Does Raptors’ defense finally feature a LeBron stopper?


After having experimented already twice, once with DeMarre Carroll and another time with PJ Tucker have the Raptors finally found a player who can stop LeBron James?

Clearly not, because no one is going to stop LeBron James. He’s like a freight train, only time itself will stop him. Coach Dwane Casey hopes OG Anunoby can slow down King James, which is the most we can expect.

35 games into the season OG’s biggest strength coming into the draft was his strong defense. Had it not been for a knee injury, he would have been picked much higher in the draft. Luckily, he fell and the Toronto Raptors grabbed him with the 23rd pick.

Norman Powell was struggling early with the Raptors’ new system, and then was injured. OG was quickly thrust into the starting lineup and hasn’t looked back. OG has made an immediate impact on both sides of the floor, with a steady stream of 3’s which help space the floor and providing great lockdown defense.

OG Anunoby Offense

OG Anunoby Offensively

The offensive upside of OG has been a pleasant surprise for the Raptors. OG has been an immediate factor as he has an offensive rating of 116.1 giving him the 3rd best ORTG (not counting Isaiah Thomas). He also produced a net rating of 15.4 giving him the 3rd best net rating.

OG helps spread the floor, as he has made a massive improvement compared to college with his 3-point shots. He’s shooting a solid 40%  from beyond the arc. This has forced defenders to respect him by playing him tight. His 3-point shot is dangerous and has become his most utilized weapon, making 44 shots from the line this season.  He’s become a decent passer developing the ability to pass out of the drive.

OG is extremely athletic. He has shown the ability to finish close to the rim by blowing past a defender with a burst of speed. OG has proven that he is both a good finisher hitting 39 of 56 shots at the rim.

OG isn’t relied upon to be a scorer for the team which has helped his offense as he has the choice to take the shots he wants.

OG Anunoby Defense
TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 29: Dennis Schroder /

OG Anunoby Defensively

OG has been a difference maker on the defensive end of the floor. He’s managed to get a defensive rating of 100.7 ranking him 31st in the league. For a rookie tasked with defending the other team’s best player every night his defensive rating has been extremely impressive

His athleticism has not only benefited his offense but has also been the key to his defense.

His 6’8’, 232lb size has been a big plus when it comes to defending bigger players. Add to that a 7’5’ wingspan which OG uses to protect the paint and chase down shooters, and you have the makings of an elite defender.

He’s also gifted with quick feet, which he uses to keep up with fast players and to switch onto a new opponent*. Putting all this together, OG has shown the ability of being able to guard any position. The advent of the positionless NBA means OG’s versatility will make him a force for years to come.


OG has been more than just a delightful surprise for the Raptors, he’s managed to hold a fairly large workload as a rookie, playing 21.3 minutes per game.

OG’s 3-and-D ability is quickly becoming a valuable commodity in the NBA and the Raptors feel like they’ve struck gold when they drafted him.

OG may be over matched against LeBron, but who isn’t? The Raptors have found themselves a player who might be able to help lessen the havoc that LeBron causes, giving them a chance to finally beat Cleveland in the playoffs.