Title: Examining how the Raptors have utilized Kawhi Leonard through a quarter season
Date: November 27, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I took a deep look at how the Raptors are utilizing Kawhi Leonard through a quarter of a season.
After Kawhi Leonard’s debut with the Toronto Raptors in October, I broke down how similarly debuting head coach Nick Nurse utilized his star. I also promised to revisit the numbers once the sample had grown to where it was at least somewhat meaningful. We’re at that point, and as promised, we’re going to take a look at Leonard’s utilization at the season’s quarter mark.
The Raptors have now played 21 games and Leonard has appeared in 15 of them. At the team level, the 20-game marker can be fairly predictive — an average of 14 teams in the playoff picture at the 20-game marker make the playoffs, per research from John Schuhmann, while several key team stats are beginning to carry predictive weight, per research from Kostya Medvedovsky. At the individual level, 15 games is not an enormous sample, especially for statistics like three-point shooting, which can vary wildly. For a player like Leonard with an ample sample as a baseline, though, it should be telling as to where he is in his quest back to 100 per cent health and where he is in terms of his fit with the Raptors.
Overall, Leonard is averaging 24.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, three assists and 1.7 steals, hitting 33.9 per cent of his threes, posting a 57.5 true-shooting percentage on 30-per cent usage and playing to a plus-10.4 net rating. Let’s dive into how those numbers are coming to be and where they might go.