O.G. Anunoby has never played this well

Anunoby is succeeding the way he used to -- and in a new way, as well.

O.G. Anunoby spent several seasons as one of the Toronto Raptors' best play finishers. Any possession that ended with him as the player firing the ball at the rim -- whether from deep or at the rim -- was about as good as Toronto could muster. Among rotation players, he led the team in effective field goal percentage in 2021-22, was third in 2020-21, and was second in 2019-20.

For much of this year, Anunoby's efficiency had slipped. He was cold from deep to start the year, finishing November at 33.8 percent on triples. While his driving improved over time in terms of process, the results never reached the level of success that meant it was a benefit to Toronto's offense. Among rotation players, he has been the seventh-least efficient player shooting out of drives in the league.

Even though he was never elite creating for himself, he could always be counted on to finish plays created by others. For stretches of this season, that wasn't the case.

That turned around in a big way over the month of March. Anunoby has exploded -- not just to the level he's been at prior, but to a whole new level of success that he's never touched before. As a result, he's now above his career average in 3-point percentage on the season.

It's been a hot streak beyond hot streak. This is obviously an arbitrary series of numbers, and it's a whole lot of bench marks, but it's a short list of players who've ever been as hot as Anunoby in the same areas as Anunoby. In league history, only 12 players have averaged 18 points and 1.5 steals per game while shooting at least 50 percent from deep (on over 5 attempts per game) and 60 percent from 2-point range over nine games. (The list is also a who's who of Hall of Famers, including Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Manu Ginobili, Reggie Miller, Scottie Pippen, and Klay Thompson.) Only really good players ever get this hot! Also: He's the only player ever to do the above while shooting over 70 percent on 2s. (He's at 71.4 percent over the last nine.)

Anunoby has certainly been succeeding by returning to his roots of play finishing. Since Feb. 28, he's been the seventh-hottest shooter in the league. And he's been the 24th-most efficient player around the rim, too. It's not just makes; he's up to 19th in the league in total dunks this year, already the highest total of his career. And those dunks? They've recently been audacious expressions of creativity and violence.

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