Toronto Raptors: Whose stock is up/down, plus multiple career-nights

Toronto Raptors - Norman Powell (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Norman Powell (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Norman Powell – Stock Up


Things have been going pretty well since Powell returned from injury. He’s defending hard, accounting for three steals and three blocks in his last three appearances.

He was inactive against the Magic on Friday night, and his presence in the second unit was missed dearly. The Raptors could have used his up-tempo dogged approach when they were plodding along trying to get a run going. Ultimately, they were soundly beaten.

Powell returned to little impact in an ugly game against the Chicago Bulls, but his performances off the bench against the Spurs and Jazz – two strong opponents – made up for his woes against the Bulls. He had 14 points on both occasions and didn’t turn the ball over in either contest, something he’s been guilty of often. That’s promising.

It’s funny to talk about how Norm’s impact on the court is currently necessary for the team to succeed considering how bad his 2017-18 season shaped out. It might well be indicative of the Raptors play of late, that they need a bench player to light a fuse in a stagnant period. Maybe though, we should credit Powell on his approach to the game since he returned from his shoulder injury that sidelined him for 22 games. He’s becoming a real piece of the puzzle during a tough period, and has essentially taken all of C.J. Miles rotation minutes as his own, good on him.

Let’s go with the latter – credit to Norm!