How Raptors' O.G. Anunoby would fit on the Suns
Amit Mann is joined by Gerald Bourguet to discuss how O.G. Anunoby would fit alongside Devin Booker and more on the Phoenix Suns. Listen to the full episode on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed or watch on YouTube.
AMIT MANN: I mean, with OG Anunoby, and I mentioned some of his pitfalls as a number two option, and I guess as we've talked about, Deandre Ayton has some of those pitfalls as well. But when it comes to just like being within an offensive system that has a lot of creativity, that has a lot of movement, he does thrive. And he's a great cutter, facilitator, as I said earlier. He's great at that.
And post ups, I think his numbers have dipped there this season, but I think that's more of a product of the Raptors lack of spacing, which I think the Suns are better off in that category. And if the space is there, and he's got to find a shooter in the corner or for a kickout, like, he can do it, and he'll do it happily actually. It's just, the vibes have been very off all season with the Raptors, so it's almost hard to judge him based off what we've seen this season, because of how just off everything has been.
But defensively, I mean, he's going to help you. He is going to help you. He's going to help you huge. And I'm actually curious what he would look like as a defender with a rim protector. If it's Deandre Ayton, maybe he's not the rim protector that he once was, but he's still seven feet tall. And Bismack Biyombo, like, it's going to allow OG to be that much more aggressive on the perimeter.
And he was like, right now, I think he's leading the league in deflections, he's like second in steals, and when it comes to recovering loose balls, I think he's in the top 10 as well. So if you tap into that, you get like an extra level of that, you're going to be a really good spot. You're going to be creating offense out of your defense, which as we know, the Raptors love doing.
But I mean, non restricted paint shots for OG this season, he's shooting 36%. Barnes is at 43%. See Ayton's at 45%, and he's shooting 63% in the restricted area. So when it comes to dunks, good. But floaters, floaters, being able to vault up and two feet down, vault up and hit a floater, hasn't been there all the time. He does enjoy his fadeaway mid-range game a little bit. He does have a bit of that as well. But it's just very up and down.
GERALD BOURGUET: Yeah, that's interesting, because obviously with Book, CP, now Mikal Bridges, even DA, to a certain extent, the Suns do have a lot of guys that can operate in that mid-range spot as well. The other thing I was curious about that I forgot to ask you, how is he as far as,--
--you've talked about the drives and being able to shoot well around the rim, maybe not in the intermediate area there, but how is he in terms of drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line? Because that's definitely something the Suns have struggled with.
AMIT MANN: I mean, he would say that he's very good at it, but the officials don't always respect him, I would say.
GERALD BOURGUET: Yeah.
AMIT MANN: Countless occasions this year. He's been asked about it, he's like, you know, I just don't get the calls, they don't think it's a foul. He's very strong, right?
GERALD BOURGUET: Yeah.
AMIT MANN: So he's got that, works against him in a way that he thinks he's getting fouled, but the officials are saying, not so much. Now as we know, in the NBA if you are doing something consistently enough, you'll get the respect eventually.
GERALD BOURGUET: Right.
AMIT MANN: But it'll take some time. But he's still learning about that aspect of his game. He does draw a lot of charges, right, because he is going really heavily to the basket. I actually think that, and I think the Suns would do this better than the Raptors, that if they were able to get him curling off some pindowns or just going to the rim with momentum, I think that would be a great asset for him.
Because he does have some craft around the basket, like when it comes to recognizing that second level of defense. He does it, and it can be really impressive at times. Other times, it's not always there. But again, I think the spacing that Phoenix have would really be an asset to him. And I think you probably see some of those numbers in the paint go up, because the spacing is that much better.
GERALD BOURGUET: Yeah, that would be interesting, because the Suns I think, are still top 10 in 3-point percentage, even with guys being out recently. And they do a good job with a lot of their elbow sets and some of the pindown curling screens that they run of getting their wings the ball and giving them that momentum. So that would be an interesting fit if he's able to kind of capitalize on that kind of thing.