The Future of Toronto Starts Now
After a stretch of disappointing performances, the Raptors clawed back and blew the Rockets away Tuesday night led by an inspired rookie OG Anunoby. The 23rd overall pick in this year's draft dropped 16 points with just eight shots including sinking three three-pointers, all career-highs. Anunoby filled in for an injured Norman Powell and made the most out of his first NBA start.
Anunoby has been a revelation for the Raptors and could be the steal of the 2017 NBA Draft. The 20-year-old from Indiana is averaging 13.2 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per 36 minutes. Even more impressive, he's ranked second in offensive rating per 100 possessions for players with over 9 games played. His energy was key to the Raptors' victory as evidenced by game-high +22 rating.
As Anunoby gives Raptors fans a new rookie sensation to salivate about, sophomores Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam aren't too far behind. Poeltl averages 14.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per 36 minutes. He averaged close to those numbers in the three games he filled in for Jonas Valanciunas. Siakam averages 15.4 points and 8.5 boards per 36 minutes.
Both Poeltl and Siakam are ranked in the top-five of the team's Player Efficiency Rating (PER) along with a fellow prospect, Lucas "Bebe" Noguiera. The seven-footer from Brazil has played quietly but has been one of the team's most efficient players with a PER of 18.6 (fourth in the team) and has a ridiculous average per 36 minutes: 11.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3.9 blocks.
Not to be forgotten are backup guards Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet who have yet to impress statistically but play pivotal roles in spelling Kyle Lowry. Wright has shown moments of nifty play but has yet to put it together while VanVleet needs to continue refining his shooting stroke.
The jury is still out regarding these young Raptors (all 25 and younger). Both the fans and the coaching staff have much to look forward to as these guys only get better as the season progresses.
Raptors 905 Report: Who's Next in Line
When thinking about Raptors 905, forward Bruno Caboclo is the first to come to mind. In four games, the 2014 first-round pick is averaging 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and 1.5 blocks while hitting 2.5 three-pointers at a whopping 58.8 per cent accuracy. Caboclo already showed flashes of his dominance in last year's G-League Finals and it was just a preview of what he can do.
Joining Caboclo is guard Lorenzo Brown who leads the team with 19.8 points, 6 assists, and 3.6 steals per game. Brown was a 2013 second-round pick and is a two-time G League All-Star. He is only shooting 42 per cent overall and only 31. 8 per cent from deep but it should pick up as he averages 36 per cent in his career.
Small forward Alfonzo McKinnie has tasted minutes with the Raptors but is 905's third-leading scorer at 15.3 points per game. He also adds 7.7 rebounds.
Caboclo is making strides but still hasn't shown the mental toughness coach Dwane Casey wants. But should Norm Powell and Serge Ibaka miss time, Caboclo will be one of the first to get the call along with McKinnie. Brown could head up if Fred VanVleet or Delon Wright get hurt. Either way, these three will be playing key roles for both teams.
Betting on the Toronto Raptors
Betting on the Raptors is as easy as signing up for online sportsbooks, which all offer extensive odds for Canada's one-and-only NBA team. Sign-up promos are a generous gesture for new players who get a chance to reward their dedication and knowledge of the Raptors with some real cash.
Category : NBA News
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