3 Toronto Raptors players who need to improve without OG Anunoby
The Toronto Raptors were dealt a swift kick in the chest before their tussle against the Utah Jazz, as star forward OG Anunoby was sidelined due to a hip injury. Head coach Nick Nurse hinted that it may be a while before Anunoby is back on the floor for a Toronto team that is sliding right now.
Not only did Anunoby go into the Utah game as the leading scorer on the team, but he remained one of the most unique and productive defensive players in the game. Losing a player of his ilk means that the franchise must collectively step up until he is ready to go and fully healthy.
The Raptors are in the middle of a long road trip that doesn’t conclude until the end of the month. With the team currently falling down the Eastern Conference standings after a very hot start, a potential Anunoby absence could not have come at a worse time for all parties involved.
If Anunoby is going to either miss tons of time or play at less than 100% when he returns to action, the Toronto Raptors should expect these three players to end up taking on even more responsibility. This team can’t afford too many repeats of what happened against the Jazz on Thursday night.
These 3 Toronto Raptors must step up with OG Anunoby injured.
3. Gary Trent Jr.
Trent has been making headlines this season due to his gigantic improvement on the defensive side of the ball, but he’s still been tasked with playing an important role on the offensive end. Without a ton of shooting on this roster, Trent has been tasked with getting hot from the perimeter.
Trent, who has averaged 17.1 points per game on 45% shooting this season, appeared to have more offensive freedom without Anunoby on the floor. Trent amassed 31 points on 11-18 shooting, making him one of the few Raptors who managed to pull their weight in Thursday’s contest.
Toronto Raptors SG Gary Trent Jr. needs to replace OG Anunoby’s shooting.
Trent started hot against Utah, and Toronto is going to need a few more performances like that without Anunoby on the sideline for the time being. Trent is looking more efficient and confident than he did in Portland, so he is certainly capable of stepping up to the plate.
Anunoby’s development as a scorer and efficiency as a shooter are invaluable assets for this Toronto offense, and Trent will be required to pick up the slack if the Raptors are eventually going to get back in the win column.