When I started following the NBA, player development was a bit different than it is today. In 1985, three of the top five players drafted were college seniors. And the two who did come out early still played three years of college ball. True international players (foreign born players who had never played basketball in the US) were rare and footnotes at best. And teams never selected international players in the first round of the draft, which had seven rounds in all.

In the 2013 draft, only one player played at least three years of college ball, and that’s rare for a lottery pick nowadays. In the 2011 draft, the average number of years of college experience among the top five players drafted was LESS than one year. Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson were both freshman, and Enes Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas had never played college ball.

The first international player that I recall have any kind of an impact was Drazen Petrovic, a gifted shooter who was already 25 years old by the time he played his first NBA game. The first international player drafted in the first round was Arvydas Sabonis, in 1986. Sabonis was a truly gifted big man, but the fact that he was from the Soviet Union meant it was unlikely he would play in the NBA in the near future, and didn’t actually make his NBA debut until he was in his 30s and was a shadow of his former self 1.

1. Sabonis might very well have been a top ten center/centre of all time had he played in the NBA in his prime. There isn’t a whole lot of footage to be found of him before injuries ravaged his body, but this is one example. In his first season in the NBA, at 31, if his body had been able to handle playing 36 minutes a game, he would have averaged 22 ppg, with a TS% of .617, including shooting .375 from three, 12.2 rpg, 2.7 apg and 1.6 bpg. His CAREER PER average is 21.2 and he had the sixth highest PER and fourth highest WS/48 of any rookie in the history of the league.
The first international player drafted in the first round to actually play in the NBA in his prime was Vlade Divac. The Lakers, always ahead of the curve, drafted him with the last pick in 1989 and he made the All Rookie first team the next season.

By the time the Raptors drafted the 19 year old Valanciunas with the 5th pick, in 2011, international big men were a common sight in the league. The same month Valanciunas was drafted, former MVP Dirk Nowitzki lead his Dallas Mavericks to a Championship.

But that doesn’t mean that the development of a player like Valanciunas is now common. In the history of the league, there have only fifty big men that have come into the league at 20 years of age or younger. And until fairly recently, teams would develop these young big men by gluing them to the bench and bringing them along slowly in practice. Of the only sixteen rookie big men, aged 20 or younger, that played fifteen minutes per game or more, all but three came into the league after 2000.

I bring all this up to emphasis just how difficult it is to compare a player like Valanciunas to any other player that came before him.

And none of that touches on his basketball experience BEFORE he hit the NBA. There are dozens of leagues just in Europe, and not all are created equal. Even the different leagues in Spain aren’t at the same level. When Pau Gasol came into the NBA, he had already been playing in the top league in Europe for several years. The NBA was a jump, but not as big as Valanciunas made from the top Lithuanian league, of which he’d been playing in for only one year before he came to the NBA.

Valanciunas had only been playing in Lithuania’s top league for one year before heading to the NBA. And his english was spotty, at best. Plus the entire population of Lithuania is less than that of the Greater GTO. Make no mistake that Valanciunas had more of an adjustment to make than the average rookie, who generally doesn’t have to deal with learning a new language and new culture (Canada is a different country than the US, obviously, but there shouldn’t be a whole lot of culture shock for Americans).

At the end of last season, I took a bit of a snapshot of Valanciunas’ rookie season and compared his numbers to Chris Bosh as well as Brook Lopez. So how has he done so far this season?

Well, for the sake of discussion, let’s look at how he compares to some other players, in their second season, who have some similarities.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 10.20.25 PM

I used the Per 36 numbers, here, to give a better indication of production regardless of how many minutes each player played.

In the previous article on Valanciunas, I compared him with Chris Bosh, and in the second season there is more of a disparity. Bosh scored and got to the line more, but grabbed fewer rebounds than Valanciunas.

One player I thought would be interesting to look at, in comparison to Valanciunas, was Divac, who had a productive career, became a top ten center in the league and made one All Star game. Divac shot a much better percentage, in his second season, but otherwise their numbers are fairly similar.

Marc Gasol is the oldest of the bunch, and entered the league with more experience than any of the other players on the list, but I’d thought he’d be an interesting comparison, nonetheless.

Valanciunas’ offense doesn’t look great, from these stats. He shoots the third lowest shooting percentage, but the two players below him both have a much bigger offensive burden than he does and score more points per game. He also is tied with Horford as the worst getting to the line. He is the best rebounder, of the bunch, though.

