Two veterans in Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant will face-off in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2019, so we definitely shouldn’t take this series for granted.
The last time the pair met in the postseason was during the 2019 NBA Finals and it lasted all of 11 minutes 57 seconds.
Durant ruptured his achilles and then didn’t take the court for 18 months after that.
In 2021, it was Leonard’s turn. His postseason was cut short as he suffered a torn ACL against Utah in the Western Conference semifinals.
So it’s safe to say Sunday’s game is a highly-anticipated one and Leonard is looking forward to the challenge against KD.
“I mean, he’s a great player,” Leonard said of Durant. “These are the fun parts of it. Just going out there, getting to compete against a guy like him that’s been doing it year after year. Yeah, everybody is going to have to take the challenge, not just me. It is a team sport.”
The forwards are without a doubt two of the best mid-range jump shooters in the league and Leonard has nothing but respect for his opponents’ game.
“Him making the shots, that’s what it’s about,” Leonard said. “How he gets to his spots, shooting over guys, [both] hands throughout his whole career, and it’s very impressive. Like I said, year after year, he’s doing it, and he’s doing it at a high percentage. Yeah, both ways, left, right, shooting over everybody.”
Game 1 of the Western Conference playoffs match-up between the Clippers and Suns is on Sunday April 18 at 8:00PM ET.