Title: Help from Jeremy Lin is coming, but for a night the Raptors thrive with just one point guard
Date: February 12, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors signing Jeremy Lin, Fred VanVleet being injured, and what a night with just one point guard can teach them.
For years now, the Raptors have run two point guards together for heavy minutes. Their roster has often been constructed with four players capable of running the point, and whether it was Nick Nurse or Dwane Casey before him, dual point guard lineups have been a staple of this era. Ball-handling and play-making are always at a premium, especially late in games, and splitting the responsibility can help the offence thrive without giving much back on defence because of the specific guards the Raptors have employed.
Monday, then, looked very different.
Delon Wright is now in Memphis, Lorenzo Brown was waived in January, Jordan Loyd is still working on the transition from combo guard to lead guard and shortly before tip-off against the Brooklyn Nets, the Raptors revealed that they would be without Fred VanVleet for at least three weeks. VanVleet suffered a partial ligament injury in his left (non-shooting) thumb attempting a steal in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against the New York Knicks and the thumb is now confined to a splint. In the bigger picture, the injury couldn’t be timed better — VanVleet’s hope is that the time off helps heal some of the nagging back and lower-body injuries he’s dealt with this year and Nurse pointed out that more than a week of his time on the shelf will conveniently come during the All-Star break (he’d miss seven games in those three weeks, compared to the usual 10-to-12 you’d expect in that span).