Welcome to the first-ever edition of The Raptors Insider’s Raptor of the Week! Each week we will be spotlighting one Raptor who has stood out from the rest throughout the week’s games played.
The Raptors finished the week with a 3-1 record with wins over the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and Indiana Pacers.
The team excelled defensively in their three wins and received contributions from several rotation players, with seemingly a different player stepping up each night. This all-around effort has led to the Raptors becoming the team people thought they could be as they’ve won five of their last six. Additionally, the development of several players has been a great sign for Raptors fans.
So, with many players making key contributions, it was a difficult choice to narrow it down to one Raptor of the Week, but alas, it had to be done.
Without further ado, the first player ever to take home the prestigious Raptor of the Week award is none other than…
Weekly Stats: 20.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.5 SPG, 53.8% FG%, 64% 3FG%
Anunoby has been the Raptors’ most consistent player this week on both ends of the floor.
His defence has been especially noteworthy, shutting down star players, closing out on shooters, disrupting the passing lanes, switching onto whomever necessary, and making it an absolute nightmare for opposing players to do so much as dribble the basketball in his vicinity.
Offensively, he capped a strong week with a stellar performance against the Pacers and flashed a variety of newly added moves to his repertoire, showing the immense promise the Raptors were banking on.
Anunoby’s highlight package from this week includes holding Luka Doncic in check, something very few players have been able to claim since the 21-year-old Slovenian entered the NBA.
Despite only scoring 13 points, OG was stellar defensively, contributing to a perimeter defensive effort that saw Doncic, Jalen Brunson, and Tim Hardaway Jr. shoot a combined 8-for-34 from the field (a crisp 23.5%). Dallas’ wings never quite found their rhythm and Anunoby led the way, which resulted in Dallas shooting 38% from the field overall and committing 16 turnovers.
Anunoby also scored in double digits every game this week and has now done so in eight consecutive games.
In Friday’s victory over the Heat, Anunoby had a team-high plus-22 net rating and scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-6 from three.
He capped off an excellent week on Sunday against the Pacers. Anunoby poured in a season-high 30 points on 9-of-16 shooting and added eight rebounds to go with five steals.
Without Kyle Lowry (toe) and Pascal Siakam (knee), the Raptors looked to OG as a focal point on offence and an anchor defensively, and he delivered on every possession. He switched on to almost everyone and helped shut down the Pacers.
It made things very uncomfortable for Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis, who combined to shoot 6-for-32. This game was, by all accounts, a masterpiece from Anunoby.
He even flashed a few post-ups, something that should become a mainstay in his game given his size and strength. The game has truly slowed down for OG, where his awareness has improved and the confidence is there to create and finish plays.
Congratulations to OG Anunoby, elite defensive player, fantastic interviewee, and Raptor of the Week!
Weekly Stats: 16.8 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 47.2% FG%
The Starter Norm effect is real. In two starts replacing Lowry this week, Powell delivered three solid scoring efforts (including a game-high 23 on Friday against Miami) and filled in admirably to keep the Raptors humming. He is putting together more consistent outings by being decisive and in control offensively.
Weekly Stats: 17.3 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 4.0 APG, 43.5% FG%
Even without any big scoring games over the course of the week, and despite missing Sunday’s game against the Indiana Pacers, Siakam still put up his numbers on improved efficiency and crashed the glass to help his team to victory.