Anybody who followed the NBA last year knows that two of its most famous players were hurt — Jeremy Lin, then with the Brooklyn Nets, and Kawhi Leonard, then with the San Antonio Spurs. Questions about the futures of both players swirled throughout the season — would Lin recover his quickness and stamina? Was Leonard really hurt, or just trying to force his way out from under head coach Gregg Popovich?
But now the two players are both back playing at high levels, and they are suddenly teammates — with the mid-season acquisition of Lin by the Toronto Raptors. Lin showed his value on the court right away, scoring eight and notching five boards and five assists in his debut, needing just 25 minutes to do it. Yet Lin and Leonard still haven’t played together, because Leonard — the Raptors best player — rarely plays back-to-back games for the Raptors. Coming off the quad injury Leonard is being treated gingerly with unofficial minutes restrictions. That’s because while the Raptors have become regulars at performing well during the regular season — it’s the playoffs where they keep flaming out early.
Leonard is there to change Toronto’s postseason fate, and that’s what the Raptors are consistently focused on. So Lin is a perfect fit. Though he doesn’t play Leonard’s position, Leonard’s time off the court still frees up minutes for the reserve guard Lin to be on the court. Leonard, a forward, and Lin, a guard, are both wing players in today’s NBA and Lin definitely will receive more minutes with Leonard out. It’s a perfect fit for the player and team. Not to mention Toronto is sure to sell a bazillion Lin Raptors jerseys.