Fred VanVleet’s struggles against Tyrese Maxey and 76ers are concerning

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 18: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 18: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Coming into last night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors must have been riding high on confidence. They had picked up a 119-109 win in the previous game between the two sides, and it looked like they were ready to exorcise the ghost of last season’s first-round playoff elimination.

Things did not go as planned for Nick Nurse’s side, though, who had the worst game of their season till now, losing 90-112 against the 76ers, which leaves their record at 3-3. One player who struggled particularly on the night was Fred VanVleet.

The All-Star guard had a game to forget, as he registered one point, three rebounds, and five assists, going 0-11 from the field and 0-8 from beyond the arc. It was arguably his worst game in years, and it came in a game where Joel Embiid was inactive.

In fact, VanVleet went on to set career-worst numbers in terms of most shots taken without making one (11) and most minutes on the court without a make (34). The Raptors star has struggled against the 76ers, and particularly against young dynamo Tyrese Maxey.

Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet struggles vs. the Philadelphia 76ers.

While VanVleet was struggling to put the ball in the basket, Maxey was enjoying arguably the best performance of his life. The 76ers guard scored a career-high 44 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and had four assists while making 15 of 20 from the field and draining nine of his 12 three-point attempts.

Despite the 76ers losing, Maxey posted 31 points, five rebounds and six assists in their most recent matchup with the Raptors. VanVleet has not had the best success against Maxey and the 76ers in the last few years.

Of course, when discussing VanVleet’s struggles against the 76ers, one has to mention last season’s 4-2 playoff series loss. Admittedly, he was struggling with nagging injuries and could not even play the last two games of the series.

Still, in the four games that the Raptors All-Star featured in, he averaged 13.8 points per game while shooting 35.2% of his field goals and 33.3% from distance. Those are not All-Star numbers.

Just for comparison, Maxey outscored VanVleet in all four playoff games that they came up against each other, outrebounded him in three, and out-assisted him in two. The 76ers are going to be a thorn in Toronto’s side unless Maxey gets this figured out ASAP.

It goes without saying that VanVleet is a brilliant player and one of the stars on the current Raptors roster. With a long-term contract to play for, one would expect him to pick up the pace soon. As for the 76ers, they seem to have become a bit of an irritating team to play against for this backcourt.

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