Raptors All-Star Guard Comments on Team's Recent Struggles

The Toronto Raptors have been struggling to find their identity this season. A slew of injuries has been plaguing the team recently and they haven't been able to find consistency. Raptors All-Star guard, Fred VanVleet, commented about the recent struggles of the team after last night's loss to Golden State. 

The Raptors are currently in the tenth seed with a 13-17 record. They've lost five straight games and eight out of the last ten. Safe to say, they are not where they want to be. VanVleet in a post-game conference admitted that "this is a terrible stretch for the team." He added that the team didn't "expect this or accept this." The All-Star guard ended optimistically though by mentioning that "there is a lot of basketball left to be played and a lot of time to fix it," but that they need to start "tomorrow." 

Head coach Nick Nurse has had to deal with a lot of injuries to the team. Currently, the defensive player of the year candidate, O.G. Anunoby has missed the last four games. Gary Trent Jr. has missed the last two games and five games total this season. Precious Achiuwa, a key bench player, has missed 18 games in a row due to injury. All-Star players and former champions, VanVleet and Pascal Siakam have missed 16 games in total. The other night, Nurse had to use the 16th different starting lineup in 29 games. 

The inconsistency in games played among the starting lineup that should be out there for the Raptors is what is hurting the team. Additionally, it contributes to a lack of identity and struggles offensively because they are looking for different players to step up on any given night. Consequently, the Raptors are ranked 27th in field goal percentage and 28th in three-point percentage.

The way the Raptors roster is currently built requires their starting lineup to show up every night. Unfortunately, that has not been the case and thus leading to a terrible start to the season. The positive light in the situation for Toronto is that they're only two games from the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Toronto plays Philadelphia tonight who are riding a four-game winning streak. VanVleet and the Raptors hope to break that tonight and get a win. 

Photo Credit John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports