Title: ‘What are you gonna do? He was great’: Raptors make statement in Game 2 as Kawhi Leonard’s star shines brightest
Date: April 16, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, I wrote about the Raptors bouncing back in Game 2 against the Magic, evening the series and looking like the Playoff Raptors they initially expected.
You get the feeling the third quarter was exactly how Masai Ujiri envisioned things back in July, and again once more in February.
No, the storyboard surely didn’t call for a Game 1 loss to the Orlando Magic. That was perhaps unavoidable, with the Raptors ignominious history in series openers dictating as it does. It probably didn’t include the Raptors with their backs seemingly against the wall so early, a tough and effortful upstart on the verge of too much confidence. It definitely didn’t lay out yet another non-crisis of confidence for their star point guard.
The Raptors at their best, though? The Raptors with stakes to play for? The Playoff Raptors, the absolute measure of all of the team’s tinkering since a second consecutive premature ouster?
Those Raptors would look exactly like this.