Looking at their Advanced Stats:

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 10.51.08 PM

We see many of the same issues here. Among the six players, his PER is by far the lowest, and the only one below average (15 is average). His TS% is nearly identical to Bosh (and second lowest), but he’s got a much lower Usage. What’s most troubling is his Free Throw Rate, which was an excellent .505 last year and is at a mediocre (for a big man) .312 this year and is the lowest of the bunch.

One interesting similarity he has with Divac is that they both had a similarly low Assist Percentage and similarly high Turnover Percentage, in their second year. Divac became a very good passer, something it would be nice to see with Valanciunas, but there’s no reason, at this point, to believe that will be so.

Unfortunately, Valanciunas has seen a decline in many offensive categories over last season. He’s scoring less, shooting a much lower percentage from the field, getting to the line at a lower rate, as mentioned, and passing the ball less.

We can take a look at the decline of his stats, especially on the offensive end.

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 12.54.43 AMScreen Shot 2014-01-14 at 12.56.08 AM

He’s increased his scoring, but he’s also taking more shots and scoring less efficiently.

He has steadily improved as the year has progressed, though. His TS% has increased each month, going from .522 in October, to .566 in December and is shooting .584 in January. His scoring and rebounding have decreased slightly this month, though, as has his Offensive Rating.

Delving deeper, we look at some more advanced stats, from mysynergysports.com.

Valanciunas is posting up a little more (31.3% as opposed to 26.7% last year) and scoring about the same points per possession. He also scores well off the offensive rebound (27th in the league with 1.11 ppp). That’s the good news. His pick and roll game has declined dramatically, however, as he’s getting fewer pick and rolls this year (14.8 % vs 19.9%) and he’s scoring quite a bit less on them (.85 ppp vs 1.23 ppp), as well. He’s also shooting only 42.2% on pick and rolls. Now, there are no stats available to see if all this has improved since the Gay trade (I’m guessing he’s getting more, but I’ve no idea if he’s scoring more on them).

In fact he’s scoring fewer points per possession over all, this season. Last season he scored 1.02 ppp, which ranked him 39th in the league. This year he’s scoring just .94 ppp, ranking him 136th. That’s still above average, but much more of a drop off than one would expect even taking into considering the fact he’s taking more shots.

It’s difficult to say exactly why Valanciunas’ scoring has suffered. If it were just that he’s getting fewer pick and rolls, that would be one thing, but he’s scoring less on them even when he gets them. Perhaps teams are defending the pick and roll differently, or perhaps the Raptors are simply playing the pick and roll differently themselves. The combination of Lowry and Valanciunas was actually a little better, offensively, than the combination of Calderon and Valanciunas, so it’s not as if the loss of Calderon should have had an effect.

Next, we look at NBA.com’s Shooting Charts, and maybe discover why Valanciunas is struggling more from the field.

Jonas_shotchart_1(2013) Jonas_shotchart_1(2014)

From the above charts, we can see that Valanciunas’ shooting percentage has gone down in nearly every zone. Only the long shot from the wing has improved, but he’s taken only a few shots from there, so it’s too small a sample size to really ascertain anything.

Jonas_shotchart_2(2013) Jonas_shotchart_2(2014)

Interestingly, he’s taking FEWER outside shots this year, but his shooting percentage and free throw rate has gone down.

Going strictly from watching Valanciunas, he seems to be forcing more shots than last year, and getting fewer within the flow of the offense (he’s in danger of becoming a ball stopper on offense). And while he’s added strength, he seems to be getting his shot blocked much more this year than last year (there are probably stats available for this, but I’m not sure where to find them), and against the Bucks last night he got his shot blocked three times in one sequence. While he’s gained strength, I’m guessing more is necessary in order to power through many of those blocks for a dunk and foul.

On the other hand, there are some positives regarding Valanciunas’ development this year.

Valanciunas has made good strides on the defensive end. He’s allowing fewer points per possession by his opponent than last season, although there are still improvement needed, and  has actually become a good at defending the post, where he’s ranked 22nd in the league, per mysynergysport.com.

His Defensive Rating has gone down, which is a good thing, although that’s partially because the team is better defensively.

He’s blocking fewer shots but that may be him playing smarter defense. Don’t fall for the argument that you can tell how good a defender someone is by how many shots they block. You just have to look at JaVale McGee to see that’s not true.

