Above all, Greivis Vasquez loves to win and as a result, the Raptors outspoken backup point guard is loving his time in this city and on this team. A starter in New Orleans and Sacramento, Vasquez has a reduced role in Toronto, but as he says, ‘Winning kills everything.’
“I am just getting an opportunity and every time (Coach Casey) gives me an opportunity to go out there and play my game, I can help the team,” Vasquez said. “I just love this team. I just love playing for this city. I am committed to this because I want to win like everyone else in the locker room. At the end of games, I am ready to go. Whether it’s scoring, rebounding, passing the ball or cheering, I want to win.”
There no complaints about roles or playing time from any of the four players that arrived from Sacramento in December. The Raptors locker room is solid and focused on winning games. The season has become all about getting better and making a postseason run.
“The whole purpose for this team is to finish the season strong and make a run in the playoffs,” Vasquez said. “We are very focused on that. It’s an amazing feeling. That’s what you worked so hard for. This team is one of the best teams I have been on because the chemistry, the atmosphere in the locker room. We talk with each other, there’s respect for each other. We are going to stick together. We know what we are playing for and we know what we want.”
Vasquez got off to a slow start in Sacramento this year and has been an up and down performer with the Raptors because of an off season ankle surgery, but since the All-Star break, he has been feeling better and his production has taken a significant jump. In his last 19 games, Vasquez has averaged 11.5 points and 3.5 assists in 22.5 minutes while hitting over 38 percent of his three-point attempts.
“I am just trying to do my job and I feel healthy, my ankle is not really bothering me at all, so it’s time for me to go,” Vasquez said. “I feel like I can do my job. I feel healthy, I feel good, especially at this time of year, this is when you have to showcase your game because this is big, big time basketball right here getting closer to the playoffs, to the seeding and all that stuff. You got to come focused and bring your ‘A’ game night in and night out.”
Toronto is going to need Vasquez’s ‘A’ game to be successful in the postseason. The 6’6 guard has proven to be a great change of pace and style from starting point guard Kyle Lowry and when Vasquez is hitting his shots, the Raptors can go to a very effective two point guard line-up that allows Lowry to play off the ball. Toronto has won some games with big fourth quarter performances from Vasquez already and this is one player that wants to be in the big moments.
“I can tell you this, I am not afraid at all,” Vasquez said. “I am not going to be afraid of the moment. I like big moments and that’s just my personality since college. I just got to do whatever it takes to help the team win games. Whenever my name is called, I am just going to go out there and do my job. I am ready to go. It’s all about confidence and believing in yourself and I got all of that.”
Vasquez doesn’t have to be prompted to talk about how much he enjoys being in Toronto. He is an outgoing positive voice in the locker room that is reveling in the Raptors success on the court. He has found the confidence to contribute, the willingness to enjoy the success of his teammates and he wears his love for the city, the team and his situation on his sleeves.
Toronto Raptors Greivis Vasquez On Free Agency
“Personally, I want to stay. I think it will be an interesting summer for a lot of guys. I am willing to stay if they want me here, but it’s a business at the end of the night – most of us are feeling pretty comfortable to stay and be a part of this team.”
Toronto Raptors Should Free Landry Fields
“It’s tough,” Fields said. “In the end everybody is a competitor and you want to go out there and produce for your team as best you can, but right now, it’s just not my role. Whether you like it or not, you have to maintain your professionalism because whether you are playing or not, the guys upstairs are still paying you and still expecting stuff out of you.”