VanVleet Snubbed, Raptors Fall in Second Game to Philadelphia
Turns out the Toronto Raptors are mortal without the presence of Kyle Lowry.
Prior to tonight, the Raptors have won an impressive 16 straight in the absence of their multiple-time All-Star point guard. That streak evaporated against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday evening as the Raptors fell by a score of 109-102.
Despite holding Joel Embiid to 3-of-13 shooting, the Raptors offense was unable to come alive to extend its win streak to five games. Pascal Siakam finished with 22 point, six boards, and seven assists, while Norman Powell put together a nice 24 point game in the loss. Meanwhile, All-Star snub Fred VanVleet was two boards and two assists shy of a triple-double.
“It is what it is. Obviously, you know, I’m human. I’m disappointed. I really, as much as it doesn’t matter, it does matter, if that makes sense. I’m not gonna lie and say, oh, I don’t care. Obviously I care, and it’s something that I want to be a part of someday,” VanVleet said after not cracking the All-Star reserves from the East. “But I think just having the proper perspective on it and the understanding that I’m not going anywhere. This is not going to be my last year being up for an All-Star. I think I was very close, and all the guys that made it were very deserving. That’s the case every year. I’ll keep getting better and getting myself a better case next year, and go from there. But I don’t play for that. I try to play the game the right way. And also it’s too much real shit going on the world for me to be crying about making the All-Star game, you know what I’m saying?”
Following the loss, Nurse voiced his displeasure after VanVleet failed to get the All-Star nod.
“I’m very disappointed,” he said. “I was trying to stop the narrative, the narrative that I kept hearing was oh, if you guys wouldn’t have had such a bad start. Well, the voting just ended yesterday, I mean we’re like 14 and 7 in our last 21. I mean, were you still stuck on our 2 and 8 start? I mean, Kyle’s been out a bunch of games, he’s picked up the slack for a six-time All-Star, won a lot of games, beat a lot of good teams, had huge games. I’m disappointed, I take nothing away from the guys that made it. I’m sure there’s some other guys on other teams that are very disappointed as well but, I think he’s played his guts out and our team’s played pretty well and he’s been a big reason for it.”
The Raptors will need to regroup quickly after this one as they will take on the Miami Heat tomorrow night and Lowry might very well be back in the fold.