Raptors is very close to their first NBA Title and even they play team basketball this achievement won’t be possible without their superstar Kawhi. Excellent in Game 4 , excellent whole Play-Off time. More than ever we hear comparisons with Michael Jordan.
- Kawhi Leonard sets his career-high 36 points per game in NBA Finals game;
- 35 points and 0 turnovers on the road in NBA Finals: only Kawhi & Jordan.
‘’Kawhi is the best two-way player in NBA’’ ? Sorry Lebron’s or other NBA player’s fans but at this moment he is!
His excellent skill set and versatility + calm and always on winning focused personality makes him different than most NBA superstars. Even every superstar has his ego Leonard is team player and Toronto organisation is getting the most out of this talented basketball player.
PERFECT BASKETBALL PLAYER?
1vs1 & ISO. Excellent in creating his own shot.
PICK-AND-ROLL. Unselfish player, team-first decisions. Most of the time teams ’’respect’’ Kawhi by TRAPPING PNR. His ability to pass out of trap is just another of many offensive basketball skills. Toronto Raptors is doing great job against pick-and-roll SWITCH.
OFF-BALL SCREENS. Another great skill is coming off the off-ball screens and ability to catch=and-shoot without hesitation.
TRANSITION. After getting defensive rebound he can start offense by himself with pass or just simply coast-to-coast + lay-up or just attempting 3-point shot/mid-range shot.
MID-RANGE GAME. Fade-Away. Tough shot for most of the basketball players but this skill allows him to effective especially when there are few second left on shot clock. Similarities with Micheal Jordan?
BACK-TO-THE-BASKET. No problem.
FREE-THROWS. 45/48 in NBA Finals!
DUNKERS’ SPOT OR BEHIND 3-POINT LINE? BOTH.
DEFENSE + REBOUNDING. Top3 perimeter defender in NBA.
Except these all amazing skills he has he ability to stay calm and not to force the action. No EGO plays. Sometimes he can even not touch the ball few offensive possessions and let Lowry and others control the offense but afterwards can score lot of points in short period of time like he did in Game 4 (3rd quarter).
DOUBLE TEAM. CAN’T SCORE HIMSELF? Pass out of the trap is not problem for Kawhi.
#1. Post trap.
#2. Nearest with nearest man to get the ball out of Kawhi’s hands.
#3. Pick-and-Roll vs Kawhi.
USG% of last 4 play-off games of all NBA players who player average more than 10 minutes per game. For Kawhi and Toronto Raptors last 4 games = NBA Final games vs. Warriors.
Statistics shows that Kawhi plays very effective in NBA Finals.
If during regular season Raptors used to play very good even without their leader Kawhi (missed 22 regular season games) then in Play-Offs his performance is reason why they play in Finals. Field goal percentage is more than 5% higher when he’s on court and Raptors plays much better (+8.4 points more!) when Kawhi is on court!
KAWHI LEONARD’S NBA FINALS CAREER-HIGH 36 POINTS PERFORMANCE IN GAME 4.
- Excellent of createing his own shot 8 of 11 Kawhi’s field goals were off the dribble and only off the catch.
- Transition. 11 points were scored before defense was set. Two transition 3-pointers from Kawhi in the beginning of 3rd quarter was the best possible way to start second half for Raptors.
- Second time perfect from free-throw line in NBA Finals – 9/9.
- No lay-ups, no dunks. All shots were three-pointers/mid-range shots/fade-away or free-throws.
“I don’t play hero basketball. I am not playing for fans. I’m just playing to win. I’m not out here trying to break records …” Kawhi right after taking 3-1 lead
Good luck to Leonard in game 5 but if you not playing for fans then you can’t ask supermax deal… Fans = money… Maybe Kawhi doesn’t care of it that much as we think?