Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet is finding new ways to surprise Raptors fans. The latest, his ability to make quick decisions, make shots at crucial times and demonstrate leadership with the variety of young players on Toronto.
AMIT MANN: We talked about the defense. Rotations are getting better. They aren't making as many mistakes. They're staying home a little bit more. We talked about Scotty Barnes, just how incredible he's going to be this year, in four years. I get goosebumps thinking how good he's going to be in five years. It's ridiculous.
SAVANNA HAMILTON: Yep.
AMIT MANN: Talk about Fred VanVleet. Because it was a masterclass game from him from the first half to the second half. In the first half, you're going to face guard me, OK, I'm going to find my teammates. Second half, they made some adjustments now. He's getting off ball. And now he's running Jrue Holiday and other Bucks through screens. And he's hitting jumpers and then down the stretch, he's like, it's my time now.
Get out of the way, here we go, class is in session, everyone. Arrive on time. Let's go. It was beautiful. Like it was beautiful.
SAVANNA HAMILTON: Yeah, and we also-- we all heard about the end of the game, like I think it was like 0.7 seconds left like on the clock, like 0.7. And he goes to everybody. He gets everybody. He's like, don't F-ing move, like yells that. He can see him like mouth it. And then it's like, all the guys are like, just like nodding their heads like, OK. And also, like how many times have we seen it with the quote that came out, I believe, yesterday with Yuta being like, you know, when I messed up, Fred VanVleet, like he calls me out and I listen to him.
AMIT MANN: No, he crosses him, he cusses him out.
SAVANNA HAMILTON: Cusses him out, cusses him out, right not calls, cusses. Yo, if someone cussed me out on the court, I'd be like, bro. Be nice, you know, still be nice. But, yeah, I think it's one thing that Fred VanVleet has developed in his game is his leadership. And, you know, he wasn't able to express that as much because there was a leader last year in Kyle Lowry. So now that we're seeing this and him coming to his own and what leadership looks like to him, he's doing nothing but I think a really great job.
And don't get me wrong, like it is still a learning curve for him. I'm sure he's going to have some ups and downs and within his own style of play and what he needs to vocalize to the guys when to be vocal, when to be silent, when to like also let them work it through themselves. Because these guys are all grown men and they're all smart. So they they know what is going wrong or they know-- you know, maybe it's a matter of like,
OK, I don't know how to fix it, but I know what's happening here. And so when to step in and when to be quiet. But, yeah, he also like, how many times this season have we seen him put the team on his back and really carry this team to the finish line of some of these games, man? Like this guy literally has the most minutes played and most miles ran per game in the league. And he--
AMIT MANN: I love that stat too.
SAVANNA HAMILTON: Right?
AMIT MANN: And he knows it too. He tells everyone. He's like, yeah, I lead the league in miles ran per game, so you guys--
SAVANNA HAMILTON: He's like, cardio is great.
AMIT MANN: Cardio is all good. Actually, who leads the league in miles ran on the defensive end? I think it's actually Scotty Barnes.
SAVANNA HAMILTON: Interesting, interesting, I'm not-- I can't, yeah. See, like these type of numbers are not surprising with this Raptors team, the way they play and how like they're still a pretty quick team and they move really fast. Like sometimes, I'm like slow the game down a little bit, guys. But other times, they're just like bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. So I can't be too surprised with those numbers, those stats. But, yeah, I think Fred VanVleet, like he's been doing a tremendous job and we just saw it again last night.