The Raptors annihilated the Charlotte Hornets by a score of 127-106, in what was largely touted as the battle between the two point guards who are currently the best at their position in the Eastern Conference. Here are my takeaways from the game:
1. OG Anunoby Is Healthy
After tearing his ACL just months before being selected as the first draft pick made by the Toronto Raptors in the 2017 NBA Draft, OG Anunoby was not expected to play until late November of that year.
Instead, he participated more or less from the start of the season, and was named a starter come mid-November.
Despite performing better than anyone expected, especially fresh off of such a severe injury, OG didn't look quite as explosive as he did in college.
While he gained back a lot of that explosiveness by the end of last season, it's come back tenfold early this year. Not only that, but his shot form is a lot cleaner than it was last season.
An already exciting player with a whole lot of potential just got considerably more exciting. Get ready for a season full of OG Anunoby highlights, Raptors fans.
2. Greg Monroe Still is not Playing
After being acquired by the Raptors over the summer, Monroe was never expected to play much, considering he is behind both Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas on the depth chart, but he was expected to at least play.
He has not, and I'm not entirely sure why. The way things are going right now, he's going to be mostly a garbage-time player, and he's so much better than that.
He's a tough, physical player, who can do a lot of good things for the Raptors' bench unit, and I really, really, really, hope to see him soon in a more than garbage-time capacity.
3. The Kyle Lowry/Kemba Walker Matchup Did Not Disappoint
Kyle Lowry, one of last week's Eastern Conference Player of the Week nominees, matched up against Kemba Walker, last week's Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
The game was a blowout; this marquee matchup was exponentially more even. Kemba put up 26/5/5 in 34 minutes for the Hornets, and Lowry put up 16/14/2 in 32 minutes.
So, while Kemba got the better of Kyle on the scoring end, Lowry clearly did a better job of facilitating his teammates.
This is an incredibly even matchup, one that fans of both teams will enjoy twice more this season.