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Fred VanVleet is a carbon copy of his teammate Kyle Lowry Raptors.

 

The defending NBA-champion Toronto Raptors are again the place they had been final season: the second seed within the Japanese Convention, contending for a championship. Moreover, they’re doing so after dropping celebrity Kawhi Leonard to free company. They’re on this scenario due to a mixture of veteran reliability and younger gamers on the rise.

A type of blossoming children is guard Fred VanVleet, who has panned out to be a carbon copy of his teammate, Kyle Lowry.

Kyle Lowry’s profession

Toronto acquired Lowry from the Houston Rockets in the summertime of 2012. Little did they know {that a} participant acquired to fill a void would turn into the guts and soul of the group.

Lowry ended up operating Toronto’s offense for the higher a part of final decade, and he rapidly turned the most effective level guards within the NBA with the Raptors.

He established himself as a gritty scorer, displaying a willingness to assault the rack regardless of not being a rushing bullet, so to talk. Concurrently, he was adept at making slick passes, sticking exterior leap pictures at a believable charge, and taking part in appreciable protection. These are the qualities of a two-way flooring basic.

Lowry is similar participant in 2020. He’s not blowing previous his cowl. That stated, he’s savvy. He takes what the protection provides him, will be efficient on a foul scoring evening, and runs an offense at a excessive stage. This season Lowry, 34, is casually averaging 19.7 factors and seven.7 assists per sport, eliminating any doubt over whether or not he has regressed from an affect and manufacturing standpoint.

Fred VanVleet’s profession

VanVleet was the most effective reserve guards within the sport throughout the primary three seasons of his NBA profession: an affect two-way participant who led the scoring cost off the bench. Now he’s a mainstay in head coach Nick Nurse’s rotation.

There’s nothing VanVleet can’t do at a decent stage offensively. He’s a easy ball handler, a affected person scorer, an environment friendly exterior shooter, and a formidable passer. This season VanVleet is averaging 17.6 factors, 6.6 assists, 3.eight rebounds, and 1.9 steals per sport whereas taking pictures 38.eight p.c from past the arc. That is his first season as a full-time starter.

VanVleet takes what the protection provides him, whether or not it’s an open three-pointer or a lane to the basket. In the meantime, he has a knack for pickpocketing and is a aggressive on-ball defender. It is a basically sound, well-rounded participant you need operating your offense.

Lowry and VanVleet have the identical tendencies, sturdy fits, prudent demeanor with the ball of their arms, and story of progressively turning into a spine on each ends of the ground. Heck, they virtually have the identical stature (Lowry is listed at 6-foot, 196 kilos, and VanVleet is listed at 6-foot-1, 197 kilos).

Fred VanVleet is Toronto’s newest participant growth surprise

VanVleet isn’t the primary and certain received’t be the final participant to develop right into a dependable starter with the Raptors. This dates again to Dwane Casey’s days operating the present and has continued beneath Nick Nurse. Simply take a look at their greatest participant, Pascal Siakam.

Two seasons in the past Siakam served as frontline depth for the Raptors. He was an athletic two-way participant who sometimes manned a reserve function. The following season Siakam was plugged into the beginning rotation and was probably the most very important elements to the Raptors’ championship run. This season he turned the driving pressure of their operation.

Siakam is averaging 23.6 factors, 7.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and one steal per sport this season. Is that good?

Norman Powell was an electrical bench scorer in years previous. This season he’s averaging a career-high 16.four factors per sport on 39.eight p.c taking pictures from past the arc. OG Anunoby was a defensive specialist who seldom contributed to the Raptors offense over his first two seasons within the NBA. This season he’s averaging 10.7 factors per sport whereas taking pictures 38.1 p.c from past the arc.

Fred VanVleet is an indispensable piece to the puzzle

The Raptors have a sample of creating younger gamers and/or righting veteran careers. VanVleet is the most recent instance of the group’s sly participant growth.

One might argue that VanVleet is the Raptors’ most essential participant not named Pascal Siakam this season. He supplies them with one other appreciable backcourt scorer and a do-it-all participant. These forms of gamers are troublesome to game-plan for as a result of they efficiently pivot to one thing else if a crew prioritizes shutting down a selected a part of their sport.

The long run is unsure for the Wichita State product in Toronto, as he hits the open market this offseason and can probably money in on a good-looking contract. VanVleet is in such a scenario as a result of he waited for his flip, didn’t complain about taking part in time, and seized the chance at hand. Concurrently, Nurse and his teaching employees put him able to succeed with a roster that has continuity and phenomenal chemistry.

Fred VanVleet is the modern-day Kyle Lowry. Toronto created a youthful model of its most profitable reclamation venture.

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