Raptors’ Marc Gasol says Fred VanVleet ‘doesn’t look so good right now’ after losing tooth
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet had to leave the game early in the fourth quarter of Game 4 after getting elbowed in the face by Golden State Warriors’ Shaun Livingston. His team managed to get a 105-92 win. However, Marc Gasol said that VanVleet doesn’t look good at the moment.
Gasol on VanVleet: "(Losing) the tooth is tough. He doesn't look so good right now. You probably won't see him smile much the next couple days, but I don't think anybody is going to smile yet. We're all happy but we're not satisfied."
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) June 8, 2019
This isn’t a serious injury. Gasol is just stating the obvious; that VanVleet might find it hard to smile while missing a tooth. But the veteran center’s statement has a deeper meaning to it.
The Raptors are one win away from winning their first-ever championship, but they cannot celebrate just yet. If there’s a team that’s capable of coming back from a 3-1 series deficit, it’s the Warriors. So it will be better for VanVleet not to smile for a couple of days, as they still haven’t gotten the job done.
After struggling through the first two rounds of the playoffs, VanVleet emerged as one of the most important players on the Raptors’ roster by providing quality minutes off the bench in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. The 25-year-old guard, who went undrafted back in 2016, carried his momentum to the Finals and is once again providing a significant contribution to the team.
In the Raptors’ Game 4 win, VanVleet had another solid outing, putting up eight points, six assists, and four boards before leaving the game. He’s clearly playing his role well for Toronto, and he hopes to repay the team’s trust by helping them win the championship.
Then, and only then, will he be able to smile wholeheartedly.
Even if he’s missing a tooth.