Toronto Raptors: Stock up and stock down for Game 1

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

Fred VanVleet

Wow, am I right?!

Fred VanVleet came alive against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. Okay, scratch that. Fred VanVleet has not stopped balling since the Eastern Conference Finals.

Like running mate Pascal Siakam, VanVleet put up 34 points, adding five rebounds, seven assists, and two assists in 44 minutes of playing time. The difference is, VanVleet was incredibly efficient, shooting 66-percent from the field and 71-percent from three. Eek gad.

VanVleet just looked so much sharper, and so much more decisive on Tuesday night. He showed aggression when attacking the rim, adding in nice hesitations and the ability to withstand contact from much larger players. He’s a stud.

The backcourt of Lowry and VanVleet looks like a great combination too. Initially, one might think that it’s a little small, with both only being around 6-feet tall, but both are dogged defenders who can hold their own.

Having VanVleet in the lineup allows Lowry to handle the secondary guard while Fred takes the primary ball-handler, and both have shown they can dish out an assist or two.

Thankfully, for Raptors fans, it doesn’t look like the lineup is changing anytime soon, and Fred looks to be nailed in as the starter for the foreseeable future. Playing your best players together is nice, and it’s what Nick Nurse is doing here.

VanVleet looked like he’s more than ready for a larger role in the team, and with performances like Tuesday night – a career-high night – he more than deserves the opportunity. Even after rolling his ankle on a camera operator, VanVleet came back into the game and came up with some big moments. He remains a star.

VERDICT: Stock up

Next. A Toronto Raptors gossip column. dark

One column in the books, and it feels good to be back. This season looks to be a fun one, paved with championship rings and references all the way. Until next week, my friends.