Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby is having a breakout season

Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images
Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images /

OG Anunoby had high expectations coming into this season and he’s lived up to or exceeded every single one of them for the Toronto Raptors.

In just his third NBA season OG Anunoby has become one of the most valuable players on the defending champion Toronto Raptors. Not only has Anunoby been the most reliable Raptor this season (playing in 63 of a possible 64 games), he has also become one of the most consistent. Anunoby continuously brings effort, elite defense and above-average 3-point shooting for this Toronto Raptors team.

OG Anunoby is averaging 10.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks per game, all career-highs. And he is doing this while shooting a career-high 50.7 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from three and 68.6 percent from the free-throw line. With the exception of the free-throw shooting, Anunoby is having an incredible season and will likely keep getting better.

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Many were hoping Anunoby would have a Pascal Siakam-like jump in production this season, however, I don’t think he is far off. While Anunoby’s offensive production isn’t near what Siakam was putting up last year in terms of volume, he is actually just as efficient. The biggest difference is that Siakam took 11.8 shot attempts per game whereas Anunoby is only taking 8.4.

Much of the reason for Anunoby’s lack of shot attempts is the simple fact that he lacks the ability to get to the rim like a guy like Pascal Siakam. While he has improved in this area this season, his handle will need a lot more work before we can expect OG to be getting to the rim at will.

Another reason for this is that there just isn’t enough shots for Anunoby. He is playing with the likes of the aforementioned Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka… on this team, he is the fifth or sixth option offensively and rightfully so.

While Anunoby’s offensive game has improved significantly, the biggest jump has been on the defensive end. OG has been an absolute menace on defense this season consistently guarding the other teams best player while racking up 1.4 steals (19th in the NBA) and 0.7 blocks per game. This increase in defensive productivity has certainly turned some heads this season and is putting Anunoby firmly in the All-Defense team’s conversation.

Not only are Anunoby’s raw stats impressive, but his advanced metrics have made him an invaluable piece to the Raptors team. OG’s true-shooting percentage is 59.8 percent according to which is up there with some of the leagues best forwards such as Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Now I’m not saying that if Anunoby shot as much as those guys he would be as good as them because he wouldn’t be. However, if Anunoby is able to maintain this level of efficiency and defensive impact with an increase in shots, he could be a dangerous player in the near future.

While OG Anunoby has many areas he can still improve upon, he has looked like a significantly improved player on both ends of the floor this season. As mentioned, he is hitting career-highs in almost every major box-score category and is doing it with improved efficiency. The Raptors have certainly found themselves yet another stud young player and Anunoby will only continue to prove is worth in the coming years.

Not to mention, it’s even more impressive that OG Anunoby has been able to increase his production this much while also revolutionizing the scarf game… what a legend.

Next. 3 best things from the Raptors season so far. dark