Kawhi-et Leonard Making Noise
After a historically hot start, the Raps remain undefeated in The Dot. Led by the silent killer Kawhi, who has displayed ELITE defense while averaging 27-8-3, heavily assisted by the NBA assists leader, K Low.
Now, The Klaw holds the Raptors record of most games with +20 points to start his career, currently sitting at 6 straight - with no signs of getting 19 or less anytime soon. As for the assist leader of The Association, Kyle Lowry grabbed his 6th straight double double with an impressive 20 points and 12 assists in Tuesday night's win over conference rivals Philadelphia.
However, contributions came from all over the floor in Tuesday's win, with big games from a few big men. Including Headband Siakam with a career-high 15 rebounds and 15 points, as JV finished with 23 points. But most importantly, Valanciunas continues to step outside his comfort zone with his long-range game.
Embid is going to have to claw both those eyes out if he plans to stop Kawhi this year, and that won't even guarantee it. Unlike every other basketball player, who would be out half the year with ocular tears, Leonard doesn't skip a beat and finishes what he started Tuesday night.
The 2017-2018 Raps were exceptional - with a franchise record 59 wins. But this year is special. We have the best player and the best point guard in the Eastern Conference, and after convincing wins over Boston and Philly, everyone knows it.
And as much as I appreciate the concerns of other fan bases and US media telling us that Kawhi is going to leave Toronto next season, I'll roll the dice and guarantee him re-signing. The charm of the city is slowly winning him over. Although, the MVP chants that break out throughout the Scotiabank Arena every possession he gets are premature, they're certainly justified.
Earlier this week, he was asked about his thoughts on the city so far.
He even brought out his inner Toronto mans for that question by ending the sentence with styll.
Widely-considered an introvert, it seems he's finding more of a personality in Toronto than he had anywhere else before. US media has taken notice and continue to slowly, conveniently change their narrative now.
But I am a semi-insulted he compared this city to NYC. Our greatness is truly unmatched and we don't have nearly as much trash littering our streets. But I understand where The Klaw is coming from here. After all, Toronto has become a basketball hotbed with a surplus of Toronto born talent now flooding the NBA.
Ok, maybe not flooding, but certainly trickling.
And much like The Big Apple, we have athletes and celebrities attending our games regularly. Such as the Canadian athletes and rappers that were in attendance in Tuesday night's win.
Some Canadian homegrown talent taking in Canada's basketball team is always a special sight, especially when one is sporting a Canadian tuxedo.
But Toronto certainly has a few more test coming their way this weekend. Although, so far, we've exceeded all expectations and passed every test with flying colours. 2018 Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons was overwhelmed with Leonard's defensive abilities, where he was held to 11 turnovers Tuesday night. He responded after the game, calling Kawhi a freak. That same freak will shut down LeBron James in this Sunday's marquee matchup, officially ending the LeBronto theme (RIP LeBronto: 2016-2018).
It may be too early to plan our championship parade and hand Leonard the MVP trophy, but it's definitely a great time to be a Raptors fan right now.