The regular season remains in its infancy stages, just five games old, but who and what has stood out in the early going for the Toronto Raptors? There have been a couple of initial surprises.
The Toronto Raptors have benefited from contributions up and down their roster to begin the season, jumping out to a 4-1 record after five games. Led by Pascal Siakam, the dinos appear to be one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference, despite supposedly being declawed this past summer.
Without Kawhi Leonard around to carry the load, Siakam has proved more than capable of being “the go-to guy” for the defending champs. Last season’s Most Improved Player just keeps adding new facets of his game, each and every night. Spicy P is well on his way to establishing himself as a top-10 player in the NBA.
Not surprising. The sky’s the limit for No. 43.
Along with Siakam’s to-be-expected form, the Toronto Raptors have seen some other players take noticeable steps forward in their development, most notably OG Anunoby. Anunoby looks like a different player this season, his third in the association, and Toronto is hoping he can maintain his early season start. Anunoby is currently forcing opposing teams to gameplan against him each and every night. Consistency is the name of the game, and OG has found it in the early part of 2019-20.
A player looking for more consistency in their game is Norman Powell. Powell played his best game of the year against the Pistons but has been up and down in the early going. Serge Ibaka has been a force off the bench, and Marc Gasol, Toronto’s other man in the middle, is finding his game after struggling out of the gates.
But perhaps the biggest surprise, and I might be alone in saying this, has been the play — more specifically, the demeanour — of another undrafted rookie. More on that later in the piece.
Let’s start the surprises now, shall we?