Raptors optimistic to have OG Anunoby back at some point in the NBA Finals
And as the Raptors prepare to face the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors, they may be getting yet another lift to their bench unit.
According to Toronto Sun reporter Ryan Wolstat, forward OG Anunoby is expected to make his retunr to action at some point during the Finals:
Per sources, the Raptors are quietly optimistic that they’ll get OG Anunoby back at some point vs. Warriors in the NBA Finals. They don’t know for sure, but spacing of games should help. Also long breaks between most games helps Kawhi quite a bit.
— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) May 26, 2019
Anunoby has yet to play in these playoffs due to complications from an appendectomy he had earlier in April. But his potential return could prove to be a massive gain for a Raptors team that has had to scramble to find bench contributors.
The 21-year-old Anunoby played in 67 games for the Raptors this season, averaging 7.0 points and 2.9 rebounds in just over 20 minutes per game. However, it is his defensive presence and ability to guard multiple positions that would serve the Raptors well against the Warriors.
As sensational as Kawhi Leonard has been, he has endured consecutive, grueling series victories where he had to carry the offensive load and guard Giannis Antetokounmpo. Leonard is averaging nearly 40 minutes per game during these playoffs, but he actually played over 41 minutes per contest against the Bucks after playing close to 40 minutes over the course of a seven-game series against the Sixers.
In short, the Raptors need another defensive stopper on the wing when Leonard is out of the game, especially against a Warriors team that has consistently proven to be one of the most potent offensive forces in the history of the league.
With Anunoby potentially returning to the fray, the Raptors will have another key defender to try to halt Golden State’s attack.