The Toronto Raptors, simply put, have been disappointing this season. A confusing lack of shot creating guards as well as a legitimate big man on the interior caused by a fixation on hyper-switchable defensive wings has led to uneven results. Despite Fred VanVleet’s best efforts in the past few games, the Raptors suffer yet another defeat, this time to the New York Knicks, but not before mounting another spirited comeback with the game out of reach.
It’s not for a lack of trying, particularly from the Raptors starters, that they have come up short more often than not in recent weeks. Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby, all of whom have missed time this season due to injury, comprise the top three league leaders in minutes per game around the league. Thus, plenty have grown concerned over VanVleet’s health, especially when he has had to miss a few games with back injury throughout the season.
However, VanVleet put that talk to bed, saying that he will give it his all and play as long as he’s physically capable.
“I’ll be fine. If there’s anything wrong with me, I won’t play. Write it down,” VanVleet said after their 112-108 loss to the Knicks, per Eric Koreen of The Athletic.
Alas, Fred VanVleet’s burden is considerable, and he may be forced to sit out a few games if he continues to log heavy minutes. But that may not be even up to question. Despite head coach Nick Nurse’s goal to reduce his star point guard’s minutes, the Raptors need the 6’1 point guard out of Wichita State to play as many minutes as he can given the Raptors’ questionable depth. But FVV appears to be ready to take on whatever burden the Raptors throw at him.