Raptors have been atrocious offensively without Kawhi Leonard on the court vs. Sixers
The Toronto Raptors trailed the Philadelphia 76ers by just seven points to start the fourth quarter after Fred VanVleet knocked down a technical free throw. The Raptors faced a crucial time in the game with Kawhi Leonard going to the bench for a quick rest, hoping they could weather the storm before their superstar returned to the floor.
Unfortunately, that seven-point deficit was 16 points by the time Leonard checked back in two and a half minutes later. Toronto didn’t score a single point in those few minutes with Leonard on the bench, and Philadelphia had all the momentum by the time he returned. The Sixers ultimately ran away with a 116-95 victory to take a 2-1 series lead.
This has been a theme of the series so far. The Raptors’ offense has been thoroughly putrid without Leonard on the floor:
The Raptors offense has been abysmal sans Kawhi
Raptors Offensive Rating
Kawhi On Floor Kawhi Off Floor
Game 1 126.0 47.8
Game 2 101.2 35.7
Game 3 105.4 70.8
Series 110.7 54.1
— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) May 3, 2019
Meanwhile, Leonard has been close to unstoppable. The superstar forward scored 33 points on 13-of-22 shooting in Game 3 and is putting up 37.7 points per game in the series on nearly 61% shooting.
Pascal Siakam had a huge Game 1 and has hit the 20-point mark in all three games in this series, but his efficiency was poor in Game 2 (21 points on 9-of-25 shooting) and was just okay in Game 3 (20 points on 7-of-15 shooting). Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol combined for 14 points on 4-of-16 shooting in Game 3 and have been rather quiet all series.
If the Raptors are going to have any chance in this series, Leonard is going to need some help from his other big guns, especially if the Sixers are in a groove like they were in Game 3. Leonard may also have to push his minutes into the mid-40s with minimal breaks. He spent all season resting for load management purposes, but now it’s time to go all out.