Kawhi Leonard has done it all for the Raptors this postseason, putting his body on the line and making the biggest plays when it matters most.
After dropping Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the top-seeded Bucks, Leonard bounced back by scoring 36 points while playing 52 minutes in the Raptors double-overtime Game 3 win and played through fatigue and apparent discomfort as he scored 19 points in the team's Game 4 win to even the series.
The Raptors All-Star forward's discomfort was evident in Game 4 after a dunk through contact from Giannis Antetokounmpo caused him to grimace before he gingerly walked to the free throw line.
Gasol finds Kawhi for the thunderous one-handed jam! #WeTheNorth | #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/svpiDl79Nt- NBA Canada (@NBACanada) May 22, 2019
Still, when asked how he was feeling physically after the game, Leonard told reporters "I feel good, I'm going to keep going and keep fighting. We have a chance to make history."
The history Leonard is referring to is, of course, the Raptors now being just two wins away from the first NBA Finals berth in franchise history; Toronto is one of seven franchises to have never appeared in the NBA Finals.
In 2016, the Raptors came within two games of the Finals before being eliminated by the eventual champion Cleveland Cavaliers, and while some members of that team are still on the roster, this series has a much different feel through four games.
As for Leonard, his health has been a topic of discussion throughout the 2018-19 season. While his 'load management' caused him to miss a number of regular season games, he was noticeably fresh as the postseason started.
Now, with the Raptors 16 games into the postseason and there being less than 48 hours in between games to recover, a heavier workload seems to have taken somewhat of a toll on Leonard, but he is still impacting games in ways that only he can.
With history in reach, Leonard's words indicate that he is willing to do whatever it takes to help lead this team to the NBA Finals; the 2014 NBA Finals MVP does know a thing or two about winning championships.
After a one-day break, the series shifts back to Milwaukee for a pivotal Game 5 in which each team will look to inch closer to the biggest stage.