For the second time in six years, the NBA steals king is a former Hoosier.
Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby finished the 2022-23 NBA season with the most steals per game, 1.9, and total steals, 128, in the league this year. He’s the first ever Raptors player to claim the league’s steals crown.
Anunoby follows Victor Oladipo as the other former IU player to lead the league in steals per game. Oladipo averaged 2.4 in the 2017-18 campaign.
With impressive length and athleticism, Anunoby flashed the potential to be an elite defender at the next level during his time at IU. Now he will likely make his first All-Defense team this year. His head coach Nick Nurse sees the 25-year-old as worthy of that honor.
“I think he really responded well to adversity this season,” Nurse told the assembled media over the weekend. “Once the trade deadline passed, he did a professional job and played very well on both sides of the ball. … I hope he gets recognized for that. I can’t see who else does what he does defensively.”
Anunoby’s success in 2022-23 extended beyond the defensive end. He was an efficient scorer this season, making 47.6 percent of his shots overall, including 38.7 percent from three (on a career high 367 attempts). He added 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and .7 blocks per contest.
Perhaps most impressive, Anunoby shot 83.8 percent from the free throw line, easily a best over his six-year career. He made below 63 percent from the stripe in each of his first two seasons in the league.
Anunoby’s season is not over yet. Toronto hosts Chicago on Wednesday in the play-in portion of the NBA Playoffs.
The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”