Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet has been on an excused leave of absence to be with his wife, who gave birth to a son on Monday. Freddy missed this morning's shootaround as well, but he's expected to be available for Thursday night's Game 5 matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, according to a report from ESPN's Tim Bontemps.
Fred VanVleet was excused from shootaround to be home with his wife and newborn child in Rockford, Illinois. He will be in uniform and available tonight for Game 5 against the Bucks.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 23, 2019
VanVleet has enjoyed a great week. Not only did he and his wife welcome a new child into the world, but he also managed to score 13 points and six assists off the bench for the Raptors in their Game 4 win. In the end, he finished with a plus/minus score of +25.
Following his breakout performance in Game 4, VanVleet spoke about the birth of his second child, Fred Jr:
“It makes you tired,” VanVleet said of welcoming a second child, via ESPN. “It gives you a little perspective, I guess, on life. I had a lot of time to think. Had to sit at the hospital all day, had a lot of time to think, obviously a plane ride back.
“It just changes the way you're looking at things,” VanVleet added. “You are not so down on yourself about everything.”
Prior to Tuesday's Game 4 win, VanVleet was struggling to find a shooting rhythm. In fact, coming into Tuesday's matchup, he was 7-of-44 overall and 3-of-25 from 3-point range.
“I think he needed it,” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry told ESPN, referring to VanVleet. “I think those type of things kind of relaxed him a little bit.
“Sometimes it's just one or two shots where something happens,” Lowry added. “It's all mental sometimes.”
The Raptors and Bucks will meet for Game 5 on Thursday night. Tip-off inside the Fiserv Forum is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, with TNT having live broadcast coverage.