Valanciunas’ added strength and experience has also helped him rebounding the ball, where his rebounding percentage has increased nearly two full percentage points (his per 36 numbers have gone up a full rebound and a half, from 9 to 10.5). He’s become not only a better defensive rebounder, but a better offensive rebounder, as well.

And, not surprisingly, his fouls are also down this year.


While Valanciunas has had his struggles on the offensive end, the improvement he’s shown on the defensive end has been very encouraging. While he’s scoring less and getting to the line less, it’s not as if he hasn’t shown the ability to score well. He can score with either hand in the post and he does possess a soft touch. He just needs to get back to what was working last year.

And we have seen improvement on offense as the year has gone on, which is a very good sign. There are some issues on that end, though, that are a little concerning that the coaching staff needs to address, but there is still reason to be very optimistic about Valanciunas and his development.

While it’s natural to try and compare Valanciunas with other players, it’s simply not fair to him and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, considering their various backgrounds. He was compared to Joakim Noah a lot initially (including by Dwane Casey), but Noah had the advantage of playing three years at one of the top colleges in the US (and won the NCAA title twice in that time), and had lived in the US for most of his teenage years. Plus, Noah exhibited incredible defensive instincts that Valanciunas didn’t at the same age.

While I don’t generally like comparisons, I have stated that I see Valanciunas’ ceiling as someone like a Brad Daugherty (although without his passing ability). Daugherty and Valanciunas have similar athleticism, and Daugherty was a good, but not great scorer and good, but not great defender. It will take a lot of work and continued development from Valanciunas to achieve this level, but from what I’ve seen so far I believe that’s achievable.

The long term future of the Raptors rests more with Valanciunas than any other current player. While DeRozan and Lowry are in All Star discussions, neither has the ability to potentially affect the game on both ends of the court as much as a big man like Valanciunas could.

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  • Nerius

    To put another note regarding Sabonis’ game he was Euroleague’s MVP for the regular season and TOP 16 … when he came back to Europe in 2004 aged 40.

  • KuH

    Presumably learning how to pass would help a lot with getting blocked, and would improve his percentages. He just needs to take a note out of Demar’s notebook (whose assists are way up this year).

    Oh, and did you notice what an incredible passer Sabonis was? Stunning!!

  • 2damkule

    pls stop with the ‘centre/center’ thing. it wasn’t cute/funny/interesting to begin with.

    • jacobdr4

      I disagree with most of the things tim says too but now your nitpicking. No need to be ignorant.


    >… there have only fifty big men that have come into the league at 20 years of age or younger.

    Because your query doesn’t include the likes of guys like Blake Griffin, who still had his share of minutes at C despite not being listed F-C, C-F, or C, or guys like JJ Hickson, who would later wind up at centre anyways.

    • Ian Reynolds

      Blake was 20 when his draft year would have started but didn’t play until he was 21.

  • theswirsky

    I find the ‘years of college ball’ argument, something I hear often, rather ironic given the discussion when Jonas was drafted was how his years of ‘pro ball against men in Europe’ was supposed to have a larger positive impact than college ball ever could.
    Jonas was overhyped by the Toronto media and this organization. I still remember the article about how Jonas’ defense would be a perfect fit beside Bargnani. Oh how I laughed and laughed, and still at times laugh today while watching the Knicks.
    His immediate impact and future impact also seems to have been misguided.
    That doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a good player. I think he’s looking like a big but slower Amir Johnson, and thats going to help a team.


      Only a few of us seem to remember these things: “his game is better suited for the NBA”, “years of playing with men means he will have an immediate impact on both ends”.. and then after two weeks into the season it was ” wow, wow, wow people.. you need to get your expectations in check, no one ever said this guy was NBA ready”. Where are all those experts now, I wonder?

      • ItsAboutFun

        Avoiding snotty trolls and their embellishments of what was said.

        • raptorstand

          I just wish one time , like against Milwaukee we run the offense completely through Jonas. Every play has to go low. These stats at the beginning of the season are completely and utterly bogus. For games on end Jonas never got a fing look from the black hole that now resides in gamma ray Sacremento. My opinion is Jonas has the game to be in the same breath with Tim Duncan as big men that hold down the middle and can be counted on in the clutch on both ends, I see no ceiling for Jonas, I have watched him play live once and I would gladly pay to see him play in future.

  • Bryan Colangelo

    When you put the circumstances of his first year in NBA (and North America) in context, it actually makes me more hopeful. He’s still ridiculously young, and immigrating from one culture to another has it’s own steep learning curve.

