Fred VanVleet’s All-Star case gets stronger by the day. He’s no longer just a feel-good story about a guy who fought his way to the NBA, he’s now one of the best players in the Eastern Conference and the leader of an up-and-coming franchise.
Not so long ago, people didn’t even know who Fred VanVleet was. He’s now become one of the best backcourt defenders in the league, and his sharpshooting skills rank among the Association’s most efficient scorers as well.
His game may not be flashy and he won’t put anyone on a poster, but he’s a guy who rarely makes mistakes and does all the little things to help his team win. That’s why today, we’re going to dig deep into all of the NBA All-Star candidates and let you know just why Fred VanVleet should make the big game this season.
Freed VanVleet All-Star
We know that the All-Star game is a popularity contest more than anything. If you take a look at the NBA All-Star predictions 2022, chances are that you’re going to see plenty of players who have barely been on the court this season, like Klay Thompson.
VanVleet is unlikely to gauge that much attention. He’s not going to overtake DeMar DeRozan, Trae Young, or Zach LaVine for one of the two starting backcourt spots in the East. And, to be fair, he shouldn’t. Then again, that doesn’t mean that he should be snubbed altogether.
VanVleet’s stats in 2021-22 back up his case. The way his team has performed this season only adds his argument. And if the coaches know what’s fair, they should give VanVleet his first All-Star nod. Here, we’re going to let you know why Fred VanVleet All-Star 2022 should be a reality.
VanVleet’s numbers do the talking
The numbers speak for themselves. Fred VanVleet should be one of the top NBA All-Star candidates this season. Thus far, he’s averaging 21.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.7 steals, and 3.9 three-pointers per game (all career high).
He’s doing that on a league-leading 38.0 minutes a night while shooting 43.4/40.7/86.2 from the floor, which is an elite level of efficiency. Also, he averages just 2.7 turnovers per game and the Raptors have an offensive rating of 118 and a defensive rating of 111 with him on the floor.
His team has been pretty solid
Most people thought the Toronto Raptors were going to be a bottom-feeder this season. They expected them to trade Pascal Siakam and maybe even VanVleet. Fast-forward to today and, despite missing Kyle Lowry and all the injuries, they’re pushing for a top six spot.
The Raptors are ninth in the Eastern Conference at the time of writing. They’re well in the mix to avoid the Play-In. They look far ahead of schedule already and have been better than the Knicks, Celtics, and Hawks, and VanVleet is a big reason why.
Fan voting isn’t always right
The All-Star Game is all about giving the fans what they want, so it’s only normal to see that they have a lot of weight in the voting. Then again, some of the NBA All-Star candidates have performed way below other players, which often leads to snubs, just because of their popularity.
Take this season as an example. As of the second voting returned, Derrick Rose has nearly 25,000 more votes than VanVleet, while Kyrie Irving leads him by 210,000. Rose is one of the most beloved players in the league and Kyrie is one of the ultimate show-stoppers, but they have barely played this season. They shouldn’t even be reserves.
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