VanVleet hit a number of crazy, clutch shots, finishing with 22 points in 33 minutes on the night, while dropping 12 in the fourth quarter. He was 5-for-11 from 3-point range and played tough defense on Stephen Curry for most of the second half.
It was quite a rise from VanVleet who went undrafted in 2016 and wound up catching on with the Raptors thanks to the 2016 NBA Summer League. He spent time in the D-League in with the Raptors 905 as a rookie, then solidified a spot in Toronto during the 2017-18 season, becoming a breakout star.
After being nominated for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2018, more was expected from the Wichita State product this season. He delivered as a key two-way bench player for the Raptors. He didn’t get the headlines of Leonard, Lowry or Pascal Siakam, but he was every bit as valuable to Toronto.
VanVleet averaged 14.0 points in the NBA Finals after being below his season average of 11.0 points during the first three rounds of the postseason.
He stepped up and delivered when Toronto needed him the most.