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They’re both cool.”, — Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) September 25, 2017, OG Anunoby on getting an NBA Draft green room invitation: “It’s pretty cool, I guess.” #iubb, — Mike Miller (@MikeMillerSTL) June 21, 2017. The NBA 2K21 ratings are in and the Raptors are... well rated? After the departure of Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors have struggled to clean up the defensive glass this season. I guess equal. “We make that joke with him all the time.”, I think the way the league’s going there’s not that many you can throw it down into the low block back-down bigs,” said VanVleet. Anunoby routinely forced Gordon to his weak hand, and hovered close enough to deny a pull-up opportunity. It’s been a full season of defensive dominance for Anunoby. That was tongue-in-cheek coming from VanVleet on the same night that he set a career high in scoring with 36 points. His jumper is visibly better, with a higher release point. Mixing the interior defense with the perimeter defense has been… potent. So, I’m sure if there’s a big that’s maybe doing it on the low block every time it may be a different story but I wouldn’t doubt him against anybody.”. Anunoby fits the bill to a T and it's one of the reasons he's long been held by the Raptors' brass as an invaluable foundational building block. He ranks in the 94th percentile in isolation defense, according to NBA Advanced Stats , surrendering 0.61 pointer per possession in isolation. He’s developing, you know, I think his role on this team starts there for us, being a lock down defender, so we’re trying to develop that as we go here... there’s guys every night [in the NBA], you gotta go to work, and it’s just like offense, you’re not gonna always have great nights. Raptors head coach Nick Nurse already has 111 career wins, a Coach of the Year trophy, and an NBA championship ring in just two seasons. It feels like it’s more at the offensive end, where it’s more, just too many possessions where there’s not very good execution, just on getting to a trigger or a play call or whatever. Denver's plan? Report: Raptors’ Terence Davis arrested in NYC for assault. If you ask ESPN's Tim Bontemps and Nate Duncan of the Dunc'd On Podcast, the answer is Toronto's OG Anunoby. And that’s what you do for a team.”. All that’s left is for us to sit back and watch him do it for the rest of the year, which he will. Today, we're putting Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby under the microscope. What “The Cap” teaches us about progress and the NBA’s new position. Adebayo, meanwhile, finished with 10 points, only six of which were scored with Anunoby guarding him. The real benefit came in Toronto’s ability to disrupt Miami’s preferred actions; like the Philadelphia 76ers in last year’s playoff series with Joel Embiid, the Heat use Adebayo as a central offensive cog through screens and hand-offs. At that size and speed and strength, he can cause your [offense] a lot of problems, so we need him to be our primary stopper and that means he’ll be guarding a long list of guys and tonight he had Bam, and I thought he did a great job of setting the tone early and it allows us to switch and fly around and keep our bigs out of foul trouble, for the most part, and keep guarding the rim. edit 2: getting downvoted because of raptors fans. Norman Powell didn’t really do anything to lose the Wing of the Week title since last week, but, I was just really impressed by OG Anunoby’s play at both ends — especially after a quiet couple of weeks from him. On the plus side, Toronto was able to keep its bigs out of foul trouble, switch and detonate screen actions, and plug any holes when Miami penetrated Toronto’s defense. There’s a reason the NBA covets wing players above all else. Players like Steph Curry, James Harden, and Monta Ellis have put up gaudy steal numbers before, but that never meant they were good defenders, just ready to gamble. Anunoby has been a defensive stopper all year, and the Heat win was only one more example in a season full of them. He did what he could against James Harden , spent time on both Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons , … To avoid a breakdown on the opening possession of the game, the Raptors decide to switch Anunoby onto Murray and Hollis-Jefferson onto Jokic. If you could pick any player in the NBA to make a stop in isolation, who would it be? Of players who have played at least 48 games this year, Anunoby ranked 14th in isolation defense, immediately behind Kawhi Leonard. The Raptors’ identity last season, where they never got too high after wins or too low after losses, really came from those two guys. Barton then runs a pick-and-pop with Grant, leading to another Anunoby switch. Stanley Johnson, Matt Thomas and Patrick McCaw remain sidelined; Malcolm Miller played six first-half minutes against Chicago and did not score. Unfortunately for the Raptors, Murray knocks down a 3-pointer despite a solid contest from Powell. window.gdprTextData = {"buttonText":"I Agree","cookiePolicyLink":"http:\/\/www.nba.com\/news\/privacy_policy.html#Cookies","cookiePolicyLinkText":"Cookie Policy","privacyLink":"https:\/\/www.nba.com\/news\/privacy_policy.html","privacyLinkText":"Privacy Policy","termsOfUseLink":"http:\/\/www.nba.com\/news\/termsofuse","termsOfUseLinkText":"Terms of Use","text":"NBA sites use cookies and similar technologies. "He's a mountain of a human being," Bontemps said of Anunoby. His length and tenacity has the ability to make ball-handlers feel trapped in the middle of the court; not trapped in a double, but without recourse to get around or through Anunoby. The three-point shooting dried up completely, the defense was sub-par for long stretches, and the early play-hard-for-one-another chemistry that defined the team has been lacking. OG Anunoby can guard anyone. This might be the time when you think the team misses steady veterans and two-way threats like Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. Enter, Anunoby. His work should culminate in an All-Defensive Team nod, though it … He played 24% of his time defending small forwards, another 24% of his time on shooting guards, 22% of his time on power forwards, and 16 and 13 percent of his time defending point guards and centers, respectively.

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