2. Fred VanVleet is regressing
Three of the five players in Toronto’s starting lineup are scoring more points per game this year than they did in the previous season. While O.G. Anunoby is starting to rehabilitate his offensive numbers following a sluggish start, VanVleet has been in for some rough sledding.
VanVleet is scoring just 13.3 points per game, with a one-point, 0-11 outing against the 76ers bringing his average down to 35% from the floor. While his steal numbers are still high, the poor percentage and big drop-off in shots attempted could be indicative of passiveness and general unease offensively.
Toronto Raptors: Will Fred VanVleet turn things around?
VanVleet was making almost half his 3-pointers (well, 48%) in the five games he played prior to that nightmare against Philly. Considering his struggles against Maxey and Philadelphia, this is likely more of a continuation of his struggles against this particular team rather than something he will carry with him for weeks.
Even if you’re not the biggest VanVleet fan in the world, do you really believe he’ll suddenly turn into Ben Simmons? The Raptors are in the middle of some tough sledding, largely caused by VanVleet being less offensively sharp, but an All-Star player shouldn’t take too long figuring things out.