Title: OG Anunoby’s growth as a scorer has been bright spot in season of despair for Raptors
Date: April 29, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the very important growth OG Anunoby is showing in his offensive game.
Whatever your hope for the direction of this Raptors season, OG Anunoby’s offensive growth was one of the primary areas to focus on.
If the Raptors were going to be playoff-relevant once again, one of their primary paths to improving their offence would be the growth of Anunoby’s individual game. If the Raptors were going to prioritize winning a little less with the lottery in mind, it would make sense to shift as much responsibility to Anunoby as he could handle. In either case, Anunoby’s improvement is paramount, either to the near-term, the future or both. The season has played out such that the Raptors have gotten a bit of both worlds.
In the earlier parts of the season, Anunoby was tasked with nudging his usage a little higher and maintaining his efficiency. When we’ve done deeper dives on potential development paths for Anunoby, this was a must: 3-and-D players, even very good ones, have somewhat of a ceiling. With the extension Anunoby received before the season, he would at least need to reach elite role-player status. Last year, Anunoby occupied the offensive territory of players like Patrick Beverley, Xavier Tillman and Reggie Bullock. Those are all useful players, but a 14.3-percent usage rate needed to climb if Anunoby was going to establish himself as the true third piece of the long-term core rather than a good complement.