Toronto Raptors: Stock Take, including Pascal Siakam’s dominance

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – OG Anunoby (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

OG Anunoby

This. This is exactly what the fans wanted to see from OG Anunoby, who has started his season in a rich vein of form. Progression of some sort was expected from Anunoby this season, who would be reclaiming the vacant starting small forward spot one year after dropping to the bench to accommodate the arrival of Kawhi Leonard.

The question of how much progression we would see was an entirely fair one to ask. After all, progression isn’t linear. No two players take the same jump, that’s impossible, but Raptors fans just wanted to see OG play well.

Message received, apparently.

It’s hard not to compare his early-season ascension to that of Pascal Siakam, but we’re going to avoid it. Either way, Anunoby has been fantastic across five games this season, averaging 12.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 1.6 steals so far while shooting 55-percent from the field and 44-percent from three.

Not only has he been a constant improvement on offense, but he has also been the Raptors’ best defender by a country mile, taking on each top assignment and performing exceptionally each time. He’s strong, quick, instinctive, and a hell of a defensive player. It’s early, so early, but any buzz surrounding his chances of winning Most Improved Player and ending up on an All-NBA Defensive team is certainly not there without a warrant.

Anunoby came up big on the defensive stat sheet against the Bulls and Magic, recording four blocks against the Bulls and five steals against the Magic. He’s a vacuum for the basketball and offensive players have a terrible time adjusting.

Give that man a statue.