Kawhi Leonard hasn't been clutch during the 2021 season, there's no other way to say it. It was a concern during the regular season and remains to be an issue during the playoffs.
"I turned, I felt him right behind me," Leonard said after missing the game-tying shot in Game 5. "Tried to pump fake, then was just off-balance, pretty much. I was leaning back, end up shooting it. Gotta do a better job."
If there is anyone that needs to do a better job in the clutch this season, it's truly been Kawhi Leonard. Many of his shot selection has been incredibly questionable, including his airball to finish Game 5. Ty Lue mentioned post-game that the final play was designed to get three different three-pointers. Despite the play, Leonard's bad shot was what closed the game. Here are Kawhi's clutch numbers for the regular season and playoffs.
Kawhi Leonard regular season clutch numbers: 11/35 FGs, 2/10 3Ps, 8 turnovers, -23, 8-13 record
Kawhi Leonard playoff clutch numbers: 1/3 FGs, 0/1 3Ps, 1 turnover, -22, 0-3 record
Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Clippers aren't finding themselves completely down. They were down 0-2 the last time they entered Dallas, and they'll be down 2-3 this time.
"We're definitely disappointed that we lost, but we have confidence in ourselves to get another win," Leonard said. "We just gotta go out and take it one game at a time right now. We gotta go out and win Game 6."
The team had a plethora of chances to seal the win in Game 5 but came up empty with careless turnovers and missed shots at the rim. They now have two final games left to win in order to shed the mantra of being unable to perform in the playoffs. Game 6 is on Friday.