Surprised? Absolutely not, right?
For the first time in his career, Fred VanVleet is the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. He becomes the 11th Raptor to win it (and first since Norm Powell in March of 2020), joining Powell, Siakam, Leonard, Lowry, DeRozan, Lou Will, Mike James, Bosh, Rose and Carter.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) January 10, 2022
As if he heard everyone saying “hmm, maybe Fred VanVleet is an All-Star” and then turned his case up to 11, the Raptors point guard has been named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week — coming after arguably the best run of his career.
VanVleet averaged 30.5 points per game in a 4-0 week for the Raptors, including a stretch against the Utah Jazz you had to see to believe — part of his career’s first triple-double.
Fred VanVleet in the 3rd quarter ALONE vs. the Jazz:— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 8, 2022
5-of-5 FT pic.twitter.com/Nzo1t9VNBq
The week was full of yell-from-your-couch moments, including the six points in two trips late to ensure a win over the Pelicans.
Since Dec 1, Fred VanVleet ranks 9th overall in clutch time scoring. Here's his work from last night vs. the Pelicans— Amit Mann (@Amit_Mann) January 10, 2022
He cannot be ignored. One way or another, Fred is gonna be an All-Star this season pic.twitter.com/HIKD4eWG1g
The list goes on.
VanVleet has been at the centre of success for Toronto, as they look to continue a win streak against the shorthanded Suns tomorrow night. His outside shooting has catapulted to a new level this season, as he’s averaging 40.9% on 9.4 attempts per game — up from 36.6% on 9.2 attempts in the Tampa season. (He’s also shooting them from further out).
Fred has taken on some of Kyle Lowry’s old burden too, seeing an uptick in both assists, minutes, and rebounds per game in 2021-22.
We know already that this team will go as far as Fred VanVleet takes them. For now, we get to celebrate his success as he has the Raps flirting with the top five in the East.