Raptors news: Nick Nurse sticks up for Fred VanVleet, surprise Scotiabank guest

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 03: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 03: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have struggled to get far above .500 in the last few games, as Fred VanVleet has been one of multiple players who have not performed at a level commiserate to what the back of their trading card says they can hit. The All-Star guard’s struggles hit a crescendo on Monday night.

VanVleet was just 3-14 from the field, scoring eight points in Toronto’s 116-110 defeat against the Boston Celtics. VanVleet is shooting just 29% from the field since a November 11 loss against the Thunder. He hasn’t shot over 40% in a game since that OKC matchup and hasn’t scored more than 13 points in two weeks.

Despite that, Nurse is still starting VanVleet and playing him as much as anyone. While some fans have reached their limit with regard to VanVleet’s ineptitude as a shooter, Nick Nurse was not going to pile on Fred. He wasn’t bombastic at all in his post-game press conference.

Nurse said that VanVleet “had some decent looks tonight” while noting that he didn’t do the best job of finishing those looks. It’s clear that Nurse is going to bat for his guy in what has been a tough stretch, as VanVleet has been one of the main reasons the Raptors have been so wildly inconsistent on offense.

More Raptors news

  • Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and social justice activist Colin Kaepernick was seen sitting courtside at the Raptors-Celtics game. Kaepernick was seated next to former Calgary Flames player Akim Aliu, and both of them earned loud applause when shown on the Jumbotron.
  • Raptors 905 lost yet again, as their defensive problems continued to show up against the Greensboro Swarm. JT Thor and Jalen Crutcher combined to score 44 points, while Exhibit 10 signing Gabe Brown made just one shot from the field. Eric Khoury needs to turn things around quickly.

NBA news

  • Wizards star Bradley Beal is going to be reevaluated in one week after suffering a hamstring injury against the Lakers. While the Raptors were able to go 5-5 when Pascal Siakam was sidelined, time will tell if Washington has the depth to withstand such a crucial loss to their offense.
  • Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has been officially dropped as a Nike athlete, with the company taking a very strong stance against some of the content Irving has promoted and the quotes he has offered up in the last few weeks. The blowback Irving is getting is showing no signs of slowing down.

5 teams who could trade for Gary Trent Jr. dark. Next