Will O.G. Anunoby's offensive punch continue once Pascal Siakam returns?

Imman Adan and Katie Heindl discuss O.G. Anunoby's reps as a lead scoring option and if it will continue once the Raptors get Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam back. Listen to the full episode on the "Raptors Over Everything" podcast feed or watch on our YouTube.

Video Transcript

IMMAN ADAN: So there's a lot of questions as well about OG Anunoby. And I think one that stood out to me was, do you think that OG's play will continue, his stellar play? Do you think that like this is who he is and do we see this version of OG continuing once the Raptors are all healthy?

KATIE HEINDL: I think there's even another version we haven't seen. And I go on this based on what his teammates are asked, and they're the closest to him. Like a teammate, like Fred VanVleet, who's like been closest to him season over season, but I think someone asked last night, is this the meanest they'd ever seen? Like, he'd ever seen OG?

IMMAN ADAN: Not according to Luka.

KATIE HEINDL: Yeah. Oh yeah, that was, like, pure tampering. Oh, nicest guy in the league. Never says--

IMMAN ADAN: And that smirk.

KATIE HEINDL: --anything bad about anyone.

IMMAN ADAN: I saw that Luka.

KATIE HEINDL: The best part of that, sorry to get off topic, the best part of that was when he was like--

IMMAN ADAN: It's all I do.

KATIE HEINDL: I didn't trip him on purpose. So I was like, you admit, maybe you do sometimes trip people on purpose.

IMMAN ADAN: That's a good catch.

KATIE HEINDL: I perked. Right? I was like--

IMMAN ADAN: OK, so it's not always, so sometimes.

KATIE HEINDL: Yeah, follow up. Anyway, no, I think and Fred was like, no, actually he can be much more aggressive and we're getting after him to do it. I mean, Fred was like, I was exhausted and I was yelling at him to go back and post up, because I couldn't get there and I needed him to. But he's like, there's more in him to be much more aggressive.

So I think, yes. To answer the question, yes, this will stay when his teammates come back, but I also think they may encourage him to get a little bit pushy or get a little bit meaner, get a bit more aggressive. The thing that Nick Nurse is always talking about, to be physical. You could talk about it with Scottie Barnes.

I think we could see the same thing from OG. Because at a game like last night, when we talked about second chance points and rebounds, OG is so strong. And I think we forget that a little bit, because he doesn't always play that way. He doesn't always play such a hugely physical, dominant game, but he's very capable of it. So that's my hope.

IMMAN ADAN: Yeah. I mean, the guy defending him knows how strong OG is, because the flopping is non-stop, OK? Enough with the offensive foul calls. No, I completely agree.

And I think I think something that people get a little stuck on is this idea of, who's going to sort of cannibalize the-- Are you going to cannibalize possessions away from someone else? Like Pascal coming in, what's his usage going to be? And I think what the Raptors do really well is they have never been the team that, they don't have a Kawhi Leonard, right? Pascal superstar to start the year off, but he's not the number one usage guy on other teams, right?

Like Luka is everything for the Mavs. The Raptors do not have that, because the Raptors are sort of built to exploit mismatches. That's what they do. And OG, quite often, is going to have a mismatch. And what he's shown that he can do is, one, he can handle the ball some.

Yeah, he's going to get calls some travels from time to time, although he was called for one yesterday that I did not agree with. I thought Bill Kennedy had a clear line of vision and did not call that. But the ref who was down on the other side of the court decided to be the one to do that. I don't know about that one. But let's move forward. But no, I think that OG has shown he has the ability to handle the ball.

He hasn't really quite gotten that range touch, but we're seeing him actually get to his spots, which I think is a huge thing. Creating separation and being able to get there is such a large part of being able to knock it down. Like these he's right there, it's just that final step. But he's an excellent 3-point shooter, which we know, and he's the team's best post player, according to the numbers last season.

So his ability to do all of those different things means that he is going to be quite often the guy explaining mismatches. So when Pascal is doubled or when Fred is doubled, the ball will swing to OG and he is going to be able to attack that. That's how this team is built. So it's not about, what does Pascal look like if OG becomes this? Or can we continue in this form if Pascal is here? Everybody can exist together and that includes Scottie Barnes.

KATIE HEINDL: Yes.

IMMAN ADAN: That includes Gary Trent Jr, because you can't have enough guys who can create for themselves. You can't have enough guys who can create for others. You can't have enough guys who can knock down shots. That is a good thing, have more of those guys. And so I think it'll all work.

And I think OG developing different parts of his game and having the ability to do so just means that when the playoffs come around and Pascal is doubled, you can very well trust the open man. So I love it and I think it's all going to work. And I think we're seeing OG's continued development. To me, this is not even just a major leap for OG Anunoby, I think this is like his continued progression. It's just unfortunate that he's had injuries in the past, and knock on wood, that he stays healthy, because I think he's having an All-Star caliber season.

KATIE HEINDL: Yeah, I agree. The last thing I'll say on it is I think it's also to maybe a testament to be in a franchise it's a little bit feast or famine, and gone through a couple famine seasons where it's like, you don't necessarily know what it is to have a team at full health and full capacity at the same time. And that's what-- the Raptors started at this season and I do think they will get back to that. But to your point, like that's how I always think about it. It's like, yeah, there are a set amount of minutes in a game, but it's Nick Nurse's job to then like distribute those minutes and distribute them accordingly, and I think he'll be able to. But when you've got everybody developed and playing at this level, I think that's like much more reason to want everybody to get a piece of the pie.