In a season that has been mostly disappointing, there have been a couple of bright lights for the Raptors. The biggest one is probably the play of Jonas Valanciunas. While he did have a couple of bumps in the road, including a couple of injuries that have caused him to miss a total of 19 games so far, most Raptor fans have a lot of optimism regarding his future.

The question is whether or not it’s warranted.

Let’s compare his current numbers to some of his contemporaries.

Among Rookies:

– 8th in scoring
– 2nd in field goal percentage
– 4th in free throw attempts and made
– 8th in free throw percentage
– 3rd in rebounding
– 3rd in blocks
– 5th in blocks per minute
– 3rd in double doubles

Those are obviously very good numbers, in comparison to the rest of the league’s rookies. To me, he seems a very good bet to me the All Rookie 1st team, which would make him the first Raptor to make it since Andrea Bargnani and Jorge Garbajosa (wouldn’t that make a great bookend to Colangelo’s tenure in Toronto- most importantly let’s just get rid of him already).

Of course, basic stats don’t tell the whole story, and can often be misleading, so let’s dig a little deeper.

His Advanced Stats are also good. While he’s only got the 11th highest PER, among all rookies, and 10th in Rebounding Percentage, he’s 3rd in True Shooting Percentage, 4th in Win Share and 5th in Block Percentage.


Let’s see how he compares to a former Raptors big man who ended up becoming a perennial All Star, Chris Bosh:

Jonas Valanciunas Chris Bosh
Per 36 Minutes: Per 36 Minutes:
13.3 ppg 12.3 ppg
9.1 rpg 8 rpg
Advanced Stats: Advanced Stats:
PER: 15.4 PER: 15.1
TS%: .612 TS%: .513
REB%: 15 REB%: 12.8
Block%: 4.1 Block%: 3.1
Win Share/48: .126 Win Share/48: .119

Bosh was a year younger than Valanciunas, when he came into the league, but it’s interesting to see how Valanciunas has an advantage in nearly all of the numbers, more than can be accounted for simply him being a year older. There are some who have questioned whether Valanciunas will be an All Star, but I think it’s not only a good possibility, I think, depending on health etc, I think it’s a good probability.

Valanciunas has shown the makings of a very good post game and his ability to get to the line is a great indicator of whether he can become a good scorer. Free throws attempted divided by field goals attempted is the best indicator of how well a player can get to the line, and it’s not dependant on how many minutes a player plays and how involved in the offense he is.

Top top scorers in the league generally have a FTA-FGA ratio of, at least, .350. Big men tend to have a higher ratio, especially big men who score inside. In Chris Bosh’s rookie season, he had a .405 ratio.

Valanciunas has a rate of .486. That means for nearly every two shots he takes, he gets to the line once. That’s the best rate among all rookies this year and that’s a great sign that he’ll be able to manufacture points, as he develops his offensive game. Add the fact that he had the 12th highest free throw percentage of any rookie center in NBA history (6-10 and taller), and that that’s even more encouraging.

For your post up center able to hit free throws at a decent rate is so important, especially at the end of games. Interestingly, Brook Lopez, who was an All Star this year for the Nets, is 11th all time for rookie centers, in free throwpercentage (Lopez also had a FTA-FGA ratio of .484).

On a side note, if Shaquille O’Neal had hit even 70% of his free throws, over the course of his career, he would have scored nearly 2,000 more points, which is the equivalent of scoring 24 ppg over an entire 82 game season.

Back to Brook Lopez, he’d be another good player to compare Valanciunas to, not just because they play in the same era, but because Lopez was 20 when he came into the league, and was also a rare, back to the basket center.

Brooklyn Nets' Lopez shoots over Los Angeles Lakers' Gasol and Clark in the fourth quarter of their NBA basketball game in Brooklyn, New York
Jonas Valanciunas Brook Lopez
Per 36 Minutes: Per 36 Minutes:
13.3 ppg 15.4 ppg
9.1 rpg 9.6 rpg
Advanced Stats: Advanced Stats:
PER: 15.4 PER: 17.9
TS%: .612 TS%: .568
REB%: 15 REB%: 15.8
Block%: 4.1 Block%: 4.9
Win Share/48: .126 Win Share/48: .112

Now, Lopez had a little better stats, right across the board, including, interestingly enough, in rebounding, an area which he has been below average in the rest of his career. Lopez had the advantage of playing on a team with two All Stars (Vince Carter and Devin Harris-in his only All Star appearance), both of whom could shoot the three and space the floor better than most of Valanciunas’ teammates.

Still I think it does give an indication of what the future could hold for Valanciunas. Considering the scoring touch he’s shown, as well as his ability to rebound the ball and defend, as well as his renowned work ethic, I don’t see how you can argue he won’t one day make an All Star team.

To end things off, I thought I would see how Valanciunas compares, historically, with other 20 year old, or under, centers statistically.

Valanciunas is 1st all-time in true shooting percentage, 9th in ppg, 10th in rpg, 3rd in free throw percentage, 9th in PER, 9th in Block% and 6th in Win Share/48.

While the future may not be very bright for the Raptor franchise as a whole, at least we have Valanciunas. And that’s a lot better than a cookie.

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  • Paul Stevens

    Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait to see how he turns out. But fortunately I get the consolation of being able to watch JV as he develops.

