While watching Kawhi Leonard decimate opponents on either end of the floor, if it feels like you haven’t seen many players dominate a post-season quite like the Toronto Raptors star has, it’s because, well, you haven’t.
From historic scoring totals, effective defence and a slew of Raptors playoff records already to his name — with more likely on the way — here’s a closer look at some of Leonard’s many statistical feats from his outstanding 2019 playoff run that has left the NBA and it’s followers asking: is Kawhi the best player in the game today?
31.4: Leonard’s points-per-game total, second only to Kevin Durant (whose status for the NBA Finals is in question due to injury) among active players.
6: Leonard is now one of just six players to ever average more than 31 points per game in a single post-season (minimum 17 games played), joining Jerry West (1970), Michael Jordan (1989, ’91-’93, ’97-’98), Hakeem Olajuwon (1995), Allen Iverson (2001) and LeBron James (2017-’18). He and James are the only forwards to accomplish the feat.
Leonard joins Jordan, LeBron and Olajuwon as the only players to do so while shooting over 50 per cent from the field, and he and James are the only players to do so while also shooting over 41 per cent from deep.
5.4: Leonard’s points-per-game average in “clutch” situations (defined as, at most, a five-point game with under five minutes to play) ranks him first among active players. His 31 shot attempts in the clutch also rank him first, trailed by Steph Curry (27).
3.5: Leonard’s win share total this post-season, tops among any player in the NBA (Denver’s Nikola Jokic ranks second at 3.1).
.260: Perhaps a more accurate reflection of his impact on a game-to-game basis, Leonard?