Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell, who is dealing with a right hip injury, will need to sit out of Tuesday evening’s matchup against the Houston Rockets, the team has formally announced. Powell had started each of the first 12 games of the 2017-18 regular season for Toronto.
Such an injury was suffered during the Raptors’ 95-94 loss to the surging Boston Celtics. Powell played just seven minutes in the game, going 0-for-2 from the field while failing to register any points. The third-year guard is averaging 22.4 minutes per game this season with 8.3 points to his credit alongside single-season career-highs in both assists (2.1) and steals (1.2). He is shooting just 40.9 percent from the field, which is weighed down heavily by his career-worst three-point shooting (30.8 percent).
Powell signed a four-year contract extension with the Raptors in early October that will begin with the 2018-19 season and pay him $42 million over the duration.
Toronto is hoping to compete in a wide open Eastern Conference this season, and Powell is a big part of that. His poor early shooting has been somewhat of a disappointment, although there is time for that to turn around. The commitment that the Raptors made to Powell came on the heals of a strong playoff performance by the 24-year-old last year, when he shot 44.1 percent from three-point range and averaged 11.7 points in 25.2 minutes per outing.
The Raptors are a nearly even 7-5 in the team’s first 12 games, sitting fourth in the East behind the Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards. Toronto currently sits four games behind Boston in the Atlantic Division standings.