Nick Nurse unsure if OG Anunoby will play in NBA Finals Game 2, says he has ‘lost quite a bit of weight’
Just ahead of Game 2 on Sunday night, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said that he was unsure whether Anunoby would play despite being labeled as active in the buildup to the contest:
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) June 2, 2019
Nurse says he's not sure if OG Anunoby will play, might not see an opportunity to play him ("down the road a little bit in the series"). Activity level has been high the last 4-5 days but he's lost a lot of weight.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) June 2, 2019
The weight loss likely stems from the appendectomy Anunoby underwent prior to the start of the playoffs. He has not played a single minute during Toronto’s run to the Finals.
Given that OG Anunoby has dropped weight, it stands to reason that his conditioning and endurance may have suffered, as well. Even in spite of the increased “activity level,” there is a difference between getting some run in practice and playing on the sport’s highest stage in the NBA Finals.
Ideally, Nurse would like to give Anunoby minutes. He has the kind of size and length that could pose problems for the Warriors, while simultaneously being able to spell Kawhi Leonard some precious minutes at the three spot.
Still, the Warriors are struggling with injury issues of their own. Although DeMarcus Cousins is back in action, Kevin Durant remains unavailable, and Andre Iguodala is bothered by a nagging calf injury. Thus, Nurse is right to exercise some caution in utilizing Anunoby when role players Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Norman Powell have proven that they can step up.
It would not be a surprise to see Anunoby down the line, however, because of his knack for being a rangy defender.