Young players need experience, which is hard to gain by sitting on the sidelines.
I think he starts immediately and is averaging 20 minutes per game from the beginning. He'll be given the DeMar treatment. This is only my opinion but he will quickly be better than Amir. The only thing holding me back from saying it now is 1) he's never played in the NBA and 2) he will likely need time to adapt to the style of the NBA versus Europe and international competition.
The NBA season is approaching what would be the halfway point in a non-lockout schedule. Many rookies have started to earn consistent minutes and we’re at the point where we can start to make early evaluations of how teams faired in the 2011 draft. This seasons is interesting in that the two most intriguing draftees, outside of Kyrie Irving, may still play in Europe.
Jonas Valančiūnas, 19, has emerged as a wonder beast and closet sorcerer for Lietuvos rytas over the past couple of months. The young Lithuanian, who slipped to Toronto at the 5th pick, has athleticism and length (7’0″, 7’4″ wingspan, 9′ 3″ standing reach) that are comparable to that of Demarus Cousins (6’10.75”, 7’5.75″, 9′ 5″.)
Now’s the part in a blog post where people usually toss around phrases like “help defense,” “finishing ability” and “nose for the ball” that fail to conjure up any depiction of what a player actually looks like. I’ll lean toward a story instead. It’s relatively common for players at the start of European basketball games to aim a couple of strong cheap shots at opposing stars to see if they can knock them out of their rhythm. A player is alloted more fouls per minute in European ball and the refs usually don’t call off-the-ball contact as closely so it’s usually sound strategy.
Well Valančiūnas hits back, and he hits back hard. Hard enough, so that you see opposing players curl up, go limp and lose their aggressiveness. Valančiūnas looks every bit like a franchise NBA center and if there was redraft of the 2011 draft knowing what we know now, I anticipate that he would be the consensus selection for the 2nd pick. There may even be a couple of GMs who would make arguments about selecting him in front of Irving.
How did these two Euros, who may have deserved to be selected as the 2nd and 3rd pick in the draft, slip like they did? Are GMs and owners so impatient that they couldn’t wait a season (or perhaps three in the case of Mirotic) for a substantially better pick than the player they selected?
So, at the time of the 2011 Draft, the selection of Rubio was viewed as both a sign of how a shiny prospect can stall or even regress in their development, and the immense pressure waiting for a high draft pick can put on a roster, front office and fan base. Rubio was the cautionary tale for why a franchise like the Cleveland Cavaliers would select Tristan Thompson over Valančiūnas, and a good portion of the league would pass on Mirotic.
It’s worth mentioning that neither Mirotic nor Valančiūnas were the prospects at the time of the 2011 draft that they are now. Valančiūnas hadn’t shown that he could be the focal point of an offense, and Mirotic looked like a preps-to-pros prospect trying to find ways to be a consistent contributor. The talent was there, but not the regular production.
Fans in Toronto and Chicago, regardless, should be happy about their team’s maneuverings in the 2011 draft. Toronto may have landed a franchise center, the white rhinos of NBA prospects, and Chicago may have found a way to provide a substantial infusion of talent to its roster via a low first round selection.
Comfort for the weary Raptor fans among us.
Very encouraging to hear.
When I hear "franchise centre" I think Shaq, Duncan, Howard. I hope I'm not getting my hopes up ;)
That would be epic
3 drawn fouls
Match was between Lietuvos Rytas (17-2) and arguably one of Lithuanian leagues worst teams (3-15). Even though JV's performance doesn't look much, I doubt anyone of Rytas' roster had a lot of motivation against my hometowns team. That's probably the reason Rytas lost the first quarter 16:23.
Lietuvos Rytas 77:49 Lietkabelis
Got some info that Valančiūnas wasn't even prepared to play against Lietkabelis, but since Redikas was injured BigV showed up on the court with Redikas' jersey since he didn't have his own LOL.
omgsomuchpotential: thanks for the update. There are a couple other Lithuanian posters here as well. It is great to hear your perspective and input.
I am actually pretty psyched about Jonas. Team MVP for Rytas most games this year according to their website. Watched some film and he is gonna have to learn the NBA game, but solid pickup for sure.
Are there livestreams where u can see some games? I am searching for some time now and wasn't able to find one. Replays ore downloadable replays would be nice too.
For all the people that don't believe in Bismack. Ever since he has gotten an opportunity to start (30+ min a game) he's been on fire. Averaging close to 3.5 blocks and 9 rebounds (lately) while scoring on high % (generally), he needs to improve his FT % though.
Bismack Biyombo 6.5 PT .500 of 5.2 FG .426 of 3.1 FT -- 3P 8.2/2.7 RB 0.6 AS 2.5 BL 0.6 ST 1.4 TO 2.4 PF 27.0 MN 15/15 GS
Bismack Biyombo 6.6 PT .464 of 5.6 FG .389 of 3.6 FT -- 3P 8.6/2.9 RB 0.6 AS 3.2 BL 0.7 ST 1.4 TO 2.5 PF 27.5 MN 10/10 GS (last 10 games)
Bismack Biyombo 8.2 PT .457 of 7.0 FG .474 of 3.8 FT -- 3P 10.0/3.2 RB 0.6 AS 2.8 BL 0.8 ST 1.6 TO 2.8 PF 31.1 MN 5/5 GS (last 5 games)
I am going to be surprised if jonas can average 8 and 2.5 or even 8/1.70. The only thing that seems to be better about Jonas is his offense, which is ok but I think we'd be better off with a C that specializes in D and let other parts of our team run the offense.
Defense is what Jonas is specializing in and he is still improving his offense. I like Bismack, he's playing very solid lately and we can't deny the fact that he is very gifted athlete. Jonas is a white guy and he doesn't really have the hops like Bismack (not even close), but I do think Jonas is a better fit for Raptors going forward. I would like to say that JV is a more talented all around player than Bismack, but I won't, because obviously I am biased.
JV hasn't proven anything yet. He has done good in under 19 but I've yet to see him play extended min against pros (he's currently the backup) or have any games close to the level Bismack is playing. I guess I'll wait and see but I am not going to get my hopes up.
They are different players. JV will never dominate in blocks. If Biyombo can turn into Mutombo, good for him. As for JV, we'll need to wait a year at least to see, what he is capable of in NBA. Everything else is now speculation.
You are absolutely correct JV hasn't proven anything yet in the NBA. Yet there are many more informed and intelligent people than myself - not associated with the Raptors - referring to him as the #2 pick in last year's draft and this year's draft. I have not heard such high praise for Biyombo.
BTW Most people here are completely ignoring the fact he's only 19 (younger than Jonas).IMO he has more upside than Jonas as well.
If Jonas can become a 10/10 guy, I guess I will be happy. I just don't think he'll ever be as good as Bismack defensively because he just doesn't have the athleticism.