegoat. With 10 seconds left, he went to the free-throw line with Toronto ahead, 89-88. He hit the first one, but the second clanged off the rim, and Philadelphia raced downcourt. Jimmy Butler, who scored 16 points, tied the score on a layup, setting up Leonard’s heroics.

“I was very mad,” Leonard said. “I tried to race down and get a rebound. Probably should’ve sprinted back to give some help on that layup Jimmy made.”

Washington Post — Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard slays Sixers in Game 7 with rim-rattling buzzer-beater

In Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, then-San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard missed a free throw with 19 seconds left that set the stage for the biggest shot in Miami Heat history: Ray Allen’s iconic corner three-pointer. That shot forced overtime, led to a Game 7, and ultimately swung the series in Miami’s favor.

Bruce Arthur: Kawhi vs. Giannis is the series for Raptors and Bucks

Bruce Arthur: Kawhi vs. Giannis is the series for Raptors and Bucks Bruce Arthur: Kawhi vs. Giannis is the series for Raptors and Bucks

The Raptors were already good. Kawhi Leonard makes them scary. Leonard reportedly has no plans to re -sign with Toronto, and there’ s a chance he might not suit up for the Raptors this season at all. But there’ s an equal, if not greater chance he chooses to play anyway, even if he doesn’t want to.

The Raptors have one year to convince Leonard that the city of Toronto and the Raptors So, what are the realistic expectations for Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors ? Leonard has one year remaining Getting past Boston in a playoff series will be hard, but the Celtics has never match up well against

Six years later, Leonard, now the face of the Toronto Raptors, again missed a clutch free throw that led to the biggest shot in the franchise’s history. This time, though, it was Leonard who got to enjoy the storybook ending.

…Leonard has been Toronto’s primary source of offense throughout the playoffs, and he took things to a whole new level on Sunday. He finished 16-39 from the field, 2-9 from deep and 7-8 from the free throw line to get his 41 points, adding eight rebounds and three assists in 43 minutes. His 39 shots marked his personal postseason career-high and a Raptors postseason franchise-record.

[Editor’s note: LOL]

ESPN — Kawhi ousts Sixers with unprecedented shot

…The final horn sounded as the ball reached its apex before caroming off the rim several times. As it did, Leonard squatted in the right corner, tongue between pursed lips, awaiting the shot’s fate. After the ball bounced through the iron, Leonard rose with his arms in the air and let out a scream before being rushed by teammates.

“It was crazy,” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said. “It was one of those moments where it’s just like a real-life game winner, Game 7, like, count it down when you’re back home, and everyone was celebrating like that. It was a pretty awesome moment.”

The decisive shot was the final basket of a historic night for Leonard, who scored a game-high 41 points, and only the second buzzer-beater in a winner-take-all game in the postseason, after Michael Jordan’s iconic shot to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the 1989 Eastern Conference playoffs. Leonard’s 39 shot attempts on Sunday are second to only Elgin Baylor’s 40 in 1962 as the most in an NBA Game 7.
Read more

Bruce Arthur: Raptors come to Kawhi’s rescue, even series with Bucks.
Kawhi Leonard looked like your dad, creaking and slow, first thing in the morning. Who wouldn’t, really? He had taken everything, eaten all that he could, gone past what he probably thought were his limits. Finally, Kawhi looked tired. Carry a team long enough, and it wears on the legs. And that’s before you really start to limp. And finally, the Toronto Raptors had to be the ones to pick him up. Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final against the Milwaukee Bucks was basically the season. Might as well be a team. With so much on the line, the Raptors finally showed up in full, blowing out the Bucks 120-102 to even the series at two games.

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