Norman Powell Shines as Kawhi Leonards Home Debut Has to Wait
It was meant to be more of a throwaway game of sorts as the Toronto Raptors chose to rest five regulars against the Australian Melbourne United.
Kawhi Leonard’s home debut would have to wait, but amid the near 40-point blowout, the Raptors received signs of encouragement. After struggling for much of last season, Norman Powell led the way with 21-points on 8-for-11 shooting, including 3-for-5 from long range. The UCLA alum seemed lost in a deep Raptors rotation last season, being relegated into more of a catch-and-shoot role, something that drew away from his strengths. On Friday, Powell was in attack mode, driving to the rim and letting the game come to him.
If anything, allowing Powell to slowly regain his confidence will be key in the early going of the Raptors’ season.
Outside of Powell, Pascal Siakam showed out, dropping 19-points of his own, while Delon Wright added 15-points while dishing out five assists and grabbing six boards. Serge Ibaka had an efficient night, scoring eight points on 4-for-6 shooting, pulling down 12-boards and blocking two shots in just 16-minutes of play.
The Raptors will play their next game on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets, after which they will close out the preseason with a date with the New Orleans Pelicans.