    He seems to be handling the challenge quite well.

  • Ds

    To be fair to all Raptors players, all stat comparisons should be done with pre-Gay and post-Gay components. Gay and Derozan were taking 60% of all possessions when they were together on the floor, and apart from the first play of the game, Valenciunas rarely wver saw the ball, even when wide open.

    Here are his stats after Gay’s departure:
    Regular stats:
    12.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 0.7 asp, 0.531 FG%

    Advanced stats:
    16.3 PER, 0.586 TS%

    Hope that steers the conversation in a different way

    • ItsAboutFun

      Though I totally agree with the premise, it’s funny how some people dismiss how stats and effectiveness are affected by “other team related influences” when it suits their opinion, but how similar influences are so meaningful at other times.

      • Ds

        The “other team related influences” were major in this instance, there’s no denying that. His usage rate before Gay’s trade was around 16%. He’s now getting 21.6%. That’s major!

        • ItsAboutFun

          Oh, I totally agree. Which is to say that the different system one plays in, and how they’re used is important. No doubt, just as 1st/2nd option vs 4th/5th option are big factors affecting stats, as is coming of the bench, vs starting, among other things. Thing is all of these things were summarily dismissed when ranking players by position this Summer. It was ALL about stats, disregarding EVERYTHING else, and don’t dare try and bring that stuff up as significant factors in the discussion, else…………. let’s just say, not pretty.

          Now, suddenly it’s “While it’s natural to try and compare Valanciunas with other players, it’s simply not fair to him and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, considering their various backgrounds.”. Just saying, either Tim has taken a gigantic step forward in understanding how insignificant stats alone can be in rating/ranking players (much reason to doubt that, but..), or speaking out of both sides of the mouth, selected based upon what the narrative is.

  • One relaxed fella

    Interesting article, but Raptors have played 36 games, half with Gay and half without him and that alone creates two different pictures of Jonas and his performance. Ds nailed it perfectly.

    I’d like to ramble a bit about Petrovic and Sabonis. Unfortunately, Petrovic died in a car accident and didn’t have enough time to show his full ability as a basketball player. He reminds me of Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison, too soon. He may have been the best European basketball player to ever walk on Earth. Sabonis was screwed by Soviet Union, they used him far too much and forced him to play which caused all those bad and difficult injuries in 86 and 88. Despite that he won gold in 1988 Olympics and was a complete beast. Jonas could learn a lot from Sabas. Reading the game, passing, foot work, bball IQ. These two, with more luck in their life and pro ball careers, would’ve been amongst the greatest.

    And Jonas, well he’s doing pretty damn fine. The playoff experience will give a lot to both Jonas and Terrance. I see nothing but positive things coming Raptors way with these two.

    • flobber

      Seriously, Sabonis had a ridiculous bball IQ and court vision for a big man. His passes are some sort of magic. When you add that to his impressive stats – as it was mentioned he was over 30 and I believe when he came over Portland doctors told the team that he is eligible for the handicapped parking spot based on the xrays alone. It really makes you wonder ‘what if?’. Did you know that he managed to get Euroleague’s MVP when he came back there aged 40?

      Can’t believe there is no better of his assists https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-ER4JqJuHw

  • Tinmann

    I like the shot breakdown.
    He is a difficult one to judge, at this point. His offence is definitely a work in progress, but still at 21 you can see he’s got good hands. He’s still a work in progress, but I give him a higher ceiling than you.
    The team as a whole is establishing a defensive identity, and as a 21 year old manning the middle, based on our team defensive stats, you gotta be pleased.
    I also like the intangibles. He’s tough, seems to like to compete, and already love how he throws his arms up at the ref when he don’t like the call.

  • Delabar’s Weighted Balls

    JV is going to be BIG

  • alboy

    “From the above charts, we can see that Valanciunas’ shooting percentage
    has gone down in nearly every zone. Only the long shot from the wing has
    improved, but he’s taken only a few shots from there, so it’s too small
    a sample size to really ascertain anything.”
    Well , the same has to be said about the other zones , the sample size is too small and I thought that you would have got this one : the problem is this , that we’re almost through mid-season and he shoots only close to the basket . He has to try and develop his jumpshot which had a good stroke the first season , it will help a lot his pump-fakes and he has good hands so he should make those jumpers.
    The other problem with him is that often he has problems catching and defending the ball , leading to avoidable turnovers , he has to stand still and gather the ball and then read the situation .
    Those are the couple of areas in which he has to improve , I’m OK with his overall defence (which clearly will improve but has already improved , now he rarely gets schooled by the opponents) and his movements around the basket , I think he may become a very good player but he has to improve the 2 above mentioned areas .
    Sorry for me English

