Murphy: Now that Norman Powell has shown who he is, he must prove he can also be consistent

Title: Murphy: Now that Norman Powell has shown who he is, he must prove he can also be consistent
Date: November 20, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Norman Powell’s micro-inconsistency within his macro-stability.

Norman Powell is, for the most part, who he’s always been.

Now in his fifth year with the Toronto Raptors, Powell’s place in the NBA hierarchy hasn’t really shifted much over time. His role with the Raptors has bounced around and has grown to include an important leadership component, but as a player, what you’ve seen is what you’re likely to continue getting.

That’s true in broad strokes, if not the finer details. While Powell hasn’t quite lived up to his hopes as a potential perimeter stopper, he’s generally solid on that end of the floor. The addition of a 3-point shot as a rookie — shooting was his biggest knock before the draft — raised his ceiling and expectations. As that shot has oscillated between non-threat and dangerous, so, too, has his overall value. Powell’s an eager attacker with a good first step, yet this season marks the first time in his career he’s finishing at the rim better than a median wing, per Cleaning the Glass. And where there were hopes for Powell as a potential combo guard in his initial years, his playmaking for others never emerged, a career-best playmaking outburst Monday notwithstanding.

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