Raptors’ Fred VanVleet respects Warriors’ Stephen Curry, but says their mindset is to beat him
The Toronto Raptors are getting ready to battle the Golden State Warriors in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series, which will begin on Thursday. This is the first time in the Raps’ franchise that they will be legitimately fighting for a championship, and it won’t be easy, as they are going up against one of the greatest dynasties ever built in the history of the league.
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet has played a major role in helping the Raptors reach the Finals, and although he’s the team’s backup point guard, there is no doubt that he will be tasked to defend Warriors’ Steph Curry in certain stretches during the series.
VanVleet said he acknowledges the greatness of Curry, who has been a two-time league MVP, but added that he won’t be in the Finals to compliment him, but rather to compete against him and beat him.
VanVleet, after several Steph Curry questions: "He is who he is, I'm not going to sit up here and compliment him all day because we've got to go out there and compete. But obviously a guy like that, you respect him. Try to go out there and beat him, that's our mindset."
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) May 28, 2019
Aside from defending Curry, VanVleet is expected to provide outside shooting for the Raptors, as they are going up against arguably the best 3-point shooting team over the past five years. He was successful in doing that against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals, and he will look to continue that momentum against Golden State.
VanVleet quickly made a name for himself in the playoffs, as he was one of the Raptors’ most consistent players during the past couple of weeks. However, he will be in an unfamiliar situation a few days from now, and hopefully, he will be able to shake off the pressure and provide significant contributions to the team.
Because the Raptors will surely have their hands full against the three-peat seeking Warriors.