Chris Broussard claims Kawhi Leonard has more help than Giannis Antetokounmpo
Kawhi Leonard clearly wasn’t himself in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Limited by an injury to his left leg suffered in Game 3, the Toronto Raptors superstar sorely lacked his normal burst and explosion on Tuesday night, forcing him to take more of a backseat offensively than he has for any other game during the Raptors’ ongoing playoff run.
To be clear, Leonard was still instrumental to Toronto’s win, perhaps even more so than any of his teammates. He had 19 points, seven rebounds, four steals, and two blocks on 6-of-13 shooting, and routinely took advantage of wholesale defensive attention paid to him by the Bucks by drawing extra defenders and making the easy pass. The former Defensive Player of the Year’s fingerprints were all over the other side of the floor, too, where he took on the primary assignment of guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo, rendering the league’s MVP frontrunner far less aggressive than he is against most defenders.
But Leonard’s gutsy performance, after playing 52 minutes on a bad leg 48 hours earlier, wasn’t enough for him to avoid scrutiny from the cast of characters on FOX Sports’ Undisputed . While, for reasons unknown, discussing Leonard’s supposed preference to shy away from the pressure shouldered by his star peers across the league with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe, guest analyst Chris Broussard said that Leonard has more help with the Raptors than Antetokounmpo does with the Bucks.
In terms of star power and name recognition, that’s unequivocally true. Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol have been among the league’s better players at their respective positions for years. Danny Green and Serge Ibaka have both made multiple All-Defense teams, and Pascal Siakam is continuing to develop into a rare two-way force of versatility.
But it’s selling Milwaukee’s supporting cast short to so confidently submit that Toronto’s is better. There’s an argument to be made that Khris Middleton is the third-best player in this series. Eric Bledsoe was just named First-Team All-Defense, and Malcolm Brogdon has made major strides since winning Rookie of the Year. Any team would kill to have big men with the shooting range and overall scalability of Brook Lopez and Nikola Mirotic. Guys like George Hill, Ersan Ilyasova, and Pat Connaughton have all played extremely well at various points throughout the postseason, too.
Bottom line: The Bucks and Raptors are very, very evenly matched. We’ll find out for sure which team is better when this hard-fought series, now a best-of-three, comes to a close.