VanVleet has been on a tear lately and it’s helped lift the Raptors.
VanVleet is the stand-out and has been playing some of the best basketball of his career.
There’s a reason people are calling him Steady Freddy – he’s become the most consistent and impressive part of the Raptors.
21, 32, 37, 19, 33, 35, 21, 27, 31 – these are VanVleet’s point totals for the last string of games he’s played and, as you can see, they are impressive.
So far for January, VanVleet is averaging 29.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and six assists a game with a season total of 22 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.6 assists.
VanVleet has become an offensive unit and is taking more shots than normal and, surprisingly, landing many of them.
In his last five games, VanVleet is making 44.4 percent of his threes and 45.4 percent of his overall field goals.
That three-point stat is particularly interesting because his career average before this season was 38.8 percent from beyond the arch.
Some are saying that he’s in the running for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award and those people would have a point.
VanVleet has started to surge with his point output and it’s had a huge impact on the team and its success.
It’s also led to him being named the NBA Player of the Week alongside another superstar, Ja Morant.
NBA Players of the Week for Week 12.
— NBA (@NBA) January 10, 2022
VanVleet has been consistent and, in a league full of injuries and COVID-related absences, available – he’s only missed three games so far this season.
When he is on the court, the team is all the better because of it.
On his offensive powers alone, VanVleet should be in consideration for the NBA All-Star team.
But he’s not just making a lot of noise at the basket; VanVleet is still doing surprisingly well on the defensive end of the floor.
He’s only 6-foot-1, not huge for an NBA player.
Yet VanVleet is achieving 4.2 rebounds a game in his last five games and is consistently pressuring the guy he’s covering.
Defense has always been one of VanVleet’s stronger skills so it’s not a huge shock to see him continue to be that sort of player.
But it is a bit impressive because he is doing so while growing so much as an offensive player.
“I’m not quite sure there’s anybody playing better than him in the East right now.” 👀
– Monty Williams on Fred VanVleet
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 12, 2022
He isn’t sacrificing one part of his game for the other, he is able to be a reliable and strong two-way player – something that every team needs.
VanVleet is so good that he’s now become the de facto leader of the Raptors and the entire roster is being built around him.
Fans of Toronto have been demanding this sort of arrangement for years and they are finally getting it.
VanVleet is thriving in this new position and he’s giving hope to all the Raptors fans that thought they needed a big name acquisition to make it into the playoffs.
The Raptors still have a lot of fighting to do if they want to push into the postseason but if they keep playing like they are – and VanVleet continues to dominate like he is – they can make it.