VanVleet continues to deliver
Looking at the moves Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster have made over time, you can argue that finding Fred VanVleet as an undrafted free agent tops the list. Of course, the Kawhi Leonard trade set the table for the 2019 championship run but they continue to strike oil with the Illinois native.
VanVleet had 30 points, 11 assists and went an impressive 8-for-10 from three-point range. Nothing the Nets threw at him phased him and once again it appears as if the power of the VanVleet family came through once again.
"“It meant the world, man,” said VanVleet to reporters about seeing his family on the screen. “I think anybody who knows me knows how special my family is, especially my kids. (I) miss my girl, miss my mom, I miss everybody, man. Family is the No. 1 thing in my life. So, obviously, I’ve been missing them. I’ve been gone about eight or nine weeks now, it’s the longest I’ve been without seeing my kids. So that was really cool to see that before our playoff game at that. I definitely got a little teary-eyed there seeing my son get animated and hearing from my daughter. So that felt really cool.”"
Just how dominant was VanVleet’s performance? According to Sportsnet Stats, this was the first time in franchise history a Raptors player had 30-plus points and 10-plus assists in a playoff game. On top of that, he joined Chris Paul, Damian Lillard and Steph Curry as the only players with 30 or more points, 10-plus assists, and eight threes in a playoff game in NBA history.
Safe to say, this type of performance shows that VanVleet is more than ready to lead the way for the Raptors when called upon. He has shown this with his performance at both ends of the court in Game 1 and the games he played leading into it.
While there will be concerns about his contract status, the Raptors will take every game like this in stride.