Title: ‘That was pretty cool to watch tonight’: Kawhi Leonard scores 45 points, helps secure Game 1 win for Raptors
Date: April 27, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, I wrote about the Raptors actually taking care of a Game 1, because everything is a little different now.
Kawhi Leonard took a screen, began a drive down the right side of the floor and offered a brief hesitation dribble as Tobias Harris fought back into position to meet him. The approach continued with a dribble over the reaching arm of Jonah Bolden from the corner, rose up chest-to-chest with Harris and let a runner go over his outstretched arm.
A pregnant pause presented itself as the ball bounced off the back of the rim. In that moment, everything felt a little different.
It feels like a veritable lifetime ago that another ball hung on the Scotiabank Arena rim near the end of a Game 1 in the second round of the playoffs. A year ago, the Raptors found themselves at this same juncture. That time, they were uneasy and unexpected favorites, in the analytic and Vegas senses of the word, only they were opposite LeBron James and weighed down with all of the playoff demons that, fair or unfair, came to define the past half-decade.