The Toronto Raptors have been struck hard by the injury bug this season, but one player in particular who has managed to avoid any serious injuries this year is OG Anunoby. Before Anunoby’s Raptors were set to take on the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd heaped some heavy praise on Anunoby as per Sportsnet TV’s Eric Smith.
Jason Kidd re: Anunoby
OG is playing at a high level on both ends
He's going to be talked about as defensive player of the year
I'd say he's having an all star year
— Eric Smith (@Eric__Smith) November 26, 2022
This season has been a surprising turnaround for OG Anunoby who to actually hasn’t quite been the model for durability the past couple of seasons. He missed large portions of both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons with a variety of injuries. During his first three seasons in the league from 2017-2020, he also dealt with various ailments but didn’t miss as much time.
This season, Anunoby has suited up in all 19 games for the Raptors to this point. The team has been without All-Star Pascal Siakam, as well as rotation players Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa and Otto Porter Jr. due to injuries. In the absence of these players, Anunoby has used the opportunity to churn out his best pro season to date.
Anunoby is putting up a career-high 18.6 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and is leading the league with 2.4 steals. He is shooting 46.5 percent from the field. In the eyes of Jason Kidd, his play is good enough to be mentioned as both an All-Star and as Defensive Player of the Year. Just a couple of days ago, he put Kevin Durant through the rim.
The Raptors are currently 9-9 and in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. If they can creep up a little higher in the next couple of months, Anunoby, as the team’s most consistent player, could actually see himself selected to the All-Star game.