Nick Nurse gives depressing OG Anunoby injury update
The Toronto Raptors went all-in on OG Anunoby before the 2021-22 season, as Nick Nurse believed in his ability to lock down the opposing team’s best player and improve his offensive. So far, Anunoby has rewarded Nurse’s faith by putting together the best season of his young career.
Anunoby is averaging 20.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game this season. He’s just a few weeks removed from putting up a career-best 36 points against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Toronto is losing at the moment, but he was expected to be a huge part of the turnaround.
Unfortunately, Anunoby sustained a hip pointer before their matchup against Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz. While he was originally ruled questionable to play in this game, Nick Nurse confirmed that the injury is much more serious than anticipated.
Nurse broke the hearts of Raptors fans when he confirmed that not only is Anunoby out against Utah, but it “could be a while” before No. 3 returns to the court. A ton of production on both sides of the ball just vanished into thin air, which puts pressure on the rest of the squad.
The Toronto Raptors need to survive without OG Anunoby.
There may not be a versatile defensive player in the East right now than Anunoby, as he’s seen time as a small-ball post player and perimeter stopper this year. This injury could not have come at a worse time for the Raptors, as they are currently coming off of two substandard performances on defense.
While Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and Scottie Barnes should provide a somewhat convincing facsimile of his offensive production, Anunoby is the leading scorer on this team. It will be extremely difficult for anyone to completely replace his scoring prowess for weeks at a time.
Anunoby’s injury is a severe punch in the gut for this franchise. Not only is Toronto losing one of their franchise cornerstones at the worst time, but this could mean that Anunoby will miss large chunks of regular-season action for the third time in five NBA seasons. Simply put, this is just shy of a nightmare scenario.
Toronto might be able to pick up a few wins without Anunoby in the lineup, but it will be hard to see this team sustaining any sort of long-term success without such a key two-way piece in the fold. Let’s just hope the injury isn’t severe and OG gets back on the floor as soon as possible.