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Norman Powell: A Solid 6th Man

In an article I wrote in July, I highlighted Norman Powell’s strengths: better three point shooting than years past, and his athleticism. While Norman seemed to be putting it all together this year and maximizing his skill set as a first option off the bench, he missed significant time with a shoulder injury. Since coming back, Powell has continued his stretch of form being a scorer off the bench. He recently had efficient outings against the Knicks, 76ers and Hawks. His most notable outing was against the Hawks where he was the team leader in scoring, knocking down 6 of 9 from outside the arc and 7-14 overall, for 27 points. It seems as if he is becoming the player that Masai envisioned, when giving him his contract extension in 2017. The Raptors have entrusted Powell with a larger role and he has delivered.

Powell’s Role

At this point, Norman Powell has been a consistent sixth man off the bench. His averages don’t seem reflective of his current play: he is averaging 15.9/3.8/1.8 on 51.5% from the field and 41.7% from 3. Over the stretch of his past 27 games (20 pre-injury, 7 post-injury), Norman Powell is averaging 18.1/3.8/1.9 on 53.3% from the field and 44.6% from 3. This stretch of games seems to show that he has developed into an elite role player who can shoot threes and keep the bench afloat.His main scoring comes from cutting to the basket and shooting threes, whether off the dribble or off the catch. Solid, efficient play.

A Comparison

Reigning 6MOTY Lou Williams is averaging 19.8/3.1/6.8 with 42% from the field and 36.8% from three. Lou Williams is currently a better player than Norman Powell by a far margin. He is an amazing scorer with the ability to create for his teammates. Norman Powell isn’t that good of a playmaker nor can he create for himself nearly as well as Williams. However the fact that Powell’s statistical output currently is similar to an elite 6th man is cause of hope and optimism for Raptors fans. Norman Powell is playing well and consistently, like we all hoped he would.

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