Takeaways from the Toronto Raptors impressive win over the 76ers

Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have TWO starting point guards

The Toronto Raptors have a luxury that many teams are rightfully jealous of them for possessing: two starter-quality point guards. On another night without Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet led the charge, keeping the ball moving and finishing with eight assists and three turnovers.

His eight dimes on the night were second on the team to Gasol (nine assists) but he provided a scoring punch that no one on the team outside of Pascal Siakam was able to match. VanVleet went 3-for-6 from the 3-point line and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. He also chipped in two steals and was instrumental in the Raptors’ strategy of helping off of shooters to aggressively double team Embiid.

VanVleet is averaging a career-best 18.5 points per game and including Monday night, he has now scored at least 24 points in three straight games, and five of his last six overall. The Raptors are 6-2 since Lowry went down and they don’t look like they plan on slowing down as they head into a tougher stretch of games.

Nick Nurse has used VanVleet more than any player on the team this season, and with good reason. VanVleet’s shifty handle and shooting ability help him manipulate defenses. and the game has slowed down for him considerably in his fourth NBA season. His passing makes players like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (16 points)  and OG Anunoby (12 points) bigger threats on offense, especially when they are active cutters along the baseline. VanVleet also feeds these players with plenty of catch-and-shoot opportunities, both furthering along their development and helping the team win.

The Raptors owe a lot of their success post-Lowry injury to the fourth-year guard out of Rockford, Illinois, as he has allowed them to continue their same style of play in the absence of their leader.