  • webfeat

    Defenders aren’t falling for Jonas’ pump fake as much this year, making it tougher for him to drive for easy baskets. They’re more likely to just let Jonas take the mid range shot. But Jonas now has this weird hitch to shoot those mid range shots where he seemed unsure of whether he should be taking it. I think he is likely thinking too much about efficiency whereas last year he played more naturally. He’s learned a ton in a short time and it’s gonna be a while before he absorbs it all.

    One thing that should be pointed out is that his PF rate is lower. 3.2/28.8min vs 3.0/23.9min last year, a drop of about 15%. He’s learning the game, man.

  • Roger MacIntyre

    Tim W, of all the writers I have read in my 45 years, I have never read someone who looks at just about every situation with such a disgruntled and negative perspective. The glass is always half empty with you. A true sourpuss! I find it astonishing that you are provided a spot to write here at all. This is just the 2nd time I have bothered to participate in the discussions at all and it is your ominous tone, which bleeds ugliness in just about every sentence which lead me to speak up. In winning times, do you not feel happy from time to time? Are there not days with which you feel inspired to look at the bright side? Do you not dare to dream? Winning is a culture, not statistics. Statistic can only measure the past. You sir, have statistically, been quite a bummer to read. But I dream one day to read an article written by you which is looking on the bright side. But, based on statitsics, I suspect it may never happen.

    • Tinman

      Christ – this is the most optimistic piece from Tim in years. “Brad Daugherty” is the best complement heard from him in years.

      • Roger MacIntyre

        I agree it is the most optimistic in a way, but the way with the Raptors have dismantled teams of late, wouldn’t it be nice to read about how things are looking up. Especially with MLSE showing a real willingness to spend money and Masai doing a great job of clearing space at the same time? Tim W’s optimism is kind of like saying the whole building is burning, but at least it is sunny outside.

    • Bryan Colangelo

      This is about as fair-handed and balanced as Tim gets. Deal with it.

    • Ian Reynolds

      It was quite down the middle actually – he explained how Jonas is playing better and smarter on D, and how his rebounding has improved. Even when he lamented his struggles on offence, he still pointed out that he’s taking more shots closer to the hoop, aka better shots.

  • GetLicks

    My guess as to how this article came about: Tim W, sitting at home in the midst of a Raptors win streak and jump into 3rd place, thinking of a way he can somehow try to bring raps fans down to earth.

    In all seriousness, I appreciate the number comparisons and stats. But I hate when ‘experts’ try to judge a player’s ceiling and compare them to another player, especially when a guy is 21 and has barely learned the English language. Did anyone see Derozan developing into the player he is now, when he was 21? Probably not. Every player develops differently, at a different pace. And I think ppl get too caught up in trying to predict the future, cause they can’t wait. That’s simply human nature I guess, but it doesn’t make it any more accurate.

    One point I am glad you brought up is his weight. I appreciate that he came into the season with more bulk, but it’s definitely had a negative affect on his lift. I think this will be corrected though, seeing as how players usually shed weight throughout the season. I think the biggest thing for him right now in that area, is added lower body/leg strength. He’ll be fine though, I’m not worried.

    • GetLicks


    • raptorspoo

      Derozen was actually #1 on the draft boards early on. His stock actually slide. Just saying~~

      • GetLicks

        Not sure where you’re getting that from. Griffin was pretty much assured to go #1, with Rubio, Steph Curry & Harden all pretty big prospects as well.

        My point is that when DD was 21, he couldn’t do much other than dunk and score on the odd mid-range jumper. He wasn’t a good slasher, ball-handler, finisher or passer. He’s added a lot to his game in the last couple years, and that’s just at the offensive end.

        • raptorspoo

          About DD being #1 on the draft boards… that was about closer to a year before the draft was even held. Probably before Griffin showed up big time in college. Remember looking up the draft boards and seeing DD up top.

  • Michel G

    “Valanciunas had only been playing in Lithuania’s top league for one year before heading to the NBA.”

