Kawhi Leonard: Injuries Shouldn't Keep Players Out of NBA Finals If They Can Run

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2019

Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard in action during the second half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, May 9, 2019, in Philadelphia. 76ers won 112-101. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Kawhi Leonard has been dealing with a knee injury during the postseason, but it apparently won't prevent him from continuing to suit up in the NBA Finals:

Melissa Rohlin @melissarohlin

Kawhi Leonard said at this point in the season, if a player can run, he should play through his pain.

"I'm 100 percent when I'm on the floor," the Toronto Raptors star added Tuesday, per NBA reporter Melissa Rohlin. "No excuses."

Leonard is averaging 30.9 points per game during the playoffs, including 28.5 points per game against the Golden State Warriors through the first two games of the Finals.

While Leonard has been playing through pain this postseason, he hasn't always done so.

The 27-year-old appeared in only nine games last season with the San Antonio Spurs because of a quad injury. He also missed the Spurs' entire first-round series against the Warriors in 2018 before San Antonio traded him to Toronto in the offseason. An ankle injury also cost him playing time in the Western Conference Finals against Golden State in 2017.

Toronto tried to keep Leonard fresh for the playoffs by managing his workload throughout the regular season, but he still appears to be limited at times.

According to Joe Vardon and Sam Amick of The Athletic, his current injury "stems from overcompensating for his injured right quad suffered last season."

However, the stakes are high in the Finals, and Leonard apparently will do whatever he can to help the Raptors take home their first championship in franchise history.