Toronto Raptors

NBA Playoffs 2019: Kendrick Perkins says Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard reminds him of Michael Jordan

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(NBA Getty Images)

Toronto Raptors small forward Kawhi Leonard has been one of the deadliest players through the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs, with his team just one win away from advancing to the second round.

ADAMS: Kawhi's hot start for the Raptors is a reminder of his consistent dominance

Leonard is averaging 28 points per game, shooting 53.2 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from the three-point line on 5.3 attempts per game, while putting the clamps on the Orlando Magic's perimeter players on the defensive end.

Through the first four games of the 2019 playoffs, Leonard has been the NBA's most dominant scorer, averaging a league-high 41.1 points per 100 possessions, per Basketball-Reference (min. 100 minutes played).

To put it simply, Leonard has been a force on both ends against the Magic, earning some high praise from former NBA big man Kendrick Perkins, who said this week that Kawhi's game is giving him some Michael Jordan flashbacks.

"This may sound crazy, but Kawhi Leonard reminds me of Michael Jordan," Perkins said on Monday's espide of ESPN's "Get Up."

"I'm not comparing him to Mike. But if you watch the way he plays, his style, the way he plays the game on both ends - he has a game that mimics Michael Jordan.

"It's not all the way fancy. He gets to his spots [on the floor]. He's got nice turnarounds, big hands, palms the ball. And on the defensive end, he's probably the best in the game."

While he still has a long way to go in his career, Leonard is no stranger to postseason success, winning an NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014, where he was named Finals MVP as a 22-year-old, thanks largely to his phenomenal defensive performance against LeBron James in his prime.

Barring last year's injury-plagued season, Leonard has appeared in the playoffs in every year of his career and ranks fourth all-time in playoff win shares per 48 minutes, trailing only LeBron, George Mikan and Michael Jordan, per Basketball Reference.

The Raptors can close out the Orlando Magic in Game 5 back on their home floor on Tuesday.

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