If there was a worrying undercurrent to the Raptors’ triumphant Game 1 win over the Wizards, it was the absence of Fred VanVleet. Injured in the last game of the season after ramming into the Heat’s Bam Adebayo (a large concrete slab of a man), VanVleet’s been listed as out with a bruised right shoulder. There are whispers that it’s more of a concussion, what with how woozy Fred looked in the moment, but that’s not the official party line.
Needless to say, on Toronto’s off day on Sunday, coach Dwane Casey was asked for an update regarding the Raps’ sixth man. And naturally, Casey was semi-cagey with details. He admitted that VanVleet was getting shots up, and putting some light work in, before settling on an assessment: “He’s much better ... he’s still day-to-day.”
Here’s the full interview:
On a positive, less mysterious note, the Raptors got some superlative performances from C.J. Miles and Lucas Nogueira in Game 1. In fact, if you’re still listening to Casey talk up there, you can hear some delightful words from Casey about Bebe.
The Raps coach calls Nogueira a “wild card” and a “luxury” but also commends him on being ready. While it wasn’t Bebe’s play alone that turned the tide for the Raptors, his surprising presence certainly didn’t hurt. (And, as we’ve already commented: maybe it was the turning point.)
Of course, we couldn’t miss a chance to hear Bebe expound on events too. The microphones were put in Nogueira’s face after his Game 1 performance, and he did not disappoint. Here’s the young Brazilian on staying ready, playing your role, and... drinking coconut water.
And finally, following a 4-of-8 shooting performance (including four 3s), Miles was all smiles in his chat with the media after practice. He too commended Bebe, and extended some love to the entire team’s preparation. You’ve got to love Miles’ chuckle as he admits, he likes having a guy like Bebe around: he’s always ready to pass the ball to him.
Here’s Miles on Game 1:
We’ll have more updates for you later today as the teams appear after shootaround today. Keep an eye open.