Raptors guard Fred VanVleet was smothered by the Grizzlies with great success. Other teams are sure to do the same

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What did the old man see about the snake beheading it to kill it?

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As the Raptors are missing nearly half of their per-game scoring output through a reduced roster, opponents are taking this to heart, doing all they can to limit the offensive options available to Fred VanValet. and will not take any further steps from Toronto. and win a game.

It’s working.


very very good.

The Memphis Grizzlies were the most offensive team ever to deny VanVleet the ability to run the ball or the shot or the Raptors’ offense on Wednesday, and his success will surely be emulated by other opponents in the NBA copy world.

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“It’s going to come with the territory,” VanVleet said on Wednesday. “Obviously I’m getting better as a player, but with people on this team looking at the makeup they can show a little more attention.

“We just tried to find other ways to score points. It didn’t really go so well for us (against Memphis), but I’ll continue to learn from it and grow because that’s what it’s going to be, especially in this league where we Whoever plays is going to watch the film and see if they can take some of that.”

It will certainly help, if the Raptors get some scoring punches in the lineup and Gary Trent Jr. has practice on Wednesday, which is a positive sign, even though Ozzy Anunobi and Khem Birch have already played against the Bucks on Thursday. have gone out for

But it would also help a lot if one could start making shots with regularity. Yuta Watanabe and Scotty Barnes scored a three-on-three to lose Memphis. But Pascal Siakam, Swie Mykhailuk, Malachi Flynn, Dalano Banton and Chris Boucher were combined for three of 19 and 17 for 43 overall (39.5 percent) and that’s not enough for a Raptors team like this. Limited roster.

The galling – and telling – part is that most of those shots would be considered “good” and were simply missed.

“There’s going to be nights when they go in, there’s going to be nights where we get to 140 points, it’s going to happen at some point,” VanValet said. “There are going to be nights when you score 80, or 39 runs in the half. It’s gonna be.

“So, are you creating enough good looks and I thought we created some really cool looks. Now, not a lot of them went in. We could go to the basket. We paint for some easy looks. But I can attack the free throw line a little more. But I thought we had created some look. Just the rhythm and flow wasn’t really there, which you know, you can expect.”

One place the Raptor could get a boost, especially with less second unit, is from Flynn. He is getting more playing time now than in the first 15 games of the season, but he is just 3-for-18 from a three-point boundary in his last seven games.

He missed six in a row on Tuesday before making his last spot in the final two minutes of the game.

“They’ve got to be free to do something quick or some stop-start, but the bottom line is they have to shoot a much higher percentage than they shoot,” said coach Nick Nurse. “He gives us a lift when he can come in and have a blast. He can usually do that right away.

“Right now in a game for us when there is a small margin for error, we just have to make more of those shots. He is a good shooter. He is a good scorer. He can do this. He just has to get a little more comfortable from there, get a few more reps, take a little more swag and whittle them down. ,


Raptors Three-Point Shooting

Fred VanVleet: 65-of-168 (38.7 percent)

Team remaining, combined: 181-in-556 (32.5 percent)

Doug Smith is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @smithraps
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