We got another update on Fred VanVleet today after shoot-around, even if it wasn’t anything new. As far as how VanVleet feels today, Casey noted that “He went through most of practice today, and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
So that’s good news. If he’s able to get a few shots up, all the better in terms of his chances of suiting up. With that said, he appears to be a legitimate game-time decision for tomorrow’s Game 2 match-up.
Dwane Casey was asked which area he expects the Raptors second-year point guard to affect the series the most when he returns, to which Casey answered: “3-point shooting.”
VanVleet indeed has been one of the most consistent shooters for Toronto over the second half of the season, and when combined with an accurate C.J. Miles, the two have shined against opposing benches.
Watch Casey’s media scrum from earlier today, where he talks about what Fred’s injury means for the rotation and also the team’s fourth-quarter defense in Game 1:
Kyle Lowry, meanwhile, spoke about how difficult it is defending Bradley Beal and John Wall, who together possess both speed and insanely efficient shooting mechanics, making each guard dangerous in their own right.
Lowry was tasked with guarding Beal for a good chunk of Game 1, and could be asked to provide more of the same defensive pressure even if Fred VanVleet returns to the lineup. In addition to playing excellent defense on Beal, Lowry gave fans one of the top defensive highlights of the game when he successfully stopped a Wall fast-break layup with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
For what it’s worth, Lowry also seemed excited for the return of VanVleet — whenever that may be. “I love [playing off the ball with Fred]. It gives me a chance to play decoy a bit...to be aggressive, go down-hill.”
Starring off the bench in his first substantial playoff role, Delon Wright did not disappoint. While looking shaky in the first half, Wright buckled down over halftime and provided the Raptors with irreplaceable shot-making down the stretch, including a few clutch buckets toward the end of the game.
Wright, however, seems to have a good grip on how the Wizards have and will continue to play him on defense, and he’s looking more than ready to take whatever they give him:
Now, on to tomorrow’s Game 2. It’s Raptors vs. Wizards at the early start time: 7:00pm.