    A small correction: Jonas played 2 1/2 years for Lietuvos Rytas in Lithuania’s top league (LKL). The last two, as a member Rytas, he also played in the Euroleague (2010-11), Eurocup (2011-12), and the VTB United League (both years). The VTB is a league made up predominately of Russian Teams along with other east European club teams.

    Jonas played a lot of basketball the 2 years before he made his way to the NBA. He averaged 60 games a year those two years, and that did not include his work with the national team.

    • Michel G

      If all Jonas becomes is a bigger better version of Amir Johnson, I’ll be a happy man. I’d be very happy with Brad Daugherty. He was a good basketball player.

  • j bean

    ” the long term future of the Raptors rests more with Valanciunas than any other current player”. It’s way too early to say Jonas is going to have more impact on both ends of the court than any other player. If it becomes true that he has more of an effect than KL or DD on the winning of games because of outstanding play on both ends of the court then he’s much better than Daugherty.

  • c_bcm

    Nice write up Tim W. I appreciate the fact that you are willing to be the lightening rod of contrarian opinions on this site. It helps to keep some balance in attitudes and expectations. Otherwise we would have run-away optimism that could hurt really bad if/when the team hits a rough patch. Plus, there is nothing wrong with holding this franchise to a higher standard than just mediocrity (which we are just about bang on at the moment…~0.500).

    So thank you.

    • jjdynomite

      But would you not agree that it’s useless and biased for Tim the Trollwriter to do a YTD shot chart when Jonas’ usage rate and resulting stats have changed and improved dramatically since Gay was traded? This selective use of stats is yet another troll bait Timmy special.

      • c_bcm

        Its not biased. It is what it is. I’m not saying I agree with everything. CLearly post like this are meant to be provocative….feel provoked?

  • Simon

    JV’s ceiling is not Brad Daugherty. That’s way too low. We are talking ceiling here. Try Alonzo Mourning or Pau Gasol. JV has elite potential on both offence and defence. And because he shoots free throws at such a high percentage he should develop a decent jump shot. And if/when JV grows a jump shot…

    • j bean

      Daugherty was probably as good as Gasol,but the comparison is hard to make between players in the eighties and players today.

  • Ian Reynolds

    Tim u r dumb and stupid and you smell like farts and your butt smells like farts and your hair is of a questionable length and ur hair smellz like farts

    • Ian Reynolds

      Whoever downvoted that doesn’t like the comments being put on blast

      ***Put on blast = lightly poked fun at semi-anonymously online by a faceless avatar***

  • Ian Reynolds

    JV’s D has been better, and obviously even just statistically his rebounding has been better.

    According to the NBA tracking, his opponents are scoring on 47.2% of their ~8 FGA per game, ranking him right with Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond, and Al Horford.
    Reboundwise, 45.6% of his boards have been contested, one of the highest marks in the league for those with 4 or more Rebounds per game. He ranks just behind Hibbert, Asik, and Jordan Hill, and ahead of Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Ibaka, and Taj Gibson. So he’s rebounding more and fighting like hell for them.

    I wonder if the slight increase in minutes, the expended energy on D/Reb, and more attention as guys fall for his basic moves so far are sapping his legs, killing his offense? This could be remedied greatly with a better passing game, as right now once he gets the ball, as you said, he’s basically only got the option of shooting. Having one option kills your chances of easy buckets.

  • Stef 511

    Jonas has a speed (I’d call it a gear but it’s over too quick) that I’ve only glimpsed for a fraction of a moment a couple times and it’s not even when he does that ferocious dive to the basket for a flush from five/six feet out that he’s getting more comfortable doing … it’s more when he’s crouched, with the ball, deciding which way he’s gonna go. Once on tv – wasn’t sure what I just saw – and once live, sitting close, and I was sure. That time, I said to my companion, ‘he moves like a wolf’ and she laughed and said ‘yeah’. Gave me a little chill. Needs another year or two but he’s gonna be goood.

  • Minks77

    Interesting article. Just one quibble:

    What’s the Greater GTO”? did you mean “GTA”? If you did it’s pretty redundant to say “Greater GTA” anyway as the “G” stands for “Greater”.

  • Ion66

    A question for the stats folks here. I see JV (and Demar as well) getting fouled on a large number of shots. How does a shot that fails to go in, but generates free-throws show up on a shooting% stat? Is that simply a missed shot, or does the foul drawn change the stat? If you took 10 shots, and got fouled 8 times and made 1/missed one shot from the floor. Is your shooting percentage 10%?

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