Raptors coach Nick Nurse had a mixed report on the status of three key players as his team prepares for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, relays Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
Even though Kawhi Leonard has been noticeably limping during the past two games, Nurse expressed confidence today in a conference call with reporters that his star forward will be ready for tomorrow night.
“He’s feeling good,” Nurse said. “No concerns at this point. He’s good.”
Leonard was outstanding as Toronto won back-to-back games on its home court to even the series, scoring 36 and 19 points and playing effective defense against Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Kyle Lowry is also expected to play tomorrow, even though he is still feeling the effects of a left thumb injury that he suffered in the series against the Sixers. Lowry has been using a specially designed “oven mitt” to help with the healing process, but he still battles pain every time he takes the court.
“Kyle’s hand is not great,” Nurse said. “You know, he’s — it’s hurt and it’s sore and it causes him a lot of pain. But he seems to be able to manage it through the game and do what he can do. He’s obviously scoring and playing great on top of the other things he always does, and we’re really [seeing] a heck of a lot of toughness and again, the spirit that he just wants to be out there and help his team any way he can.”
Bontemps adds that the Raptors seem resigned to finishing the series without OG Anunoby, who is still recovering after an emergency appendectomy in mid-April.
“OG does not have a timetable for coming back,” Nurse said. “He is being more active every day. I think we are getting closer to a point where we’re — you know, unpack is the next step for him. He’s moving pretty good, he’s shooting, etc., but still a ways away from being able to take hits and contact in the areas that he needs to test out, I guess.”