'Helps when your two best players play good at the same time': Fred VanVleet after win vs. Thunder
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet discusses the rarity of himself and Pascal Siakam both having quality offensive games, attempts to slow down Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and more.
- Thanks, everybody. Go ahead.
- Fred, if you look at those offensive numbers, I think you got six guys, all with less than 20 shots, but won, 17 points. Is that the kind of goal you want for this group, to be that sort of diverse?
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah, I think so. I think the ball was moving. We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but we picked it up, just taking whatever the defense gives. Pascal was getting to his spots.
So I know I got to check the other numbers. But 28 free throws, 14 3's, that's pretty good offensively. Only 10 turnovers-- so yeah, I think we've made it all the way to three or four minutes left in the fourth before we took a fadeaway with three people on us.
So [LAUGHS] we usually get-- we usually get about five of those in the first quarter. And I tell-- listen, I'm talking about myself, too. This is nothing I wouldn't say to the guys. But yeah, we've been-- we're doing a lot better on offense lately.
- Defensively, I mean, you spent a little time on Shai, or quite a bit of time on Shai, especially in that first half.
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah.
- I mean, he gets 29, but none of them seemed real easy.
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah, I don't know. It looked pretty easy to me. I thought I was doing a good job. I looked up, he was 9 for 10. So he's one of those guys that it takes a full team to guard.
I guarded him pretty well in the first quarter. And it didn't take him long to figure that out. So OG was able to take him a little bit in the fourth, just to give him a different look.
But yeah, he's obviously one of the best in the league this year. And he's playing at a super, super high level, so tough matchup. And ultimately, just happy to be able to get the win.
- Doesn't seem like there's been too many games this year where you and Siakam have both been around that 20-point mark. Tonight was one of them. What does that sort of do for your offense when both of you guys are really in your groove?
FRED VANVLEET: Well, it helps when your two best players play good, so-- at the same time. So yeah, I mean, listen, we're just finding our groove. You can't really do nothing about the games that's behind us. You've got to focus on going forward.
And we've been playing pretty good basketball as of late. We've got to be able to keep it going.
- There were two dunks in the game, one by Yak, and one [? where ?] OG-- and they were pretty nasty, in the best way possible. What does that kind of do for you guys when they're doing something like that?
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah, it's just good momentum-- at home, get the crowd going when those guys playing above the rim. They had some great blocks on the defensive end as well. So being able to finish plays off like that, through contact, and being able to finish, and just get the energy and the momentum going, it gives your team a big boost.
- Thanks, Fred.
FRED VANVLEET: [? No ?] [? problem. ?]
- Thanks, Fred. Great--