Kawhi Leonard has yet to play both halves of a back-to-back this season for Toronto and recently sat out four games in a row for “load management,” so Raptors fans have been understandably nervous about the health of their team’s newest All-Star. However, they have nothing to worry about. The Raptors and Leonard are completely in sync about how to get the most out of Leonard during the regular season and more importantly, the postseason.
At shootaround in Houston Leonard set the record straight about how the Raptors are working with him this season.
“I only played nine games last year,” Leonard explained. “My first time playing 5-on-5 was probably in September, no October whenever training camp started.
“So it’s just about managing, making sure nothing flares up and they want me to be healthy, I want to be healthy, down the road once the playoffs come.
“So it’s just about making sure that I am good. That there ain’t no downfalls (setbacks) and I am just staying (progressing) at a steady pace.
“I am not hurt or anything like that. I already played three-times the games I played last year. (You) can’t just come out here and run your body into the ground.
“I guess the Raptors understand. They want me to be healthy. I am listening (to them) and we are moving at the same pace.”
No sweeter words could have come from Leonard if you’re a Raptors fan. His team understands him. He likes what they are saying. They are on the same page when it comes to managing his comeback, and, make no mistake (like the Spurs did), it is a comeback after missing nearly all of last season.