Kawhi Leonard thinks the Toronto Raptors have what it takes to win it all this season.
"I think the organization did a good job of trying to make us better down this last stretch," Leonard said at media day for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game. "Like I said before, time will tell where our journey is going to end, but I think we have a good chance of getting to the Finals and winning it. But we still got a lot of work to do."
"I still think that we can get better," Leonard said later in his press conference. "We still have some potential to get better. There's a lot of games that we are up and we lose the lead or we're building back from a lead that a team already built up on us. I think we can work on things like that."
The Raptors currently have a 43-16 record, putting them only one game behind the Milwaukee Bucks at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. They've had their ups and downs since a scorching start to the season, but they've had to deal with a number to injuries to key players, namely Kyle Lowry and Leonard, who have combined to miss 28 games.
Other than a recent injury to Fred VanVleet, who is expected to miss the next five weeks with a thumb injury, the team is starting to return to full strength. And helping them down the final stretch of the season are two new additions in Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin, who have the potential to make the Raptors even more dominant on both ends of the court.
Kawhi Leonard speaks at #NBAAllStarMediaDay presented by AT&T! https://t.co/0mevpsvuRv- NBA (@NBA) February 16, 2019
Leonard spoke about Gasol specifically at media day, saying he thinks the one-time Defensive Player of the Year helps the Raptors out "a lot."
"Just his veteran knowledge, IQ, him being a tough guy, playing defence," Leonard responded when asked about what Gasol brings. "He can also score the ball, cause a lot of tension on that low block and get us open shots."
Gasol is averaging 10.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks in limited minutes off the bench through three games with the Raptors. Lin, meanwhile, scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out five assists in his Raptors debut before All-Star Weekend.
The Raptors return to action on Feb. 22, when DeMar DeRozan makes his long awaited return to Toronto as a member of the San Antonio Spurs.