Raptors' O.G. Anunoby cracks first NBA All-Defensive team of his career

May 9 2023, 6:18 pm

Toronto Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby might finally have something to smile about.

After a season where he was tasked with being the focal point of Toronto’s defence night in and night out, Anunoby was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive second team today, the first time he’s received such an honour in his career.

Anunoby finished with 14 first-team votes and 53 second-team votes to earn the first selection to one of the NBA’s two All-Defensive teams for the first time in his career.

First team:

  • Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls
  • Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies
  • Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers

Second team:

  • Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
  • O.G. Anunoby, Toronto Raptors
  • Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies
  • Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
  • Derrick White, Boston Celtics

Kawhi Leonard is the only other Raptor in history to crack an All-Defensive team, doing so in 2018-19 during his lone season in Toronto.

Often faced with matching up against the other team’s top-scoring threat on a nightly basis regardless of position, Anunoby upped his defensive resume to arguably his strongest season yet.

Anunoby finished the season as the NBA’s leader in steals with 128 as well as steals per game, averaging 1.9 per night across the regular season.

“The first thing I’d like to say is I think he really responded well to some adversity this season. First and foremost, I thought once the trade deadline passed, he really did a really professional job of playing very well, both sides of the ball,” former Raptors coach Nick Nurse said following Toronto’s final regular season game. “I think he started shooting and scoring better but he really had some really tough defensive assignments night after night after night.”

In addition to his defensive work, Anunoby has averaged 16.8 points, five rebounds and two assists in 67 games this season with Toronto.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

+ Offside
+ Basketball
+ Raptors