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Raptors’ Fred VanVleet admits he was playing at ‘half speed’ due to hip pointer throughout the Finals

Fred VanVleet, Raptors

Toronto Raptors backup guard Fred VanVleet revealed that he was actually playing hurt during the 2019 NBA Finals.

VanVleet admitted that he was playing at “half speed” against the Golden State Warriors in the recently concluded 2019 NBA Finals. The 25-year-old point guard was playing with a hip pointer injury.

It was also revealed that VanVleet was never 100 percent healthy during the entire 2018-19 NBA season. He was hurt during the preseason and never recovered fully, as he also dealt with toe, back, thumb and hip injuries.

While he was playing hurt, however, the former Wichita State standout still made a huge impact for the Raptors. He had big games for the newly crowned champions during their Eastern Conference Finals showdown with the Milwaukee Bucks. Meanwhile, in the 2019 NBA Finals, VanVleet averaged 14.0 points with 2.7 three-pointers per game on top of 2.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

VanVleet served as the Raptors’ spark plug off the bench, providing solid minutes whenever starting guard Kyle Lowry sits on the bench.

In the title-clinching Game 6, the third-year guard — who went undrafted in 2016 — scored 22 points with five three-pointers in 34 minutes. He scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, knocking down big shots to help the Raptors win their first title in franchise history.