Raptors in Orlando: Four secret weapons Toronto has for NBA playoffs

Toronto Raptors (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Raptors playoff secret weapons: Norman Powell

Norman Powell is fourth in points per game, sixth in assists per game and fourth in steals per game. There is no way you can comprehensively praise the Raptors surprise successes this season without a nod to Powell’s fifth-year jump.

Per game, Powell is averaging 16.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Everything but his assists has jumped per 36 minutes this year by a significant amount, showing how efficient he’s been with his increased role in Toronto.

Even more impressive, his usage percentage has gone up by just about two percent. His turnover percentage is down to 10.0 percent, a career-low, and his 62.9 percent true shooting percentage is a career-high.

It’s been a career year for Powell, but still, he’s overlooked.

On the defensive end, Powell averages 2.4 deflections per game. Though defensive field goal percentage is a noisy stat and based on the entire ecosystem rather than one player, Powell is third in defensive field goal percentage in the entire league of players that have played greater than 20 games this year (differential of -6.8 percent).

With Kawhi Leonard’s departure, Powell has been asked to take on a larger role and has done just fine, yet another example of the Raptors developing a second round or undrafted player into something substantial.

Like many Raptors, Powell is a noted gym rat and figures to be an option in the starting lineup when other players are shut down.

He’s one of the many lesser-known options Toronto has to go too in the postseason.