The Toronto Raptors lost their playoff series to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games. While the need to improve is evident, there are also many things the Raptors can look forward to in the future. The Raptors saw flashes of what they’ll be receiving in their young core of OG Anunoby, Precious Achuiwa, and Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes.
Anunoby, in general, took steps in the right direction. After suffering an injury near the end of the season, he roared back to full health and made sure that Toronto would hold serve against one of the best teams in the league. His usual blend of two-way excellence was one of the saving graces for Toronto in this series.
Anunoby was on fire in the first three games of this series, making up for the fact that Barnes was out with an injury and Fred VanVleet was not playing at his best. Even though his numbers dipped in the two wins, he was locking down James Harden for most of the series.
Anunoby had a great playoff series and proved how valuable he is to the future of this team. While there will be many potential avenues discussed when it comes to improving this team, letting Anunoby go is one that this team has to shut down as soon as possible.
OG Anunoby stood out for the Toronto Raptors on offense.
OG’s scoring was on show during this series. In six contests, he averaged 17.3 points, 2.5 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game on 45.7% shooting. In the first game of the series, Anunoby scored 20 points on 9-15 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out two assists.
In the second and third games, Anunoby set a new career-high in playoff points with 26 points, doing so while making at least 40% of his 3-point attempts in each of those games. On a team that lacked shooting all season long, Anunoby came out of the woodwork with a standout show.
Anunoby’s primary defender this series was James Harden, who guarded him for 22 minutes and 45 seconds. Against Harden, OG scored 16 points on 53.8% shooting and had four assists.
Against Tobias Harris, OG scored 30 points on 59.1% shooting and had five assists. Anunoby always saw an opportunity to attack when Harris was defending him.
OG Anunoby’s defense was impressive.
OG gave everyone he guarded a tough time to score, which is exactly what you would expect from the Raptors’ best on-ball defender.
Anunoby guarded Harden the most, limiting him to 13 points and six assists in the 24 minutes and 24 seconds he matched up against him. In 15 minutes and 48 seconds, OG restricted Maxey to 11 points and two assists on 36.4% shooting.
OG Anunoby is truly a sensational player on both ends of the court. These new-look Raptors will need his presence on both the offensive end and defensive end moving forward if they want any chance of winning a chip one day.