If the Raptors Hope to Crack Finals, the Health of Leonard is Imperative
After a miraculous, double-overtime Game 3 victory, a certain Toronto Raptor was missing on the podium.
Post-game, a fatigued Pascal Siakam, required help from a Raptor staffer to step off the podium. Norman Powell had his time with the media, Nick Nurse did as well. Kyle Lowry, who fouled out mid-way through the fourth quarter spoke to the media while rocking what has become a signature blue oven mitt on his injured hand.
“It’s all about recovery right now, rest as much as your body needs it to rest,” said Lowry, who is playing through a sprained thumb on his non-shooting hand. “No one at this time of the season is 100 per cent but you get to a point where you feel good and go into the next game. Your job is your job, adrenaline takes over, preparation takes over so you’ll be ready to go for (Tuesday).”
Someone very imperative to the Raptors playoff success was noticeably missing from media availability.
The hero of the contest, Kawhi Leonard did not speak to reporters following the game, with the only information of note relayed by head coach Nurse was that the superstar will be ready to go in Game 4.
Kawhi Leonard plays through Game 3 after an apparent leg injury. Then you got gasol lookin PETTY af w/ that “hit” just now 🤦♀️ https://t.co/3YF7ptOcAi
— Samm (@samantha_hight) May 20, 2019
Suffering an apparent leg injury early in Game 3 while going up for a dunk attempt, Leonard seemed to be favouring his left knee for the remainder of the night, landing in a noticeable amount of pain on multiple dunks later on in the night. In a brief on-court interview following the conclusion of the game, Leonard did not go into the specifics on his potential injury, but commented on the importance of resting and recovering, and being ready to roll by Tuesday night.
“I’m good. I’m just going to keep fighting. I’m going to be playing,” said Leonard, who scored 36-points in Game 3, including the final 8 Raptors points in double-overtime.
Coach Nurse echoed the Raptor forward’s sentiments.
“I think he’s OK. It was a lot of minutes [52 minutes], but I think he’s OK.”
Game 4 will be yet another test for a more veteran Raptors team as they hope to nod up the series at 2-2. It will be interesting to see how the home team responds to what should be a more sharper Bucks team. That being said, one thing is for certain, The Klaw will be ready to go!