Handa na umano ang Golden State Warriors na gawin ang lahat upang malimitahan si Kawhi Leonard sa kanilang serye ng Toronto Raptors sa NBA Finals na mag-uumpisa na bukas.
Ayon kay Warriors star Stephen Curry, nariyan naman daw ang kanilang mga defenders na siyang pipigil sa aniya’y “physically gifted and strong” na si Leonard.
“He’s always at his own pace, and never seems to get rushed or be in a hurry. He’s obviously physically gifted and strong. He can get to his spots, but he’s become a really good shooter. Off the dribble, getting to a spot, rising up. â€¦ But we have some capable â€” beyond capable â€” defenders to guard him,” wika ni Curry.
Sa panig naman ni Leonard, hindi ito magpapadala sa pressure at kanya lamang iniisip na regular lamang ito na basketball game.
“It’s just the same basketball game,” ani Leonard. “It’s 5-on-5. It’s still two hoops. So you just go out there and play hard and live with the results.”
Samantala, sinabi ni Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, ito na raw ang finals na kanilang hinahanap kung saan hindi raw nila masyadong kapa ang kanilang makakatunggali.
“Different for us obviously, having been in Cleveland four straight years, but this is more the rule. That was the exception,” sambit ni Kerr. “You’re not supposed to go to the finals four straight years and you’re definitely not, if you’re lucky enough to do that, you’re not supposed to play the same team four straight years.
“This is more what the finals normally feel like, where you’re going against a team you frankly don’t know that well and that you haven’t seen that often over the previous few years.”
Hindi rin umano nila hahayaang maapektuhan sila ng injuries nina Kevin Durant at DeMarcus cousins sa kanilang target na makamit ang ikatlo nilang sunod na titulo sa NBA.
Giit naman ni Raptors coach Nick Nurse, kahit na tinalo nila ang Warriors sa dalawang beses nilang pagtatagpo noong regular season, inaasahan nilang iba ang magiging sitwasyon ngayon.
Ani Nurse, batid nilang mas gigil ang Golden State ngayon kaya nakalatag na rin ang kanilang diskarte upang masilat ang two-time defending champions.