Kawhi Leonard makes his most-anticipated return to San Antonio on Thursday when the Raptors meet the Spurs at AT&T Center.
Kawhi Leonard left the San Antonio Spurs on bad terms, and tonight, the new Toronto Raptors will face his old team for the first time in San Antonio, and the AT&T Center promises to not be too kind to their former star.
Leonard missed nearly all of the 2017-18 season, and in the offseason proceeding the season, Leonard wanted out of the Alamo City and forced the Spurs to trade him to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl. Though many see his Toronto stint as a one-year affair (he can opt out of his five-year deal after this season and become an unrestricted free agent), it is clear that Toronto has taken a leap in the East.
With Leonard and Kyle Lowry leading the way, the Raptors are 28-11 and with LeBron James out West, Toronto feels it has a real shot at getting to the NBA Finals this season, making the gamble for Leonard worth it.
DeRozan, who was initially depressed at being traded from Toronto, has settled in with his new team also, though San Antonio (21-17) has had a bit more of a bumpier ride than the Raptors. After starting the year bad on the road and horrific on defense, the Spurs have tightened their grip defensively and has improved slightly on the road.
They have, however, continued to have success in the friendly confines of the AT&T Center, compiling a 15-5 home record. At the same time, however, the Raptor has continued to play well on the road, going 13-7.
Raptors at Spurs live stream details
Regardless, this is going to be the game to watch on Thursday, especially to see how the San Antonio crowd will react to Leonard’s homecoming, which many still see with hurt eyes.