Kawhi Leonard: Raptors must ‘stay even keeled’ after Game 7 triumph
Kawhi Leonard made one of the biggest clutch buzzer-beaters in NBA postseason history on Sunday, but the Toronto Raptors star knows the team has to move on and get refocused ahead of Wednesday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Raptors were back at practice Tuesday after spending a day reveling in how Leonard capped a brilliant performance to lead the Raptors to a seven-game semifinal series win over the Philadelphia 76ers with a game-winning shot that bounced multiple times on the rim before falling through the net.
Raptors Rundown vol. 33: The Shot— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 13, 2019
Full : https://t.co/1FLfbKIp6I pic.twitter.com/Xjhe6MfKPP
The Raptors certainly enjoyed punching their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals and a showdown with the formidable Milwaukee Bucks, but Leonard made it clear Tuesday it was time to move on despite the magnificence of the moment.
The game winner was great, but Kawhi Leonard's attention very quickly moved on to the Bucks. pic.twitter.com/EybrSzXq6D— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) May 14, 2019
“That’s why you’ve gotta stay even keeled in this league,” Leonard said. “You don’t get too low or too high till it’s all done.”
Leonard interestingly credited experiences from his time with the San Antonio Spurs for being able to turn the page and reset after such an emotional Game 7 win.
Kawhi: "I was fortunate enough to play for winning teams when I got into the NBA and just being in my rookie year, playing in the semifinals and going from year to year after year, I feel like it helped." So no, he did not say Spurs team name but obviously what he's referring to.— Harrison D. Sanford (@HarrisonSanford) May 14, 2019
Leonard and the Raptors face a tall order in a bid to take down the surging Bucks, and the superstar and others are fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead.
Kawhi, P-Skills & Coach checkin' in from practice.— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 14, 2019
| https://t.co/U1A3E2IztS pic.twitter.com/swXPs2YLzn
All that said, Leonard was asked if the Raptors should be viewed as underdogs heading into the series.
“I don’t think so,” Leonard said, via Yahoo Sports Canada.