There’s a lot of fans about to say “who?” but this is a more significant blow to Toronto than people realize:
It sounds like Raptors’ swingman OG Anunoby is out for the series against the Bucks. Or at least most of it.
Anunoby is recovering from an emergency appendectomy and does not sound close to returning, based on what coach Nick Nurse said at practice Tuesday. Via Blake Murphy of The Athletic.
Basically, in a week we will get another update on just how far away Anunoby is, and by that point we will be four games into the Eastern Conference Finals. I’d be surprised if he returns this series.
Anunoby is a long, versatile wing who can defend multiple positions off the bench, can get a few buckets and has to be respected from three. By the end of the last series Nurse trusted Serge Ibaka off the Raptors bench — he was the team’s second best player in Game 7 and they don’t win without him — and that’s it. Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet got a few minutes just so the starters didn’t collapse in exhaustion, but they both struggled.
That’s why Nurse will miss Anunoby off the bench.