  • pran

    with us looking to push the ball the last couple of games and having some success, is it possible that valanciunas’s offensive role/effectiveness will be less next year than what he was able to do in the 2nd half of the season? He is certainly the slowest player at running the floor if the rest of the lineup consisted of amir/derozan or ross/gay/lowry, especially since he is still getting pushed around and will be looking to add even more mass this offseason, slowing him down further…..Golden state for example rarely scores off bogut post ups.

    • Optimistic

      I don’t think that’s going to be an issue. He certainly doesn’t plod along like bogut, and u need somebody acting as the trail man. Also it doesn’t matter how fast u want to play, there are going to be possessions where u have to slow it down and work in the half court (especially in the playoffs). Jonas could end up getting more touches if they consciously try to get him involved in those possessions in which they are stuck in the half court. Hopefully the raps get the best of both worlds next year, with Gay, derozen and Lowry running the break and Jonas getting lots of touches when they are in the half court. Also fits Amir well because he can bust his ass on the break, or pull down O-rebs and work the high low with JV in the half court

    • Fast break only teams lose in the playoffs. You want a Title? You need a real center (or three ok centers like Jordan’s Chicago)

      I believe this has already been established in a previous article.

    • All you have to do is look at the teams of the 80’s. They all ran way more than teams do today. The Boston Celtics, the year they won 67 games and the title, scored 114 ppg, and that was 8th in the league, then! The highest scoring team this year are Houston and Oklahoma, and they score 106 ppg. That would be 5th last in 1986.

      Boston had both McHale and Parish, two excellent post up big men who scored a lot in the post.

      And it’s not as if Valanciunas is a lumbering big man. He runs the floor well.

      Bogut is a very good center, but he’s never been a big scorer in the NBA.

    • Roarque

      I wouldn’t rush to add mass at this stage – max 10% more body weight in muscle. The kids is already strong and he has the example of Amir to use as his template for success. Nimble is good in today’s NBA and he can run the floor better at 240-250. Tim’s right that Valanciunis is fast – it’s just that he doesn’t look as fluid in his running style beside a gazelle like DeRozan or Gay. Check out Dirk or Tim – that’s the way to go imo. Save the knees because they’re the weal link in any large athlete.

  • JV will be really good. And I don’t think anyone will be comparing him to Rupaul ever in his career.

    Bosh is nothing more than a thinner Chris Webber. Total meh.

    • I know it’s “in” for Raptor fans to hate on Bosh, but the guy was the second best Raptor in the history of the franchise, averaged, at least, 22 ppg over his last 5 seasons as a Raptors, double figures in rebounding 3 times.

      • Run everything through a guy, you get numbers. You know it’s true.

        • Blame Bosh for leaving, sure, but give him credit where credit is due. He scored efficiently and earned his All Star appearances. This wasn’t a case of a volume shooter scoring only because he was being given enough shots. Bosh was miscast as the #1 option and franchise player, but if he was your second best player, you could definitely build a contender around that.

          • I don’t blame him for leaving. Don’t get me wrong on that one. Yes, he hit his shots. Yes, he deserved some star recognition. Ok, I do concede he would be a really great #2 (no Wade with LeBron in Miami NEED a real center though).

        • Thats stupid. Ask the Magic how efficient Big Baby was taking 20 shots a game before his injury. High usage means double teams. Bosh was efficient, scored lots and rebounded decent.

    • Sorry, wasn’t done. He also made the All NBA second team, as a Raptor, has the franchise record for most points, most rebounds and most blocks. No, he never lead the team past the first round of the playoffs, but his biggest problem was he cast as a franchise player and wasn’t one. And the only All Star he ever played with was Vince Carter, who was traded in Bosh’s second season.

      As for Webber, he was a 5 time All-Star, averaged 20 and 10 over his entire career, including one season when he averaged 27 ppg and 11 rpg, made the All NBA first team once, the second team 3 times and the third team once. And he was the best player on a Sacramento team that made the Western Conference Finals.

      I think Valanciunas would be fortunate to have a career like that.

      • If you thought up of multiple All-Star appearances and franchise leader in points, rebounds and blocks to Chris Bosh when he was a rookie, we all would have been daydreaming. I think JV definitely has the great potential, he is a hard working kid with all the physical tools to go with it to be an all-star someday.

        • I thought Bosh had the potential to become the player he did, as a rookie. He certainly showed the ability to score, rebound and even defend, at a high level and I was VERY excited about his potential.

  • Tee

    Nice work Tim & thanks for a good read.

    but may i suggest that this quote:

    -“(wouldn’t that make a great bookend to Colangelo’s tenure in Toronto- most importantly let’s just get rid of him already).”

    Considering BC is the one that drafted Jonas this devalues your suggestions/article or vice versa.

    Im just saying that adding pointless (nothing to do with the content of this piece), & un-clever jabs at management undermines your work.

    • Drafting Valanciunas doesn’t make up for 7 seasons of poor decisions.

      • Guy

        What poor decisions did Colangelo make in the 06-07 season(his first)? Considering the moves he made that year resulted in a 20 game turnaround, a division title, the team’s first playoff appearance in 4 years & he was awarded Executive of the Year, I’m wondering how you consider that a season of poor decisions?

