Outside of his excellent, MVP-calibre level of play this season, the No. 1 talking point in regards to Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard has been the cautious approach the team’s taken to the games he plays.
Coming off a quadriceps injury that saw him play just nine games last season – and ultimately led to the dispute that enabled the Raptors to trade for him from San Antonio – Leonard has only played 24 of the Raptors’ 32 games this season, missing this time mainly because he has yet to play both games when the team has back-to-backs and, most recently, with a bruised hip that he’s appeared to recover from fine.
Sitting with an NBA-best 23-9 record, and 7-1 without him, the Raptors haven’t exactly needed him, but considering the fact the team is plus-157 when he’s on the court compared to just a plus-84 when he’s off it this season, it’s understandable that most would prefer to see him play even a little more frequently than they do now.
With that said, the decision to give Leonard rest days, according to Raptors general manager Bobby Webster, is all part of a plan that both the Raptors and Leonard have collaborated together on, and could be something that pays dividends for the team moving forward.