Raptors’ OG Anunoby becoming an All-Star lock due to hot start

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 16: O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 16: O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have been on the receiving end of some pretty tough injuries this season, as Pascal Siakam and Precious Achiuwa have both missed time. With Gary Trent Jr. having struggled offensively and Scottie Barnes in and out of the lineup, OG Anunoby has saved this team’s backside.

Anunoby was one of the main reasons that Toronto was able to take down Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks despite so many big names missing. With 26 points and nine rebounds on his ledger, Anunoby really took Toronto’s breath away by playing 43 minutes and the entire second half.

Anunoby held Doncic to 24 points, which is well below his season average, while coming up with some clutch baskets down the stretch. Both the stats and film show that is the most complete stretch of basketball that Anunoby has amassed in his entire career.

After the game, Doncic was very complimentary of Anunoby, saying that he is “an amazing player on both sides of the floor” The Anunoby agenda is only getting stronger now that the MVP favorite has shouted him out, as his numbers look like they’ll be good enough to carry him to the All-Star game if they don’t abate.

Toronto Raptors stud OG Anunoby might be an All-Star

Anunoby is averaging new career-best marks in points per game (18.9) and rebounds per game (6.3) while leading the entire NBA with 2.4 steals per game. There was a time this year when Anunoby was hovering slightly above three takeaways per contest. If defensive impact is important for the ASG, O.G. needs to get consideration.

Since Siakam went down because of his injury, Anunoby has averaged 22.0 points per game and topped 25 points five times. The only thing that could limit Anunoby’s offensive production is a lack of shots, as he is still a solid shooter and a much better interior finisher than he was early in the season.

The Raptors have been treading water with all of these injuries, though a lesser franchise without such a difference-maker like Anunoby If the voters are going to hold the games missed against Siakam, Anunoby will be Toronto’s best bet to make it to Salt Lake City.

Anunoby has been dominating in relative obscurity, but the first quarter of this season has been such a revelation for both the Raptors and the rest of the league that it would be the height of idiocy for the All-Star voters and fans out there to disregard him. His play has helped keep the Raptors afloat. That should count for something.

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