Title: OG Anunoby’s return from injury sparks Raptors, helps slow down Giannis, Bucks
Date: February 16, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about OG Anunoby’s return from injury for the Raptors, a simple fix for some bigger issues.
Over the course of the last calendar year, OG Anunoby has shown a nascent ability to score in the pick-and-roll.
It is not something he has occasion to do often, generally working as the Raptors’ fourth or fifth option on a given night. With the team thinned out on the road last February, big shots in the Orlando relaunch and at key moments earlier in the 2020-21 season, Anunoby has, once in a while, raised the question of what things would look like with the ball in his hands just a little bit more. There’s hardly enough sample to draw conclusions, other than to say that he has some moves in his arsenal he doesn’t get to show off a great deal.
It’s a difficult balance, because while Anunoby is the youngest non-rookie Raptor and their highest-upside prospect — a good reason to give him developmental reps — he’s also in his fourth year of serving a very important purpose that he excels at, working as one of the league’s elite low-usage lockdown role players. Sometimes, the question raises itself in such aggressive fashion that it forces a reexamination.
Early in the fourth quarter of the Raptors’ 124-113 victory against the Bucks on Tuesday, there was such an instance.