Despite several strong performances from Pascal Siakam recently, the Toronto Raptors #1 option has come short in the clutch on back-to-back nights, forcing the Raptors to pull back and evaluate their options on who should have the ball in their hands at the end of the game.
Although Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam was unable to get either of his game-winning attempts against Golden State or Portland to go down, his performances have been trending upwards, and the blame for these losses should not come down on his shoulders.
These buzzer-beater misses don’t downplay what Siakam has been doing in the first 47+ minutes, but what they do bring into question is his reliability as your #1 option for the final possession.
With their disastrous 2-8 start to the season, the Raptors are forced to reflect on where they can be better in nearly every facet of the game, and choosing their late-game shot taker should be near the top of the list.
Since Kawhi Leonard departed after his 2019 miracle run, the Raptors have lacked a true superstar who can dominate in isolation and get to their spot at the end of a game, and have instead defaulted to several others to try and fill the gap that Leonard’s departure created.
In this article, we will look at all of the realistic options the Raptors currently have on their roster when it comes to securing a win at the buzzer.
When it comes to creating their own shot and making them at a high degree of difficulty, there is no one on the squad like Fred VanVleet. The undrafted guard from Wichita State has gained a reputation of being a tough-shot-maker, and when the game is coming down to the wire, that’s the kind of player that you want with the ball. VanVleet has the explosiveness to find separation from the best of defenders and is efficient enough of a shooter that he could gain Nick Nurse’s trust.
Another key argument for Fred taking the last shot is that he’s not afraid of the big moment. As seen in the 2019 Finals and on several occasions since VanVleet is up to the challenge no matter the situation, and going forward, would be a suitable candidate to take the last shot at the buzzer for the Toronto Raptors.