It was more of the same at the team’s media day in 2019 but he didn’t need to be overly loquacious to get his point across. In fact, his straightforward nature added the perfect emphasis to what he had to say.
As much has been made of the Raptors losses to free agency this offseason, a number of players were asked of their expectations for the coming season. Anunoby, who was unable to play in the postseason, expressed supreme confidence in his team, saying: “I think we’re gonna repeat. We have a really good team and we believe in ourselves and that’s all that matters.”
Last year was a trying one for Anunoby, as he missed time in the regular season due to personal matters and injury. Leading into the postseason, he was expected to serve a major role in the team’s rotation before an emergency appendectomy caused him to miss the entirety of the Raptors’ title run.
Now, over five months after the procedure, the main questions surrounding Anunoby is where he stands health-wise, to which he told reporters: “I felt really good. just been working on everything. (I’ve) just been ready to get back.”
The 22-year-old continued, adding that it took him about three months to feel like himself again: “mid-July, I started getting my energy back. And even now, I’m starting to feel better every day.”
After being dealt a bad hand in his second season, expectations surrounding Anunoby this season are high, and rightly so. He touched on the amount of focus he has spent working on his game this offseason and head coach Nick Nurse has said that the forward is ‘going to have a great year’ (per Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun).
With the void left by Kawhi Leonard and Nurse’s propensity to experiment with lineups, a focused Anunoby can make a big leap in Year 3 to contribute at both forward positions and, ultimately, do his part in helping the team fulfill the goal of repeating as champions.
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