Kawhi Leonard was traded just last season to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan and Jakub Poeltl, and Danny Green was the cap filler in this deal. There were doubts about Kawhi's fitness and his commitment to the Raptors was also questioned. But he has silenced all his critics, and no one can probably be against him after the season he just had.
Leonard went from a defensive star with a good offensive game to one of the best players to grace the game of basketball and had just one of the best playoff runs ever witnessed in NBA history, probably the best one since Michael Jordan. So in an ode to the man, here are his 5 greatest performances of all time.
#5 Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers (Eastern Conference Semifinals):
The Philadelphia 76ers were on the road against the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Both teams were looking to get the edge over the other team and take the first lead in a series that went on for 7 games.
Kawhi ended up taking the game into his own hands and put an absolute masterclass, scoring a career playoff high of 45 points in just 38 minutes, one of his best scoring performance ever, as we can watch below.
Leonard grabbed 11 rebounds and had 2 steals and a block to go with a superb 69% shooting percentage from the field. He did not let Philadelphia 76ers come into the game and led them to a 108-95 win.
Nobody on the 76ers managed to reach 20 points and even come remotely close to a Kawhi masterclass. This set the tone for one of the most entertaining playoff series in recent memory, which the Toronto Raptors won 4-3 in thrilling fashion.