Title: ‘He got thrown out for me:’ Raptors’ Fred VanVleet has mentor in Kyle Lowry
Date: November 7, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the mentor-mentee relationship between Raptors point guards Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet.
It looked as if Fred VanVleet was out of the Toronto Raptors’ rotation. Through eight games, he was averaging 3.4 points and 1.6 assists, shooting 26.5 per cent, and, while he was a part of strong second units that had — for the most part — posted positive results, he wasn’t on the floor in his usual spot late in the first quarter or early in the second against the Washington Wizards on Sunday.
It was understandable. Head coach Dwane Casey is juggling 12 capable rotation players, and while the team remains high on him, VanVleet was performing the worst of the group. Tasking Delon Wright with running a second unit alone would open up minutes for both OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam, and VanVleet’s proven himself capable of coming in and providing an emergency spark if necessary.
He didn’t have to wait long to do just that. Kyle Lowry wound up ejected with a double technical midway through the second quarter, and all of a sudden VanVleet was not only back in the game’s rotation plans but a big part of them. That Lowry’s ejection would offer VanVleet a window of opportunity to regain his footing seems apropos given how much Lowry had already done while VanVleet was playing below his standard.
“I think he got thrown out for me though, so I could get more minutes,” VanVleet said.