#2: Steady Freddy has found his groove
After a few inconsistent performances, Fred VanVleet has finally got his feet wet and is back to playing top-notch basketball. Vanvleet finished with 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists while being the spearhead of the Raptors’ offensive attack.
In Toronto’s first game against the Pelicans, there was a lack of offensive productivity from everyone on the Raptors side. Coming into this game, it was unsure of who was going to be that consistent source of offence. The 6-foot point guard out of Wichita State took it upon himself to carry the load offensively.
In the first matchup between these two teams, Vanvleet was outplayed by both Lonzo Ball and Eric Bledsoe. That wasn’t the case on Saturday night.
Although Vanvleet didn’t shoot the best from three, as he shot 3-11, the ones he did make were timely ones. Whenever the Raptors needed a big basket, or momentum was shifting towards the Pelicans, Fred would knock down a huge three.
Vanvleet was by far the most impactful guard on the court, despite the plus-minus not backing him up. Toronto’s offense was insurmountably better with Vanvleet on the floor, as there was finally someone who can get you a bail-out basket.
With Vanvleet playing at the level that the Raptors envisioned him being able to play at, Toronto will definitely be more likely to be the team fans expected them to be. However, there will need to be another player that steps up to the table alongside Fred. Whether that’s Kyle Lowry or Pascal Siakam, it’s still yet to be determined.