Fred VanVleet not looking forward to wearing mouthguard, says he has no concussion symptoms
The Toronto Raptors secured a massive victory in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, but it nearly came at a tremendous cost. With the momentum swinging in Toronto’s favor in the fourth quarter, Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet was struck by an inadvertent elbow by Kevon Looney as Looney was attempting to secure a rebound.
VanVleet was taken to the locker room, but luckily only needed stitches to his right eye. The former Wichita State standout did lose a tooth in the process, however, and will have to wear a mouthguard in Game 5 on Monday night, much to his own personal chagrin:
VanVleet says he hates wearing a mouthguard, all kids should wear them, but now he's going to have to. He says he will probably toss it at some point during game. Says he continues to have no concussion symptoms. Eye is a bit blurry, but he's had worse
— (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) June 9, 2019
VanVleet had been a non-factor for the majority of Toronto’s playoff run, and in fact was a major disappointment in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. VanVleet shot just 1 of 11 from the floor and 1 of 8 from beyond the arc.
But Raptors head coach Nick Nurse did not give up on his backup point guard, who responded by scoring 13 points on an efficient 5 of 6 shooting night in Game 4 before exploding for 21 points in Game 5.
In the Finals, VanVleet has been extremely effective, harassing Stephen Curry on the perimeter and reaching double figures in scoring in three of the first four games of the series. He has been more assertive on the offensive end, scoring off the bounce and providing a crucial option when guys like Kyle Lowry have struggled to find their scoring touch.
The Raptors will be hoping to close out the Warriors in Game 5 on Monday night, and VanVleet will once again figure to be a major contributor, mouthguard and all.