Magic Johnson ‘Happy’ After Shocking Lakers Departure, Says Wife Cookie

David Griffin, an innovative ex-Cleveland GM, is an obvious choice, but there are many others who wouldn't be bound by the unrealistic expectations and dewy-eyed attachments created by the Lakers' many trophies.

Danny Green knows what it takes to win it all.

PISTONS 115, KNICKS 89: Luke Kennard scored 27 points, Reggie Jackson had 21, and Andre Drummond added 20 points and 18 rebounds as Detroit won at NY to lock up the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.

"It's a matter of getting prepared, which I know we'll do and going out there and performing".

"I've never seen any guy who can make five huge plays in a row, steal a ball, hit a pull-up three, go down and take a charge, come down, drive in and throw one in". Nurse and Raptors fans can't wait to see "playoff Kawhi".

A player who was feared nearly entirely for his work around the basket now has to be accounted for even when he's away from it. Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson called Siakam an X-factor who now demands a much bigger part of the scouting report. The hope is that Leonard can be the difference. "It's a phenomenon", Casey said then, and frankly the supernatural was as good an explanation as any for the problems that had befallen them in the playoffs.

Leonard won't be out there alone. And instead of giving these players their deserved spotlights, the whole NBA universe turned to watch the sudden end of what was an overall disappointment of a barely two-year career of a president of basketball operations. He's been lethal this season coming off of pin downs, and has had a lot of success with running off of screens, and drawing contact with the defender who's chasing him, or someone who might step up to contest the shot. Put him on the ball, it's hard.

"I think we made great progress from Game 1", Leonard said during a chat with a few media members after Toronto crushed Minnesota to finish off the first part of the campaign.

"But it's a team effort. We've got an opportunity to get where we want to get to". That's something we can rely on, this team.

I think it'll be a challenge. "I think it's one of our biggest strengths for sure".

The 10-year veteran finished the season shooting 45.5% from beyond the arc; his ability to stretch the floor is big for the Raptors offence and can sway a series. Parsing out exactly how Leonard contributed is tricky, defensive metrics being what they are. The Magic had a 17-win improvement this season, the largest turnaround in the league, and are back in the postseason for the first time since 2012. "But she's going to be fine, and I'm going to be fine". Los Angeles was decimated again this season by injuries to almost every key player, including the longest injury absence of James' 16-year career.

After playing just nine games with San Antonio last season because of a quadriceps injury, Leonard has played in 60 as a Raptor, and says he is happy with how he feels heading into the post-season. We're going to need him at some point so we wish him a speedy recovery.