Toronto Raptors top five performances from an exciting week two

Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – OG Anunoby (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

4. OG Anunoby

Opponent: Orlando Magic

Stat Line: 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 steals, 2 blocks, 38 minutes, +2

In a rematch of the Raptors’ 2019 first-round playoff matchup, the Orlando Magic were hungry and looking for revenge against a Toronto  team without Kawhi Leonard. On the other side, OG Anunoby didn’t play in that entire playoff run and was looking to prove his value on both ends of the floor.

While the 12 points won’t pop out at you, it was the defensive numbers that Anunoby put up that made all the difference. It’s that defensive prowess which have fans so excited about OG.

He was asked to guard Aaron Gordon for most of the game and did not allow him to get going all night. Gordon finished the game with a measly two points on 1/6 shooting from the field in 29 minutes.

Hustling for loose balls and reading passing lanes allowed Anunoby to secure four steals in the second half alone, helping the Raptors keep their lead, even when it looked like the Magic were making a run in the fourth quarter.

Anunoby has also seen a big improvement in his rebounding numbers this season. This game was his second eight rebound game of the year and after the Magic game, OG was averaging 7.25 rebounds per contest. Neither Siakam nor Gasol are tremendous rebounders for their position, so Toronto will need Anunoby to produce in that area. The extra boards in this game were critical to the Raptors’ success, particularly against a big, lumbering team like the Magic.

It was hard for Nick Nurse to take OG off the floor as his defense anchored the rest of the team. Anunoby also had a season-high 38 minutes in this contest.