Norman Powell has gone from erratic momentum-swinger to Raptors steadying force

Title: Norman Powell has gone from erratic momentum-swinger to Raptors steadying force
Date: March 5, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Norman Powell’s career night and, more importantly, his newfound consistency and what it means for his long-term role with the team.

SAN FRANCISCO — Norman Powell had himself A Moment in San Francisco.

Early in the second quarter Thursday, Powell found himself defending a returning Steph Curry. Despite an extended absence, Curry’s handle and jumper looked anything but rusty early on. Still, Powell bet against Curry’s comfort level in his off-hand, sitting instead on his right. Curry is somewhat of an impossible decision as a defender, because even if you guess correctly, he obtains the capability to change direction or intention on a dime with a cross-over, a step-back or a behind-the-back pass. You have to do something, and Powell guessed correctly. He picked Curry’s pocket and took the ball the other way to draw a foul.

On paper, there was much to be made of the Toronto Raptors 121-113 victory against the Golden State Warriors, their first since the Raptors won the NBA Championship in June. That fact, the return of Curry and a nationally broadcast game all worked in concert to create the type of buzz that’s been uncharacteristically absent from the Golden State Warriors in this effectively a mid-dynasty redshirt season. Buzzy though the game was, the stakes were noticeably lower than may have been expected at the onset of the season. Fred VanVleet, Marc Gasol, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all sat out injured. The Warriors are also looking at lottery odds amid their lost season, the Raptors are a very different, if not similarly competitive, outfit and even the arena has changed, the Raptors now changing in the sleek, fresh visitors locker room at Chase Center after having closed the more humble confines at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Continue reading at The Athletic.

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