Raptors: Has Fred VanVleet been doing enough on offense?

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 27: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 27: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors came into this season looking like a completely new team with a bunch of additions from the offseason. Still, the Raptors are also missing their star in Pascal Siakam, and it was evident that Fred VanVleet would be leading this young team.

VanVleet was required to really take the next step on the offensive end. Siakam is injured, Kyle Lowry is in Miami, and the only player on this roster older than 29 years old is Goran Dragic, who has essentially been deactivated. So far, results have been a bit mixed, though he is turning things around lately.

VanVleet has been tasked with being both the primary distributor and secondary offensive creator, all while maintaining his near-elite defensive skills. His early struggles appear to be behind him, as he has been one of the major players in Toronto’s four-game win streak over the last week.

If the answer isn’t clear, then yes, VanVleet is doing more than enough on offense.

The Toronto Raptors are getting solid production from Fred VanVleet.

Despite a slow start to the first two games of the season, Vanvleet is averaging 17 points, 7.4 assists, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game on 42%  shooting and 34% from deep.

Against the Bulls, VanVleet put up a career-high of 17 assists. Simply incredible stuff from a player that continues to add new facets to his game.

Coming into the season, there were doubts that VanVleet could not produce as a true point guard without Lowry and remain efficient as a shooter. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it is safe to say that VanVleet has proven many people wrong as he is a fine playmaker, in fact, he’s one of the best in the game.

VanVleet is top 10 in the league in assists, right ahead of his former teammate and mentor in Lowry. Other names in the top 10 include names such as Chris Paul, Trae Young, Damian Lillard, and Ja Morant. Elite company.

On defense, VanVleet’s All-Defensive campaign has gotten even stronger. Along with teammate Gary Trent Jr, VanVleet is near the top of the league in deflections. If not the best, the Raptors are one of the best teams in the league in terms of hustle and defense with OG Anunoby, Trent, and VanVleet leading the way.

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is a clutch closer.

Against the Magic, VanVleet only scored three points going into the fourth quarter when the game was tight. In the final stanza, VanVleet exploded for 16 points and four assists to get the Raptors the win.

That’s not all. Against the Pacers, when it was a five-point game, VanVleet hit a clutch deep 3 from the logo which helped the Raptors secure the win.

VanVleet is not shying away from the mid-range game, as weaving near the free throw line and hitting a pull-up has helped snap him out of several funks just in time for the fourth quarter. That multiplicity and ability to score in different ways has VanVleet overcoming his sluggish start and leading Toronto to wins.

Every time the Raptors are in a rough situation at the end of the game, you can expect the ball to be in VanVleet’s hands. As inconsistent as he may be, there are very few players in the league that have his level of refinement on offense.

Next. Barnes’ hot start put him in some elite company. dark