        What about the 10-11, 11-12 seasons after Bosh left? Rather than some knee-jerk reaction, Colangelo made no ill-advised expensive signings but, instead, drafted well & let the young guys play/develop. Other than not dealing Bargnani, what were the poor decisions Colangelo made in those 2 years?

        • ItsAboutFun


          Yeah, I’d like to know how drafting DD and drafting ED were poor decisions, or extending Amir at the bargain price the Raps have him for another 2 years beyond this

          • Really, you think drafting Davis, Valanciunas and re-signing Amir make up for drafting Bargnani, extending Bargnani, not trading Bargnani, signing Kapono, trading for Jermaine O’Neal, signing Turkoglu, etc, etc, and giving the Raptors franchise it’s longest playoff drought in franchise history?

            I also hate the notion of grading each individual move, as if that’s how you build a team. A GM can not make one bad move and still do a poor job if he doesn’t actually build a winner. Of course, not only has Colangelo made a lot of bad moves, he has not been able to build a winner. So it’s a fail on both accounts.

            • ItsAboutFun

              Those are quit the couple of rants you went off on here. I didn’t say anything about the good moves making up for the bad moves. Not even close.

              Allow me to summarize: In your article about “JV” (remember the topic you chose?), you wandered off on a rant about poor management of the team, to which “Tee” responded “that adding pointless (nothing to do with the content of this piece), & un-clever jabs at management undermines your work.”, to which you threw out the RR cliched rhetoric of “7 seasons of poor decisions”.

              “Guy”, with minor support from me, pointed out why your oft repeated “7 seasons” is inaccurate. For a guy who puts so much stock in naked stats of players, surely you can find a way to appreciate accuracy with such a simple single digit stat. The simple fact is, as “Guy” pointed out, he did wonders with the team his first year, and what are these bad moves you speak of since Bosh took his talents south?

              Nice rants though. Even if they don’t respond to a respectfully presented rebuttal to your statement.

              • See my answer above…

        • Really? You’re really trying to defend Colangelo? Okay, I’ll bite.

          What poor decision did Colangelo make in his first season? I would say drafting Bargnani was a poor decision, and I thought so at the time.

          And while he did turn the team around, the problem with the team he built was that it had a low ceiling, again, something I said at the time. Unlike now, though, I had faith in him being able to pull something off and change that.

          The fact is that Colangelo has been in charge of the team during the Raptor’s longest playoff drought in franchise history. He’s consistently misjudged players and how they would fit on the team. He’s consistently misread what the team needed. He’s consistently overpaid overrated players who often made the team worse, not better.

          And now he’s built an offensively inefficient team with overrated, overpaid players who don’t consistently play defense and the team has so few tradable assets that they are basically stuck as a mediocre team that will be perpetually fighting for a playoff spot.

          I really don’t see how you can say that Colangelo HASN’T done a poor job. I really don’t.

          • Guy

            Who said anything about endorsing Colangelo as having done a great job overall or hasn’t made mistakes. I was simply questioning how you can say each season has been nothing but poor decisions when that’s clearly not the case?

            How can you possibly acknowledge he turned the team around but say it was a season of poor decisions? Criticize BC if you like for how the Bosh situation turned out, but he didn’t make any bad moves the following two years. As I indicated previously, he didn’t make any knee jerk, desperation signings or trades. He drafted well & let the young guys play. Yet you label this as poor decision making.

            I really don’t see how you can label every year being full of poor decisions. I really don’t.

            • So you’re nitpicking because you think that after Bosh left, Colangelo didn’t make any bad decisions.

              Okay. First he signed Kleiza, a outside shooting 3/4 with defensive issues onto a team that already had Bargnani, DeRozan and Calderon, three poor defensive players.

              Then he traded Marco Belinelli for Julian Wright. Belinelli is playing 25 mpg for the Bulls. Wright washed out of the league after a year with the Raptors.

              Then he traded a first round pick for James Johnson, only to trade him away a year and a half later for a second round pick.

              Then he let Jerryd Bayless go for absolutely nothing.

              Then he overpaid Landry Fields in order to prevent Steve Nash from signing with New York and sign with Toronto. Nash was a 38 year old PG that Colangelo was basically betting the farm on. The fact that Nash DIDN’T sign with Toronto is possibly one of the best things to happen to the franchise (no offense to Nash, be he was so wrong for this team).

              Then he trades a future lottery pick for a PG who lost the starting battle on two other teams and is probably the only player I’ve ever heard of who didn’t get along with Kevin McHale. If all the Raptors lose is a 10th pick in a mediocre draft, they are lucky as hell, because it could have been A LOT worse.

              Then they trade for Rudy Gay, which in itself wasn’t too bad, but they traded away the team’s two most offensively efficient players for an offensively inefficient player who has one of the worst contracts in the league, and whose previous team (Memphis) got BETTER after he left. Worst of all, Colangelo has been trying to sell him as an elite player, which he is not. The fact that Colangelo is now attempting to build the team around Gay, a player who has shown no development or growth in his game since his rookie season, who plays inconsistent defense, and has been criticized throughout his career for lackadaisical play and poor decision making, makes me come to the conclusion that this was a bad decision.

              This summer, the team will have the sixth highest payroll and currently have the 10th worst record in the league.

