Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet proved to be a tremendous chief for Nick Nurse on the bench


The Toronto Raptors may have simply laid down and died in opposition to the Washington Wizards, as Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet had been out for the Eleventh-place membership, however they ended up taking down Russell Westbrook’s squad due to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by new addition Gary Trent Jr. in simply one of many excessive factors of this difficult season.

Whereas VanVleet, who’s averaging 19.8 factors per sport this season after signing an enormous four-year contract within the offseason, sat out this sport after sustaining a hip flexor harm throughout their annihilation of the Golden State Warriors. That doesn’t imply that VanVleet didn’t have an effect on the sport.

VanVleet was an unofficial assistant coach for the Raptors final night time, continually clapping to encourage the remainder of the squad and doing his finest to encourage. It was VanVleet who was the primary to congratulate Trent after his game-winning shot, displaying the very fact he’s already forming a bond along with his new teammate.

Nick Nurse actually favored what he noticed and heard out of VanVleet throughout this sport, claiming that No. 23 was a vocal presence throughout timeouts and a “actual optimistic affect” for the crew.

Fred VanVleet’s positivity had an impression on the Toronto Raptors

Not solely was Trent one of many focal factors of the offense, however DeAndre’ Bembry was compelled into the beginning lineup and rookie Malachi Flynn performed a career-high in minutes. Bembry has some very good completed close to the rim, whereas Flynn had by far his finest sport as a professional, making performs on each ends of the court docket.

VanVleet rose from an undrafted free agent out of Wichita State to the most effective guards within the sport, all of the whereas turning into an integral a part of a crew that ended Toronto’s championship drought. You don’t accomplish that with out having a masterful capability to encourage each your self and others, and that expertise was on show in opposition to the Wizards.

Who is aware of? Perhaps when VanVleet’s NBA profession involves an finish, there can be a spot along with his title on it as an assistant coach in Toronto? He’s definitely received the emotional a part of being a coach down pat.

Even when VanVleet is sitting this sport out resulting from an harm, the positivity that he radiates could be felt throughout this crew. When he will get again on the court docket, alongside a bunch that has discovered some confidence, the Raptors would possibly be capable of make slightly run right here.


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