Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard may no longer sit out back-to-backs in 2019
Although it’s not set in stone, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse told reporters Saturday that Kawhi Leonard may start playing in back-to-backs in the new year.
Nick Nurse said (I'm paraphrasing) that this is probably the last time Kawhi Leonard doesn't play in back to backs.
So…once 2019 hits…sounds like folks can expect to see KL in all games.
— Eric Smith (@Eric__Smith) December 22, 2018
The Raptors blew out the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday at home behind 37 points from Kawhi Leonard. Toronto lost to the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday night and Leonard did not play. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year only played in nine games last season with the San Antonio Spurs due to a lingering quadriceps injury, so the Raptors just want to play it safe with their new star player.
In his first season with Toronto, Kawhi Leonard is averaging 26.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 49.9 percent from the field, 37.6 percent from beyond the arc, and 85.3 percent from the free-throw line. Leonard can become an unrestricted free agent after the season ends if he declines his 2019-20 player option with Toronto.
By appeasing Kawhi Leonard and monitoring his health, the Raptors are definitely getting on Leonard’s good side, which is big for The Klaw considering what happened last year in San Antonio. Leonard has guided the Raptors to the best record in the NBA, so he has to be in the MVP conversation.