Analyzing the Kawhi Effect and what it means for the Raptors in the Finals

With Game 6 of the ECF behind them, what have we learned about the Raptors and Kawhi Leonard? Also, will the potential return of OG Anunoby unlock something else for Toronto? It’s pretty easy for this column to devolve into “I can’t believe the Raptors are in the Finals!”, so let’s try to keep it simple. First, we’ll take a quick look back at the predominant narrative in the Eastern Conference Finals between the Raptors and the Bucks. Second, we’ll see how that applies to Toronto’s series against the Golden State Warriors.
In the process, we’ll throw in a couple other thoughts for the next four to seven games of the NBA Finals — which, again, feature the Toronto Raptors.

Kawhi Leonard, Superstar

Kawhi Leonard’s impact on both ends could not be denied in the Conference Finals. We’ve covered this story plenty, so we’ll just very quickly tie a bow on it here.
Kawhi defended Giannis Antetokounmpo for 160 possessions. The Bucks scored 143 points (89 ORTG), while Giannis scored 30 points. In all of Giannis’ other 304 possessions, the Bucks scored 361 points (119 ORTG), while Giannis scored 106 points. See the difference?
Meanwhile, in Kawhi’s 208 minutes on …

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Author: Daniel Hackett / Raptors HQ

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