The NBA’s Summer League entered it’s playoff tournament phase on Wednesday, with all 30 teams taking part in the bracket.
The Toronto Raptors finished the round robin phase with an 0-3 record, setting up a first-round matchup with the Denver Nuggets, who were a perfect 3-0 heading into the game.
Thanks in part to a big scoring night from OG Anunoby, the Raptors beat the Nuggets 85-77 to advance to round two.
Anunoby led the way for both teams with 22 points, as head coach Nick Nurse continues to place an emphasis on running the offence through the Raptors’ second-year forward.
Most teams use the Summer League as a scouting opportunity and, more importantly, an incubator for talent on and off the court, and it’s no coincidence that Anunoby has gotten so many reps. On Wednesday, he attempted a team-high 17 field goals in 27 minutes of action.
“We’re doing more things to get him the ball a little more often than he’s used to having it,” noted Nurse.
For his part, Anunoby is working on more than just his offensive game at Summer League.
“I need to be more of a leader,” he said after the game, “and I’m working on it right now. I’m used to Kyle and DeMar telling me what to do and helping us get through it, so I’m just trying to help our guys here get through stuff.”
OG Anunoby posts 22 PTS, 4 REB, 1 BLK in the @Raptors win to advance to the next round of the @NBASummerLeague playoffs!#NBASummer pic.twitter.com/gE8nQ9RFSs
— NBA (@NBA) July 12, 2018
Other standouts for the Raptors included Giddy Potts, an undrafted guard out of Middle Tennessee who netted 14 points (4-7 from deep) and has had a nice showing throughout Summer League, as well as Canadian forward Chris Boucher.
Boucher, who spent his rookie year in the NBA last season with the champion Golden State Warriors, hadn’t seen much action at Summer League thus far but played 22 minutes off the bench in the win posting 12 points, six boards, and a whopping six blocks.
Chris Boucher scored 12 points, grabbed 6 boards, and blocked 6 shots in #NBASummer League action for the @Raptors #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/zsHd9fQrmX
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) July 12, 2018
The Raptors will face the Charlotte Hornets next on Saturday.