- Kawhi Leonard might’ve made the wrong move by leaving Toronto.
- The Raptors backcourt is much better than the Clippers’.
- One X-factor puts Toronto over the edge.
Kawhi Leonard might be a smidge overrated. I know that sounds crazy, Kawhi is definitely a monster. A better way to put it is that his supporting cast in Toronto was underrated.
While Kawhi got most of the attention during last year’s playoff run, his teammates were quietly making leaps. Now, At 16-7, those Raptors are proving they’re much more than just a supporting cast. Here’s how they stack up against the Clippers.
Clippers Backcourt vs. Raptors Backcourt
Kyle Lowry proved in last year’s playoffs that whatever playoff ghosts he was battling have been fully exorcised. After a slow start, Lowry got better and better as the playoffs wore on. He closed out the Warriors in game six just three rebounds shy of a triple-double. He repeatedly stepped into a leadership role when Kawhi Leonard needed a break.
Patrick Beverly is a scrappy defender, but his overall game is light years away from Lowry’s. Lowry is arguably even better on defense. Last year he had three defensive win shares compared to Beverly’s two. Beverly is a nice role player, but he’s never going to make an all-star team.
Lou Williams is an elite shotmaker with some nice complementary playmaking abilities. He’s even funny too. Fred VanVleet, meanwhile, makes nearly twice as many threes per game with better percentages while averaging seven assists and two steals per game. He’s also eight years younger than Sweet Lou.
The Raptors third guard, Norman Powell, is a bigger offensive threat than Landry Shamet. The backcourt is a clear win for the Raptors.
Clippers Frontcourt vs. Raptors Frontcourt
At this point, Paul George is still probably the second-best player out of the two teams. But Pascal Siakam is only a hair behind him, if at all. Last year, which was his best year ever, George averaged 28…