Player #2: Iman Shumpert
There is no doubt that Kawhi Leonard is the Raptors’ best player right now. Currently, he is averaging over 26 points, seven rebounds, and three assists per contest while being an excellent defender. The Kings will have multiple players challenging Leonard tonight, but the guy in purple that should carry most of the responsibility is Iman Shumpert.
The Kings need Shumpert to have a good night on both ends of the floor. Like in most games this season, the Raptors expect Kawhi to be one of their main scorers when they play. So if Shumpert is able to somewhat limit him tonight, it will help the Kings’ defense immensely. On the other hand, if Shumpert is unable to slow down Leonard, it will be a long night for the Sacramento defense. I mean, who else can guard Leonard effectively if Shumpert cannot?
Offensively, Shumpert also needs to be efficient as well. He needs to move well without the ball in his hands and make his shots when he has the opportunity to do so. If accomplished, Iman can cause Kawhi to be tired which will impact how the multiple All-Star performs on the offensive side of the ball.
Shumpert has had performances this year where his ability to produce on both ends of the court has helped his team get wins. He will need to have one of those games tonight for the Kings to be competitive.