It's no secret at this point that Kawhi Leonard has been working overtime to help the otherwise struggling Toronto Raptors succeed in the playoffs. Kawhi Leonard has been carrying the team on his back and then some, especially in their series against Philadelphia. The weight of that responsibility is starting to wear Leonard down - at least, that's the impression he gave during last night's post-game press conference.
In the brief clip, Leonard can be seen sitting down before the cameras appearing exhausted, rubbing his eyes and sighing heavily. For the fiercely private and usually stonefaced Leonard, his body language alone speaks volumes. Fans note that he seemed frustrated and rightfully so, as he was one of the only players to come through for the Raptors last night.
Raptors fans were quick to read Leonard's vibe in the clip, speculating about what may have him down in the dumps:
Kawhi's body language speaks volumes https://t.co/YITLtlkENn— Yahoo Sports Canada (@Yahoo Sports Canada)1556854153.0
@YahooCASports He just looked at the paper and seen Lowry game stats, almost snapped— JL🐍 (@JL🐍)1556854813.0
@YahooCASports He's already exhausted from carrying this team.— Rob Swystun (@Rob Swystun)1556889829.0
@zcs33 @YahooCASports When you trying to carry a whole franchise— jayden reber (@jayden reber)1556857454.0
Some fans also seem to believe that, after this, all hope for Leonard's long-term stay in Toronto is shot. It looks like Kawhi Leonard is already daydreaming about what his life will be like in LA once he signs with the Lakers, fans claim. It doesn't help that the Lakers have reportedly has sought out the player in the past.
@YahooCASports Kawhi I promise it’s not gonna be like this in LA next season. I’m sorry bro.— ѕwíng 💨 (@ѕwíng 💨)1556855143.0
@YahooCASports I’m sorry and super sad but he’s leaving us @ajames0105— SGVS (@SGVS)1556870923.0
@YahooCASports https://t.co/66peUKylcq— ERV (@ERV)1556858188.0
Leonard's teammates appear to be all too aware that they failed to properly support their star player. According to RealGM, Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry took his performance in game 3 - which ended in 116-95 loss for the Raptors - in stride, stating that the team needs to be a better support system for Leonard. Lowry only scored 7 points during the game; Kawhi put up 33.
"We've got to help him. I was literally saying it during the game. We have to help him. He's doing everything he can possibly do offensively and defensively to f---ing win games, and myself, I'm not helping him enough. I'm not putting it on nobody else but me," said Lowry, according to RealGM.
The Raptors face off against the 76ers again this Sunday. It will be interesting to see if Toronto can get it together and get behind Leonard before it's too late.