The Toronto Raptors can surely pat themselves on the back for the tremendous effort of their bench, one that became notoriously known as the deadliest bench in the NBA, often outperforming the starters on many of nights.
With that being said, it’s a great honor to have not one, but two of those bench players in OG Anunoby (No.77) and Fred Van Vleet (No.74) both crack the ESPN Top 100 list. They both help put the league on notice and even caught the eyes of one their division rivals in Boston Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens.
“Their bench has been killing everybody,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens according to Yahoo Sports’ A. Sherrod Blakely following a loss to the Raptors, “We looked slow. We looked like we weren’t ready to react to their speed or physicality. Credit them; they played great.”
Anunoby, who displayed impressive feats during a rookie campaign following an ACL tear, earned the respect of many around the league for his defensive prowess that he showed during the playoffs against Lebron James. His shooting, passing, and dribbling are all areas that could use improvement, areas that he showed progress in during the 2018 Summer League.
VanVleet, became a heavy lean on option for the Raptors as the season got under way, showcasing his offensive talents as a “next man up” floor leader for the second unit. While on the floor, the Raptors outscored opponents by 12.1 points per 100 possessions, notching him the NBA’s 28th- best rating in ESPN’s real plus-minus (RPM).