Top five Toronto Raptors performances from a tough week seven

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Norman Powell (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

5. Norman Powell

Opponent: Miami Heat

Stat line: 23 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal

Many saw the return of Kyle Lowry to be the end of this great run that Norman Powell has been on. When it was announced that Lowry would be the starter, pushing Powell to the bench, most expected him to revert back to the role he played at the beginning of the season when everyone was healthy.

That, however, was not the case as Norman Powell went into attack mode from the minute he stepped onto the court. In the first quarter even though Powell did not score a bucket, he showed his aggressiveness and confidence in his jumper as he took two early shots from the three-point line and a mid-range jumper. The second quarter was no different as Powell continued to confidently jack up shots and was only successful on two of them as he ended the half with four points and three rebounds as the Raptors were down by five.

The second half was a different story for Powell as he was able to finally get his rhythm going. The third quarter saw Powell only score another four points as he looked a little less aggressive, but he really picked it up in a big way when the Raptors needed him in the fourth quarter. Powell dropped 13 points in that quarter, including a big three-point shot with 43 seconds left to give the Raptors a one-point lead.

Unfortunately, the Raptors were not able to hold on in the fourth quarter as the Heat tied the game and sent it to overtime. In OT, Powell played passively again, taking no shots and only scoring two points from the free-throw line. In the end, the Raptors suffered a tough overtime loss to the Heat.

Regardless of the outcome, this performance from Powell was important as it shows Nick Nurse that he can confidently play Powell big minutes even with the team fully healthy and he will find a way to make a big impact. Whether this leads to a bigger role for him once Lowry is fully up to speed or not, Powell has done a great job for the team and should continue to put his heart and soul into his play.