Leonard has the experience to back up his words.
After dropping 35 points on the Milwaukee Bucks last night, Kawhi Leonard led his Toronto Raptors to a 105-99 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Raptors are now one win away from their first NBA Finals appearance in franchise history and will have the opportunity to close out the series on Saturday in Toronto. At one point in the fourth quarter, the Raptors were down by 10 points but were able to mount a comeback. After the game, Kawhi explained what he told his teammates to get them to rally back and close out the match.
"Experience helps a lot," Leonard explained during a press conference. "I've been here before, I've been to the finals, it's pretty much nothing new that I'm seeing. You've just got to have fun with it, enjoy it. I told them tonight, when we were down 10, to enjoy the moment and embrace it and have fun and love it, this is why we're here.
Leonard has been one of if not the best player in the playoffs this season and has been the reason why the Raptors are where they are now. Despite his incredible play, the superstar has remained modest about his contributions.
"I'm not a guy that really controls the ball the whole game. I just try to give other people the opportunities to shine, and not try to be a dominant ballplayer," Leonard said. "I try to stay with a consistent mindset throughout the whole game, trying to read the defense throughout the entire game, see what's working."
Kawhi and the rest of the Raptors will have a chance to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals on Saturday, May 25th at 8:30 P.M. EST.