As the Toronto Raptors try to establish themselves as a contender in the Eastern Conference, the play of stud wing OG Anunoby is something that this franchise will have to analyze closely. There is a direct correlation between Anunoby playing well and the Ws piling up in the standings.
Anunoby was a reliable scorer on last year’s team who flexed his unique defensive muscles as Toronto made it to the playoffs. After spending their Tampa exile season in the lottery, the Raptors were unanimously regarded as one of last year’s more surprising, feel-good stories.
Of course, the Raptors’ status as a team to be reckoned with is in jeopardy due to all of the improvements that have been made in the Eastern Conference. Toronto will roll out the same starting lineup they used last year, with Anunoby once again in a position of prominence.
Anunoby should strive for these three goals, all of which are easily attainable if he keeps improving and would have a direct positive impact on the Raptors’ performance this year. If Toronto is going to go anywhere this year, Anunoby can’t afford just to be a supporting player.
3 goals for Toronto Raptors SF OG Anunoby in 2022
3. Play more than 70 games
It seems like Anunoby’s body is often the biggest obstacle to his success. Even though he has reached offensive heights that even optimistic scouts thought he would never achieve, he has missed 61 games over the past two seasons. A hip injury and fractured finger were the culprits last season.
Anunoby has not played more than 70 games in a season since his rookie year. Not only has that made it difficult for him to upgrade his ball-handling abilities due to a lack of on-court reps, but it helped send Toronto spiraling towards some inopportune losses in the middle of last year.
Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby needs to stay on the floor.
The Raptors would like to keep their starting five together in the future, but impending extensions for Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet could complicate things. If tough decisions have to be made, OG’s lack of durability could be something the franchise holds against him.
Anunoby can silence all of those doubters, as he has done so frequently during his career, by proving that his body can withstand the punishment of an 82-game season. After years of missing games and getting underrated by the media because of it, OG must come out of the chute guns blazing in 2022-23.