              And Colangelo stupidly held on to Bargnani way, way, way longer than he should have and stubbornly refused to see what was so obvious to many of us for years.

              So when you say that Colangelo hasn’t made any poor decisions in the last 3 years, I really have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.

              • Guy

                Nice rant, as usual long winded. But the only way you can possibly consider every one of those moves to be bad is if you believe not making them would have resulted in the team being so much better. By listing those things, your basically saying the team would be much better if Bellinelli, Bayless, Calderon & Ed Davis were still on the roster. That would be ridiculous. There’s a difference between a decision not working out & a decision being bad. It appears you can’t see the distinction.

                And really, by listing those things, who’s nitpicking? How has the Kleiza signing had a major negative impact on the team? James Johnson? You really whining about him? By acquiring JJ when he did, Colangelo turned a very late 1st rounder(29-30th) into a 16th overall pick. Naturally, that’s a bad decision.

                Lowry, despite your bias, isn’t a bad Pg, and for you to say it’s blind luck they may only lose 10th pick is foolish. Losing a pick in that range of a mediocre draft was exactly the idea. It allowed the team to acquire a Pg that easily matches Calderon’s offensive production with the added bonus of rebounding & better defense while being younger & on a better contract, for a price much less than in a strong draft. That seems like a good deal. Who cares how he got along with Kevin McHale. If that’s one of your big argument points, try again.

                The Fields signing was part of a calculated risk that would have had long term benefits to the team with Nash. It didn’t work out. Whether it was good or bad they didn’t get Nash is pure speculation. Something you hang your hat on daily. But Colangelo didn’t go out and specifically target Fields as a key acquisition. Even so, Fields is still a serviceable player. Bargnani situation is what it is, but since he’s likely to be traded, that will no longer be relevant.

                Whine about salary all you want, but looking over the entire history of the team, when has having plenty of cap space really been a blessing & paid off? That said, the amnesty provision is still in play.

                After the poor start to the season & the trade, the team has essentially played .500 ball. For the Raptors, that’s a step in the right direction. You want to chalk that all up to poor decision making, have at it.

                • Just a comment. You start off with a knock at my “long winded” comment, and then proceed to leave a long winded comment yourself. You complain about me “whining”, but one could characterize all your comments as whining as well. So, shall we try and up the level of conversation, here?

                  Regarding the content of your comment, you asked what bad moves Colangelo made, and I gave you a list. Some had negligible results while others it’s hard to quantify. And there is not a difference between a bad decision and decision not working out when the result was easily predicted.

                  The Kleiza signing doesn’t have to have a major impact to be a poor decision. The Kapono signing didn’t have a huge impact, but it was still a bad signing.

                  James had personality issues that Colangelo chose to ignore, that ended up being the reason he was basically given away. And trading for James Johnson is trading for a 16th pick. He ceased being a 16th pick the moment he stepped on the floor in an NBA game.

                  And just because I don’t like Lowry’s game as much as you apparently do doesn’t mean I have a bias against him. It’s the catch-all defense of a player. “Oh, you must not like him because you have a bias against him”. No, I don’t. I’ve never had a real problem with Lowry other than I didn’t think he was as good as many Raptor fans (and apparently Colangelo) believed him to be. And he’s proven to be less than what I had expected, this year.

                  No, losing a pick in a mediocre draft was not the idea. The idea was to make the playoffs this year. That was the expectation of the team going into the season.

                  And I never actually had a problem with the Raptors acquiring Lowry…

                  My problem was giving up an unknown guaranteed lottery pick that might well have become much better than Lowry.

                  Who cares whether Lowry got along with McHale? You should, if he’s going to be a core member of your favourite team, because it might signal a player who might cause problems in the lockerroom. And we already saw some evidence of that when some of the ire in the player’s only meeting, after the bad start to the season, was directed at Lowry.

                  Exactly how were there long term benefits to signing Nash? Yes, it’s speculation that the Nash signing would have been somewhat disastrous, but considering his age, his inability to lift his former team into the playoffs the previous season, and the Lakers’ season, I’m pretty confident that it would not have been good.

                  And while I like Fields as a player, his contract is one of 5 on the roster that would prove extremely difficult to move. That’s not collecting assets, as a young team should be doing.

                  The Bargnani situation is what it is, yes. A complete and total debacle that was foreseen by a lot of people. You can’t say it’s no longer relevant just because you expect him to be traded. It shows a history, with Colangelo. And what if Colangelo CAN’T trade him?

                  As for the financial state the team is in, I don’t think you fully understand the implications. First off, cap space has never really helped the team BECAUSE COLANGELO HAS DONE A POOR JOB WITH IT!! That’s like people saying Colangelo trading away all the second round picks is okay because he’s bad with them, anyway.

                  Cap space isn’t just about signing free agents. Many teams have been able to acquire first round picks with their cap space, including Oklahoma, who selected Serge Ibaka with a pick they were given for taking on a big contract.

                  Lastly, you talk about a team playing .500 ball as such a good thing. It’s .500 ball. And since the talent level of this team is not great to begin with, do you really see this team being able to go much beyond .500 ball? Take a look at the Joe Johnson Hawks, and you see the absolute best case scenario for this Raptors team. An athletic team with overpaid, overrated players that will never contend and don’t have the finanacial flexibility, or the assets, to get beyond that. If you’re happy with that, thats good for you, but I’m not.

