Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet and Cleveland Cavaliers dynamo Darius Garland are both looking to become All-Stars for the first time in their careers. In the recent batch of votes, VanVleet and Garland placed 8th and 9th, respectively, when it came to guards in the East.
VanVleet accumulated 350,806 votes and Garland gathered 227,813 votes in total. Some of the names ahead of them are questionable, like Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving, but there are also some deserving players like DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine.
There has been a lot of comparison talk about VanVleet and Garland. Both are point guards who have taken their teams right to the postseason hunt in a year where very few were expecting them to do that. If there was one spot remaining, who deserves to take it?
The answer is simple. The final spot should go to Fred VanVleet. VanVleet is a better player on both ends, making him more deserving of becoming an All-Star compared to Garland.
Raptors’ Fred VanVleet is scoring more than Darius Garland
VanVleet and Garland are both extraordinary players on offense. They are both primary ball handlers for their respective teams, and as of now, both teams are top 10 in the East.
VanVleet averages 21.9 points on 43% FG while Garland averages 19.7 points on 46% FG. As for playmaking, VanVleet is averaging 6.7 assists with 2.6 turnovers per game, while Garland is averaging 7.8 assists with 3.5 turnovers per game. VanVleet has fewer assists, but he’s not hurting his team with turnovers.
VanVleet is one of the best shooters from 3. Fred is second in the NBA behind Stephen Curry when it comes to 3 pointers made per game with 3.9 3’s while shooting at an elite rate of 40.9%. When it comes to offense, VanVleet has the edge over Garland,
Raptor’s Fred VanVleet is a better defender than Darius Garland
His edge is even bigger when it comes to defense. VanVleet is one of the best two-way guards in the NBA. Darius Garland is not horrible on the defensive end, but he certainly is not the best either.
VanVleet is top 10 in steals, top 2 in deflections per game and total deflections, top 3 in loose ball recovered per game and total loose balls recovered. Garland is nowhere to be seen in these categories.
Raptor’s Fred VanVleet is more impactful than Darius Garland
The impact Fred VanVleet has on and off the court is underrated by fans that don’t constantly have eyes on Toronto.
VanVleet is second in the NBA in RAPTOR Wins Above Replacement, ahead of players such as Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokoumpo. Garland is ranked 17th.
VanVleet is also leading the league in minutes per game with 37.8 minutes per game, ahead of players like Kevin Durant and LeBron James. It is truly incredible how he sustains his elite two-way game for all of those minutes. as his stamina is off the charts.
VanVleet and Garland are both exceptional guards for the Raptors and Cavaliers. However, VanVleet is better than Garland and it is not debatable.