Much to everyone’s surprise and delight, OG Anunoby, starting small forward for the Raptors, is set to return tonight in the team’s game against the Indiana Pacers. The rookie forward had missed six games with a sprained ankle. The news was originally reported by Sportsnet’s Eric Smith — though it is not yet official.
(We’ll forgive the obvious typo there with OG’s last name — everyone is very excited!)
What this means for the Raptors is, as expected, something good, even as the team has continued on their win streak (now at nine games) without him. While Anunoby’s value on the court and in the starting lineup is a tad more ineffable than, say, DeMar DeRozan’s, the numbers do indeed suggest that he’s helping.
Case in point:
Raptors starters with OG: +12.1 net in 655 minutes.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) March 15, 2018
Starters with Norm: -4.6 in 259 minutes.
Starters with Miller: +1.3 in 37 minutes.
Of course, the timing of this could not be better as the Raptors looked to be heading into Indiana without OG and Norman Powell. As announced yesterday afternoon, Powell apparently went and got himself an ankle sprain while working out.
Norman Powell is doubtful at Indiana on Thursday after sustaining a left ankle sprain during a basketball workout on Wednesday. Further evaluation is pending.— RaptorsMR (@RaptorsMR) March 14, 2018
The jury remains frustratingly out on Norm this season. In truth, he’s been mostly bad, with just a few blips of decent play here and there to justify his continued usage. The Raptors still believe in him of course (and are still very much invested in him), but it is wild to consider where we are now with Norm, and how fast it has all happened.
It feels like only yesterday when an injury to Powell would have caused an uproar. Now, sadly, it gets more of a shrug.
OG is back, and that’s what counts today.