                • Guy

                  It takes more than a sentence to respond to your lonnnnng, meandering sermons.

                  How can you say this..

                  ‘you asked what bad moves Colangelo made, and I gave you a list. Some had negligible results while others it’s hard to quantify’

                  You admit right there in that statement that some results are so minor they can be ignored & others have yet to be fully measured. So how the hell can you blather on that every decision the man has made has been poor?

                  As well, in regards to my comment regarding the cap space, I specifically said the entire history of the team’. HOW DO YOU BLAME COLANGELO FOR THE FINANCIAL DECISIONS PRIOR TO 2006?

                  I’m not going to waste time addressing every piece of babbling bullshit in your posting so I’ll end with this. You said Colangelo has made nothing but poor decisions for 7 years, and that is flat out incorrrect. Period. Arguing that point only makes you look the fool. What would serve you well going forward, is for you to finally acknowledge, once & for all, that you don’t have all the answers. Just because you disagree with something doesn’t make it wrong. Nor does your miles & miles of speculation equate to fact. You have opinions. That’s all.

                • First of all, I never once said that Colangelo has made nothing but poor decisions for 7 years. Not once. That is completely untrue. If this is the basis of your argument, then you might as well add that I said aliens control our thoughts, too, because that’s something I’ve also never said.

                  And yes, I have opinions. Ones that I am able to back up instead of just using the old, “I’m not going to waste time addressing every piece of babbling bullshit in your posting”, which seems to be the goto move for people backed in a corner who don’t have the chops to argue their way out.

                  And just so you know, if you want to disagree with something I write or someone’s opinion. Then fine. But you’ve gone past simply disagreeing and taken it personal, which is childish and won’t be permitted here, anymore.

                  If you can’t disagree with someone without resorting to insults, then your comments will be deleted.

                • Guy

                  “Drafting Valanciunas doesn’t make up for 7 seasons of poor decisions.”
                  If you can point out where in that statement you credit Colangelo with any good decisions, I’ll be happy to listen.

                  Further, if you want to back up your opinions, use actual facts. instead of passing off your own speculation as fact. Lowry butting heads with McHale has no bearing on what the next couple years will be for KL on the Raptors. Could it turn out the same? Sure. Could it turn out much differently? Also a possibility. You choose only to consider the former, and this is not using fact, it’s speculation. I backed up my opinion quite clearly by saying that your assertion that Colangelo has made nothing but poor decisions is wrong. That is fact.

                  And Please don’t flatter yourself by thinking I refused to answer every point in your novel as being, in any way whatsoever, backed into a corner or not having the chops to argue my way out. The mere suggestion of that is an insult. A personal insult. Am I now justified in asking your comments be deleted? What’s ironic about your final statements is that you accuse me of being childish, which is inaccurate & more a reflection on you than me, and followed it up by threatening to delete my comments. Not because I was any more over the top than some of the comments I’ve seen on here, but because they were directed at you. You didn’t like it and resorted to the ‘You can come here anymore’ book. That….is childish.

                  If you’re so put off by my, or anyone else’s comments, then, as the supposed professional, you should respond by not responding. End it before it begins. That would be the professional thing to do. If someone wants to play the part of expert, then they better have a thick skin.

                • “Drafting Valanciunas doesn’t make up for 7 seasons of poor decisions.”

                  Where exactly does it say that I believe that Colangelo has made only poor decision in his 7 years? You chose to read that into my statement, but that doesn’t mean it’s there. So your fact is not actually a fact. It’s a presumption on your part, and it’s actually wrong.

                  And it’s actually a fact that Lowry butted heads with McHale. I didn’t speculate anything. Just brought up the fact that him feuding with McHale is troubling, which it is.

                  I respond to most comments, even one’s that I probably shouldn’t, because I enjoy the debate. Again, if you want to debate in a mature manner, I’m usually willing. But that’s not what you’ve been doing.

                • Guy

                  My initial comment was directed at your above statement & nothing else, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, presumptuous about it. Nowhere in your statement do you credit Colangelo with anything positive. You don’t even offer any approval that Valanciunas was a good decision, only that BC drafted him. So my response was indeed, factual & correct.

                  Lowry’s feud with McHale wasn’t in dispute. What is in dispute is that the clash between those two will have any negative, long term effect on the Raptors. That remains to be seen. If you find it troubling, fine. But, and I’ll say it for the 1000th time, just because you think it is, doesn’t make it so.

                  As for your ‘mature manner’ reference. I’ve not read anywhere that you’re the authority on what is or is not mature. Some people may think maturity is best expressed in having an open mind & some humility. A willingness to accept criticism as being valid & acknowledge their opinions aren’t the only alternative. Something I don’t think you’ve been doing.

                • The statement in dispute doesn’t say he’s done nothing positive. You ARE being presumptuous about that. Just that he’s had 7 years of bad decisions. If I had said he’s had 7 years of NOTHING BUT bad decisions, then you’d have a point. But I didn’t say that. You’re attacking me because you misunderstood my comment.

