There have been many feel-good stories of perseverance with the Toronto Raptors this season but none are better than Norman Powell.
Getting a healthy lineup was the Toronto Raptors‘ main priority for most of the season and now with it actually a reality, we are seeing players benefitting from playing in the roles they were designed to be in from the start of the season.
Norman Powell has had an up and down tenure so far in Toronto but this season appears to be his long-awaited breakout. With his 27 points against the Atlanta Hawks on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he once again had the performance that helped the Raptors close out a game that almost got away from them.
If it weren’t for his shoulder injury earlier in the season, Powell would probably be near the top of people’s ballot for Sixth Man of the Year. In order for him to be eligible, Powell must come off the bench for more games than he started to qualify for the award so is still enough time in the season for the 26-year-old to accomplish that.
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His improved shooting should give the Raptors confidence about their chances to compete in the East. Powell is shooting 51.3 per cent from the field and 41.8 per cent from beyond the arc which are both career highs.
Nick Nurse has appeared to find a role that suits Powell and should be pleased with his ability to move into the starting lineup when needed. This is the type of flexibility the Raptors enjoyed when they had Kawhi Leonard but it was tougher to find Powell minutes with Danny Green also on the roster.
For anyone who is wondering where the production was going to come from this season, that shouldn’t be the concern. The real question is wondering if that can continue especially when the games get tougher in the playoffs.
Fortunately for Toronto, they are seeing the roster coming together at the right time and it’s only a matter of time before they start to see the results come together as they continue their pursuit of second place in the Eastern Conference.
What have you thought about Powell’s play this season? Can he keep this up? Let us know in the comments below.