Title: Norman Powell keeping the faith amid continued search for role with Raptors
Date: March 6, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the struggles of Norman Powell, pushing the boulder back up the mountain, and his unwavering belief in himself.
Norman Powell has been here before. Kind of.
The third-year Raptors wing is not playing much these days, sitting outside of the team’s standard 10-man rotation and waiting for his next opportunity. This is the life Powell led not just for the first two years of his career, but as far back as college. Powell had to wait two years at UCLA before taking on a larger, and eventually, starring role. He even recounts being bumped down a level in high school, though that was borne of immaturity. Since being slept on and drafted No. 46 overall, Powell’s NBA career has amounted to putting in the work and taking advantage of any window that opens up for him.
But this…is a little different.
For the first time as a Raptor, Powell is out of the rotation based on merit. Even with OG Anunoby injured and the starting small forward position open, head coach Dwane Casey has explored other options, starting untested rookie Malcolm Miller on Sunday and suggesting a carousel of sorts could continue. Powell received one start on Friday against Washington, but has essentially remained at the periphery of the rotation otherwise, playing in 10 of the team’s last 12 games — thanks largely to blowouts — and averaging just 8.6 minutes in that stretch.
Powell is doing well to keep a level head, or at least present one. He tends to speak in cliches when the conversation surrounds effort and opportunity — not because he’s being flippant, but because he’s lived those cliches for years.