                  It might surprise you to learn that I had been a defender of Colangelo up until last season. I will fully admit that I was wrong in my support of him, mostly because I WANTED him to be doing a good job. I ignored the fact that I actually disagreed with the majority of his moves because I had faith in his abilities, despite the evidence.

                  That’s why I understand those who WANT the team to be headed in the right direction, despite a fair bit of evidence that this is a treadmill team just waiting for a spot to get on.

                  Your comment about the Lowry feud is interesting. I simply brought up the feud as something that needs to be taken into consideration. You didn’t seem to even like the fact I was bringing that into the conversation, for some reason. It’s quite a reasonable thing to bring up the history of a player in order to try and predict future behaviour. I never claimed that it WOULD predict it, just that it needs to be taken into consideration. If you’re trading for a player, and he’s feuded with a guy who seems to be liked by literally every person he encounters, then that should give you pause. I think it’s an extremely valid point, but you didn’t even seem to want to discuss it.

                  As for the whole “maturity” thing. I may be not the most humble guy in the world, especially when it comes to basketball, but I don’t personally attack people simply because they have opinions contrary to my own. You were the one who turned things personal, not me. I too often bite on comments that I probably shouldn’t. I should ignore more comments that aren’t people trying to engage in intelligent conversation.

                  I’m going to make a point to ignore comments that insult. That’s not the type of discussion I want here and I hope that’s the same with you. I’ve had plenty of discussions with people who disagreed with me and it’s remained polite. That’s what I going to try and promote.

                • Guy

                  Forget the Valanciunas part of your statement & you have this ‘7 seasons of poor decisions.’ Where in that statement can it be inferred you credit Colangelo with anything positive? WHERE? I’ll tell you… nowhere. I didn’t presume or misunderstand anything. I interpreted the statement as you presented it. Chastising me for not seeing something that isn’t there is, shall I say, a poor decision.

                  As for how you defended Colagelo in the past, who cares. What you may or may not have said 1-2 years ago is irrelevant. It’s completely meaningless today.

                  And really, a whole paragraph about Lowry? If you want to go all ‘Dr Phil’ on it, then have at it. But I don’t think it’s anywhere near the issue you think it is because Kevin McHale isn’t part of the Toronto Raptors.

                  As for your assertion you don’t personally attack people, I respectfully disagree. I’ve lost track how many times you’ve referred to anyone that disagrees with your opinions as ‘endorsing mediocrity’, ‘setting the bar low’ & ‘having low standards’. Isn’t accusing someone of having low standards a fairly personal thing? Just because you may not have used an obscene word doesn’t mean you haven’t taken a personal jab at someone.

                • You’re arguing against an opinion I said I didn’t have. And you keep trying to claim that’s what I meant when it wasn’t. You seem hell bent on arguing with me no matter what. I’m pretty sure you don’t even need me to continue, so go right ahead.

                • Guy

                  I began this argument based on the comment you presented, not what you intended. This whole thing could have been cut short if you just looked at your comment & said ‘Ya, I could have worded that better.’ That would have been the sensible, obvious & ‘mature’ approach. However, failing to acknowledge your own actions may have been flawed comes as no surprise to anyone.

                • Or you could have just admitted you misunderstood, and left it at that. You’re doing exactly what you claim I am. Pot, meet kettle.

                • DumbassKicker

                  “which seems to be the goto move for people…………..”

                  And the go to move for people with your kind of constant negative stance is that it’s not negative, but “reality”. A couple of points:

                  1. “Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either.”- Aesop
                  Your opinions, which you say aren’t opinions, but reality, fails to recognize the mature view, that you say you seek in debates, that other people have different realities. You seem to think that only your reality (your opinions) are valid (real).

                  Not speaking to you only, but to many who share your “realities”, whenever a rebuttal tries to include such factors as injuries, different teammates, different opponents, different roles, effects of others’ performance, etc, it’s all thrown out as “excuses”. In other words, others’ realities that don’t jive with yours are excuses.

                  2. Just a reminder, but the “reality” of your article that generated this debate is that in a positive article about JV, like some other writers on here, you couldn’t resist the urge to stray from the stated intent of the article to whine about getting rid of BC, the guy who drafted him and oversaw his last year of development in Europe. If you’ve got an article to write about BC, have at it, but to some people, their reality is that you sullied a good, positive piece by straying off topic to take a cheap shot at someone else.

                  Aside from that, I must say that I don’t understand how you don’t have a job in the NBA. According to your statements here, you’ve never been wrong about every single move BC has made. You always knew how things were going to turn out about everybody over the past 7 years. Shit man, you’re an NBA genius that many teams out there need! I don’t understand that you’re just a blogger, but do your realities encompass all of the real factors that have gone into managing this team? For examples, do you know what other trades or FAs were available to the Raps, and for what? Do you know the reality of mandates handed down to BC from above? Do you know what Bosh was saying to BC behind closed doors? Since you stand in such strong judgement of the management of this team, I’m just wondering how you can be so sure your “realities” are nothing but personal opinions unless you know this kind of stuff. We all have different realities (opinions), dude.

    • CJT

      Agreed. It”s not as if Tim’s feelings about BC are unclear. No need to constantly devote time to cheap shot during what was otherwise a pretty good article. Takes away credibility IMO.

