Toronto Raptors: Potential Anunoby injury could open door for Powell

Norman Powell #24 of the Toronto Raptors puts up a shot. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Norman Powell #24 of the Toronto Raptors puts up a shot. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

With the status of OG Anunoby up in the air, this could be the chance Norman Powell needs to get back into the rotation with the Toronto Raptors.

The Toronto Raptors are having their best season to date, yet Norman Powell continues to struggle to find his place in the rotation.

After signing his four-year, $42 million contract extension in October, the future looked bright for the third year-player. However, lately it has looked anything but that.

Part of the reason has been the emergence of young players like OG Anunoby, who has grabbed hold of his opportunity.

Sometimes when young players step up, it comes at the expense of other role players and now Powell is trying to earn his chance. It is something Dwayne Casey is trying to sort out, which he talked about on Sportsnet 590 The FAN’s Starting Lineup.

"“It’s hard for Powell, I feel for him because it’s nothing he’s done wrong, it’s just the guys in front of him have played so well and executed,” Casey said about Powell. “We’re trying to find minutes because at some point we’re going to need Norm in that rotation somewhere."

Back in January, Demar Grant examined Powell’s struggles  and earlier in the season he also touched on how Anunoby’s ascension was a big reason for his demotion.

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It appears that a door might have opened for Powell, when his rookie teammate was forced to leave Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic with an ankle injury. If Anuniboy’s injury turns out to be something that requires him to miss games, it is the type of opportunity Powell has been waiting for.

Sportsnet’s David Zarum wrote about how Powell did not have much of an impact when he replaced Anunoby, but there is time for him to get things going. He needs to find a way to stand out and it can be at either end of the court.

He has shown glimpse of the player that was worthy of a contract extension, but he continues to be overshadowed by the Raptors’ bench. It is hard to ignore the impact Fred VanVleet, Anunoby, Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam and C.J. Miles have had this season.

All that Powell can do is prepare for the moment Casey calls his name from the bench or needs him to step into the starting lineup. This happened in the 2016 playoff series against the Indiana Pacers and last season against the Milwaukee Bucks.

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Do you think Powell gets back into the rotation if Anunoby is going to miss time? Let us know in the comments.