That finger is etched under Leonard’s Toronto Raptors Championship ring, a piece of symbolism that needs no interpretation. Then there is the federal case. Naik won the contest between the people, naturally playing a central role in the middle issue.
As the referee checked a replay to accommodate the shot clock with 1:46 left after Leonard’s rejection and the LA Clippers led by six points to take a 3–3 victory over the Denver Nuggets in a 113–107 game , The Clippers bench reacted to the replay. In measures of mistrust, awe and joy, Leonard’s teammates mimicked the former game.
Leonard said, “I was helping, so I stepped in and decided to play the shot. And I finally saw that he was trying to sink and just, you know, reached over and blocked the shot. Tried, ”Leonard said. “You know, I’m getting a block.”
This is an accurate description of what happened.
“It’s an extra long middle finger,” Paul George said with a little more emotion. “It kept growing or something.”
It is in moments like this that everyone is just reminded of how players like Leonard “deserve it”. That’s why the Raptors let Leonard use his jet for San Diego to back-and-forth as they re-signed. That’s why the Clippers hired their favorite assistant coach. This is why accommodations are made for their every wish, from trainers to barbers and, in particular, to protect their knees.
The Clippers dreamed of nights as if they intimidated Leonard as he headed to free agency. This is why he paid such a hard price to sign him to trade for George.
Monday may seem like a relatively walking evening for an All-Star of Leonard’s caliber: an average-23 point with an otherwise not-so-heavy line of 14 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks.
In truth, it was more of George’s night to attract attention, as he had one of the hot shooting games he would occasionally deliver, as he made 12 of 32 attempts to score 12 points. Was captured. He was also a big attacking defender over Morena, scoring just 14 points in 5-of-17 shooting. Murray was 0-for-6 when George was his primary guard, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
But there was a reason George grabbed Leonard’s shoulders and squeezed him in applause as he left the floor. Even on a day when he was great, George could not win without Leonard.
In the second quarter, the Nuggets are still feeding off their impressive Game 2 victory, with Denver leading by 12 points. But Leonard scored six straight points to change the pace.
In the fourth quarter, he tied the game on a free throw, gave Ivarica Zubac a superb bounce pass to the Clippers, extended the lead on one of his step-back midrange jumper and then secured two rebounds and a block to bring it home.
“It’s not about me scoring,” Leonard said. “I had to be a playwright.”
Despite Murray’s struggle, the stream of crime continued to flow throughout the night, but Leonard led the charge that turned it into a fourth. Denver shot just 7-22 under the stretch, and the Nuggets shooter were 1-of-7 with Leonard and George as primary defenders in the fourth.
Leonard has dozens of games of this type – when he puts the opponent in a sleeper hold and knocks them down – on his playoff resume. They have one of the highest playoff winning percentages in league history .658, for one reason. Everything he speaks – in those adventurous and sublime defensive plays, has outpaced those clutch baskets and his ability to remain emotionally flat even under extreme circumstances – balloons in value in a postson setting.
To some extent, the Clippers are still trying to find their feet. Coach Doc Rivers regretted that he allowed the Nuggets to get 19 more shots – a product of excessive turnovers – and regularly delivered three baskets from out-of-bound plays. George has mostly recovered after a pathetic stretch in the first round, but is fighting Bench du Lou Williams and Montreal Harley.
They are yet to show their potential championship level, and they need it because the other three teams still alive in the Western Conference are quite dangerous. But the Clippers definitely have a championship player in Leonard and wow, does it matter when he matters.
“It’s a team effort,” Leonard said. “You can’t win a basketball game with only one player.”
This is true, but again, it depends on the player.