  • Marz

    Please consider using less commas in your work. I’ve always been a big fan of your writing, even when I disagree with it, but you keep forcing me to pause! Just one example of many above:

    “Now, Lopez had a little better stats, right across the board, including, interestingly enough, in rebounding, an area which he has been below average in the rest of his career.”


    • Fair enough. Sometimes I do get a bit comma happy. I do know that. I’m in a twelve, step, program, for it. Sorry. I sometimes regress.

      • Marz

        This is, clearly, a major problem you need to address, and in the future, if possible, it should be edited by FAQ, because he is, you know, awesome.

        • Roarque

          Here’s my take on this issue: the alternatives need to be considered, so let’s start: the punctuation alternatives need deliniation: ergo, a list; alternatively one could just not use any punctuation so that the sentance structure would tend to ramble along until one reached the limits of the readers patience at which time the point to the post would be lost in the attempt to illustrate the issue.

          • Things you need to do: You need to capitalize after a colon, but not a semi-colon.

        • Lucas

          [Note: I know you were joking, so don’t take this as criticism]

          As an English Major, I can tell you that your sample sentence from Tim was perfectly punctuated (other than maybe the one after “better stats”), even if he could forego one or two commas and still get his point across.

          As for your sentence, that’s actually not bad either, grammatically speaking. It would have been better written as:

          “This is, clearly, a major problem you need to address and, in the future, if possible, it should be edited by FAQ; because he is, as you know, awesome.”

          A good rule-of-thumb for asides, such as “in the future” or “as you know” in that sentence, is that they could be removed without causing the sentence to become grammatically incorrect. You can see an example of this in the preceding sentence itself (with the “such as…” aside being removed, along with both commas). That’s why you need to put the “and” in “to address and, in the future, if possible…” before the comma. Try removing “and in the future” from your sentence to see what I mean. It works until you get to “it should be edited.”

          Now, I obviously know you were joking (as I said), just as Tim did at the end of his message, so I’m not criticizing you or him AT ALL. I just thought I’d share some information with whomever cared to know. But I’ve seen people do much worse than having too many commas in a comments section, grammatically speaking.

          • Marz

            On another aside, I wasn’t criticizing his grammar. It’s just that when I see a comma, I pause. And when there are several pauses in a single sentence, it can become hard to follow. For example:

            “Now, Lopez had a little better stats, right across the board,
            including, interestingly enough, in rebounding, an area which he has
            been below average in the rest of his career.”

            Could be written as:

            “Lopez has slightly better stats across the board. Interestingly enough, this includes rebounding, an area where he has been below average in during his career”

            I feel the second version is easier to follow.

        • Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

  • Jamshid

    It is funny to me how some people use the PER 36 to evaluate a players from different team and different seasons :).
    In this case for example ( Bosh and Big Val):
    How about looking who else was in that team ?
    How many shot each player was able to get ?
    Who was the top scorer in that team ? How many shot did he took ?
    How about the top rebounder ? how about the top shot blocker ?

    There are so many other factors in play that makes this compression of just PER 36 , seem childish and amateur.

    • You think using Per36 minute stats is childish and amateur? Do you have the same reaction when comparing regular stats, such as PPG or RPG, because that’s even more dependant on external circumstances.

      And I used a lot of different types of stats in order to get a decent overall picture. I think Per36 minute stats, taken with other stats, give a fairly decent impression of how productive a player is. Way more than comparing the stats of one player who played 20 mpg and another who played 25 mpg.

      • Jamshid

        Yes, PER 36 is childish if it is looked at in vacuum. A rookie’s rebounding number will be different if he is playing along guy like Antonio Davis or along side guy like Gray !!! His scoring is different if he is playing beside Vince Carter in his prime or beside DD !!! His numbers will be different if he does not get the same amount of touches or is not a part of the offence and …. I can list 20 more reasons why your article that looks at PER 36 is nothing but playing with numbers …

        • theswirsky

          The enemy of good is perfect.

          per36 is not perfect, but it is the best available way to compare players statistically (in fact all advanced metrics use it in some fashion). You can’t accurately compare player A who plays 20 minutes a game and player B who plays 36 minutes a game without normalizing their time on the floor.

          Now you can make claims that usage or teammates effect the statistics, but that has no impact on comparing players per 36 minutes. Rather that would effect their basic numbers. Ofcourse doing so would require one to actually explain why and how. Some evidence to support it would also be nice.

          Ofcourse the other option is to not attempt to accurately compare at all. Rather make random assumptions based on personal bias with no emprical evidence to support how two players match up or compare.

          I’ve got a good idea which way this is heading….

        • I’m not sure childish is the word you’re looking for, but the fact is that most stats, especially basic stats like ppg, rpg etc, are flawed without context. Per36 ppg isn’t any more flawed than actual ppg, yet you haven’t raised an issue with using that.

          • ItsAboutFun

            They’re both flawed if you’re trying to conclude anything from comparing naked stats of players on different teams, never mind in different eras.

            • Thankfully, I’m not trying to conclude ANYTHING from the stats. Just getting some ideas of what a player could become.

  • Roarque

    One intangible for which there are no stats to my knowledge. Valanciunis is a good guy who will help in the room and I suspect that he already has helped his team mates by his self less attitude.. Today the term is a ” glue guy”and he’s providing it AS A ROOKIE which is virtually unheard of in the class system that is professional sports.

