OG Anunoby continues to show signs of breakout for Raptors

Here are 10 takeaways from the Toronto Raptors‘ 107-92 win over the Houston Rockets in pre-season action.

One — OG Anunoby continues to be a revelation. He recognizes the opportunity before him with Pascal Siakam out to start the season, and he’s acting like the man of the house. Anunoby flat-out bullied the Rockets to start with a stepback three over Rockets center Christian Wood, a steal leading to a leak out where he was fouled, then he blocked Wood at the rim while also recovering the loose ball to trigger another fast break sequence. The Rockets trailed 9-0 after two minutes and were forced to call timeout as Anunoby utterly dominated them in every facet.

Two — But it only got worse for the Rockets. Anunoby channeled his malice onto rookie center Alperen Sengun, who will be seeing himself on highlight reels across sports television and on social media. On their first meeting, Anunoby caught the pass on the catch and made a hard move to the rim, where Sengun tried to throw his 7-foot, 250-pound frame in the way, but Anunoby was so strong that Sengun bounced from one end of the lane to the other as Anunoby cleared out an open dunk.

A few minutes later, Anunoby tormented Sengun once again by stringing the helpless rookie out to the perimeter, selling him the drive to his left, before crossing back over to his right. Sengun bit so hard on the fake that his back was turned as Anunoby drove inside for the easy layup.

Three — Anunoby will catch plenty of players off-guard in his new form. For one, players still aren’t cluing into how good Anunoby has become as a shooter, and they’re still leaving him space to fire. Anunoby has worked diligently on perfecting his shot in quickening his release, while also adding more arc to his shot which is allowing him to shoot from deeper.

And when he drives, Anunoby now has a more functional handle which is feeding into his existing power game in the post. Tonight he bodied a 7-footer down low, and the other night Anunoby took two Celtics with him as he muscled his way for a two-handed dunk.

Four — Precious Achiuwa continues to be productive in the starting lineup. He’s showcasing what he can do in comparison to his rookie season in Miami, where he was limited to rebounding and finishing on the roll. Achiuwa has demonstrated an ability to play in transition, where he pairs explosive athleticism with a level of body control that is rare for someone of his size.

Achiuwa also had his way with Rockets center Daniel Theis, who infamously burned the Raptors in their 2020 series against the Boston Celtics. Achiuwa is able to get his shot off in most situations, and while he does take some ill-advised shots, Achiuwa is a legitimate problem for most centers who have to keep up with him in the open floor.

Five — Achiuwa should continue to start for the time being. Khem Birch finally got his first shift having contracted COVID-19 prior to training camp, and it’s no surprise to see him still catching up…

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Read More: OG Anunoby continues to show signs of breakout for Raptors 2021-10-12 14:01:00

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