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Raptors’ Fred VanVleet fails to make a shot in consecutive games

Fred VanVleet, Raptors

The Toronto Raptors had one of the best benches in the NBA last season, and the terrific play of point guard Fred VanVleet was a big reason why. Unfortunately for the Raptors, that bench advantage has disappeared, and VanVleet’s play has a lot to do with it.

After a subpar first-round series against the Orlando Magic, VanVleet has been a zero against the Philadelphia 76ers. He has scored just four points over the first three games of this series, failing to make a field goal in Games 2 and 3, both Raptors losses.

In Thursday’s ugly 116-95 Game 3 loss in Philly, the point guard missed all seven of his field goal attempts, with five of those misses coming from beyond the arc. He also had just one assist in his 21 minutes of play off the bench. He has just four assists in the series and is a minus-25 in plus-minus.

VanVleet put up career highs in counting stats this season with 11.0 points, 4.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. But that was simply a function of seeing a major jump in minutes. His efficiency dipped several percentage points in terms of true shooting percentage.

VanVleet did miss about a month of action after undergoing left thumb surgery in mid-February, though he put up stellar numbers in March when he returned to the court. For whatever reason, the 25-year-old has been totally ineffective in these playoffs, and the Raptors need him to step up his game in order to come back in this Sixers series.