    Goodness knows CB4 was a self promoting clown at times with his ethernet antics.. I doubt that our new guy on the block will be so inclined. Just an all round good guy that I for one WANT to cheer for – for all the right reasons.

    • I think there are many, non-stat, elements that make me quite optimistic about Valanciunas’ future. He seems almost addicted to working hard, both on and off the court. He’s basically got all the intangibles you look for in a player.

      • robertparrish00

        Great read. It has been a long time since TO had a dominant centre, if you could ever say TO had a dominant centre (in their prime).

        • If you make a list of the best centers in Raptors’ history, you realize that Valanciunas doesn’t even have to improve much to reach the top of that list. That’s more a comment on the lack of decent centers than on Valanciunas, himself.

      • ppellico

        TW…you mean there are actually pro NBAers that do not work hard?
        Look…I would be pissed if you did not. that had to be part of the scouting and known before signing. who would sign an idiot who doesn’t work hard?
        Acy…every one of them works hard. And the good ones even look over at teammates and work with them, teach them.

        • ppellico

          i threw that comma in there at the end just to impress.

          • Aw, thanks. You know I like them commas.

        • I assume you’re trying to be facetious with the “who would sign an idiot who doesn’t work hard”, so I won’t touch that, but there are different levels of work ethic. At the top, I put Kobe. DeRozan is an extraordinarily hard worker, which is why I had always been optimistic about his development. Sometimes hard work, however, doesn’t make up for things like basketball IQ and DeROzan simply hasn’t developed in areas like defense like I hoped he would.

          Valanciunas, by all accounts, is a maniacally hard worker. And that’s definitely a good thing.

  • FAQ

    With great confidence, insight and humility too, I confidently predict that after this season’s encouraging deevelopment, picking up a few more good veterans (like Jose), getting rid of some of the scrubs, a good training camp, avoiding injuries, jelling early and re-motivating Bargs…. our beloved Ratpors will definitely make the playoffs next season. Surely that’s not too much to expect for the beleaguered tribal honking fans…!!

  • raptorspoo

    Two players I’m interested in seeing per 36 mins for – 1. Drummond 2. Ross

    1. Drummond because he’s the one we passed up and can be compared to Val’s stats as they play the same/similar positions.
    2. Ross because he’s the one we drafted way before anyone else thought he’d be taken.

    • theswirsky
      • BadDinosaur

        The problem with Drummond is that he can’t shoot and especially the free throws. As long a Pistons are a bad team Drummond will get his stats, but once Drummond plays on a decent or good team, he’ll likely suffer similarly as DeAndre Jordan, who doesn’t get many minutes on Clippers (especially 4th quarters), because other teams use him by fouling and sending him to the line. Even Griffin has lots of problems in half court situations and tough defense games, although he has some moves. But when you can’t knock down your freebies and your midrange game is bad or inconsistent, you become a liability. This is where a see JV having a huge advantage over Drummond and similar athletic guys with limited skills.

  • ppellico

    I still say stats are troublesome. its like lstening to lawyers in a trial. they all have them. and they are all sort of true.
    Its just the devil is in the hidden details.
    Like the percentages are all screwed up by a player being a big and under the basket. Wouldn’t he always have a high percentage? Wouldn’t a sg have more difficulty posting similar numbers and ending up on the top of the percentage pile?
    And as such…wouldn’t the sg be more valuable?
    Ditto blocked shots and stuff.
    Just don’t get this stuff.
    How about bad stats? Hpw about missed assignments or screwed up positions?
    You gotta trust YOUR eyes and go by what you see during the games.
    or get a high paid good lawyer.

    • ppellico

      and I LIKE JV.
      It jsut eems to me this fan base, so lost without real good athletes, is pronoucing him stardom without his having really done anything.
      The kid has some serious work ahead of himself. He really needs to learn his defenses a hell of a lot better and look less lost and confused out there.
      He needs to get a few more years of the NBA in before wereally know what he in total has.
      The Val worship is really kind of running way out ahead of itself.
      Its like…crazy fast.

      • Considering how little the Raptor fan base have had to get excited about in the last decade, the reaction is understandable. I think everyone knows Valanciunas isn’t a finished product, but for a 20 year old rookie center, he’s looking very good. Add the fact that he’s an incredibly hard worker, has already shown a big improvement over the course of the season, and is apparently a sponge when it comes to learning the game, I’m quite optimistic, too,

        And yes, stats don’t tell the whole story, but I just wanted to take a quick snapshot of some of Valanciunas’ stats compared to other players.

        Keep in mind, also, that no one is talking about the Hall of Fame, with Valanciunas. I think the comparison’s are pretty fair considering what we’ve seen so far. Optimistic, yes, but also fair.

    • Brasky

      The fact that you don’t know how to take stats in context doesn’t make them ‘troublesome’.

      • ppellico

        well that is exactly my point…stats are all nothing more than the context they are in. And that this context is stupidly small.
        meaningless unless in combination with all the data. and the pros and lawyers in contract meetings have them all.
        scouts have them and must look at the entire package. this here is nt.
        so…that is exactly my point. thanks.
        but I agree with TW that all we are doing is trying to feel good about anything we can.
        nothing more…I hope.