Title: Raptors preseason: Powell shines, Hernandez looks good in debut, but not exactly a zen way of basketball
Date: October 10, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I provided takeaways from the Raptors’ second preseason game, which included a strong Norman Powell performance, a solid Dewan Hernandez debut, and more.
Norman Powell is going the way of Big F’n Mox — former WWE wrestler Dean Ambrose now known as Jon Moxley in AEW. Sometimes, a fresh opportunity and a trip to Japan are all someone needs to get back to delivering on earlier promise and expectations.
Powell was excellent in the Raptors’ second exhibition game, playing almost exactly how the Raptors would need him to play if he locks down the starting shooting guard position. He scored 22 points in 22 minutes, shooting 7-of-11 and 5-of-7 on threes. The threes were most notable, especially trying to fill the team-leading, 3-point shooting shoes of Danny Green. Powell shot 40 percent on threes a year ago, including a strong mark on a smaller sample from the corners, and he was quick and decisive letting those attempts fly here, especially in transition.
The Raptors will need whoever starts in that position to soak up some offensive possessions within the flow of the system and Powell seems perhaps best-cast for that role, at least if there’s hesitance to start both point guards. He could still show growth as a playmaker — he tallied one assist in a play-finisher role — to keep the offence dynamic, and it would help open up his game attacking closeouts.
It was a really nice showing as Powell looks to secure his spot for 2019-20. Now enter the G1.