Raptors take major hit as OG Anunoby suffers fractured finger

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 14: OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 14: OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors looked positioned to continue their push towards postseason play now that the All-Star break has come to a close, and forward OG Anunoby is expected to play a vital role in the pursuit of that lofty goal given his shooting on offense and tremendous on-ball defense.

Anunoby suffered through a rough stretch right before the break that was marred by inefficient offensive play. When he is able to be an effective weapon from 3-point range, he can completely change the scope of this offensive attack. Getting him going should be one of the main second-half priorities.

Unfortunately, the injury problems that have followed the Raptors all season long have once again reared their heads. After Anunoby missed a good chunk of November due to a hip pointer sustained on a road trip, his second-half start might be delayed for the next few days.

Anunoby has already been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Charlotte Hornets due to a fractured index finger. While the severity of the injury remains unclear at this moment in time, it appears as though he will miss some time due to the fact the finger in question is on his shooting hand.

The Toronto Raptors will be without OG Anunoby.

Anunoby is averaging 17.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while once again providing amazing on-ball defense. The fact that he is such a consistent offensive option while oftentimes coming in third or fourth in shot attempts per game shows how he has continued to evolve.

The injuries are becoming a concern, as he has not played 70 games in a season since his rookie year.

The Raptors were already playing with one hand tied behind their back, as All-Star Fred VanVleet is dealing with a nagging knee injury. With two games against the Nets and back-to-back matchups against play-in hopefuls, Toronto going into these games without their stars could be very trepidacious.

In the short term, expect Pascal Siakam to slide back to the power forward spot while either Precious Achiuwa or Khem Birch starts at center. Newly acquired veteran Thad Young will play an immense role in making sure that Anunoby’s loss doesn’t create some debilitating losses for Toronto.

Injuries have made it almost impossible for Toronto to play at full strength this season. The preferred starting five of Anunoby, VanVleet, Siakam, Scottie Barnes, and Gary Trent Jr. have only played 18 games together. Getting Anunoby back will be imperative if Toronto wants to avoid the play-in.

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