3 Raptors who must step up after OG Anunoby finger injury

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) /
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Toronto Raptors, Thad Young
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – FEBRUARY 26: Thad Young #21 of the Toronto Raptors, who must replace OG Anunoby (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are already feeling the sting of losing OG Anunoby for an extended period. His two-way skill has been sorely missed, as teams like the Hawks and Hornets blew this squad out of the water after returning from the All-Star break. Things went from bad to worse on Thursday night.

Not only was Anunoby ruled out for the next two weeks at a minimum due to his fractured finger, but Toronto suffered their third defeat of the season against the Detroit Pistons. Dwane Casey is now 9-3 against the Raptors since Nurse became the coach, as he was able to exploit a team in dire need of Anunoby’s skills.

The Raptors have some winnable games against bottom-feeders and some dogfights against elite teams coming up in the next few days. This team already has an issue with playing down to their competition, and losing one of the best two-way players in the league is not going to help.

The only way the Raptors manage to break out of the slump they have been in after the All-Star break is finding a way to replace Anunoby for the next few weeks. If these three players all manage to hit their stride, they can minimize the damage done to their roster and their record.

3 Toronto Raptors who must step up without OG Anunoby.

3. Thad Young

Young may have missed the Detroit loss with an illness, but they will need him to be in prime condition for the next few weeks to mitigate playing without Anunoby. After closing out a win against the Nets, Young showed that he is going to be even more valuable than Toronto could’ve ever imagined.

Young has shown the Raptors that he can be a solid finisher and jump-shooter on the offensive end. While not close to Anunoby as an on-ball defender, he’s playing his tail off on that end while defining multiple positions. His style of play is as close to Anunoby as anyone on this team not named Scottie Barnes.

Toronto Raptors: Thad Young will fill OG Anunoby’s two-way role.

Giving up a first-round pick for Young might not have pleased everyone, but the Anunoby is injury is exactly why they made this trade. Chris Boucher lacks Anunoby’s muscle on the offensive end and Precious Achiuwa pales in comparison to OG as a shooter right now.

Young will likely continue to come off the bench, but he will be one of the first men off of it. He isn’t going to score nearly 20 points every night as OG does, but he should be expected to challenge for double figures consistently. On a very green team, Thad’s presence is invaluable.