• Casey has been in regular touch with Jonas Valanciunas, the Lithuanian center Toronto selected with the No. 5 pick in the 2011 draft. Casey last saw Valanciunas a few weeks ago in Houston, where the Lithuanian national team was training ahead of an Olympic qualifying tournament.
Valanciunas spent last season playing professionally in Lithuania, but he’s coming to Toronto this season, and Casey says he expects Valanciunas to seize a major rotation role immediately. “He’s been playing against grown men,” Casey says, “and they eat their young over there.” If Valanciunas does snag that kind of role, both Amir Johnson and Ed Davis will be on notice, though the Raptors’ trade of James Johnson to Sacramento last week removed one body from the team’s big man competition. Johnson has played both forward positions, but Casey says the team projected him mostly as a small-ball power forward. Linas Kleiza has played that role before in both Denver and Toronto.
I am going to need confirmation that Lithuanians eat their young.
What did Casey meant? Put pressure on them?
He meant that it's much harder for a young player in europe to get playing time, gain the coaches trust, some older guys play with a chip on their shoulder to give young players a lesson etc. ...
Well, usually they do "eat their young" but it depends from coach as well, Džikič wasn't the guy who was putting a lot of pressure on him, he gave JV 3 months to join the starting role. The players where the ones, who "kicked the shit out of him" in 2010-2011 season. I just quoted Rockets player D-MO though, who said this after Summer League game (Played season in Euroleague).
Most of you doubted me when I said Jonas' twitter account was @jvalanciunas
I was just browsing the RaptorsPR twitter when I saw this
No, it is fake. Official account is @jvalanciunas. "@CaptMaverick85: @Raptors @RaptorsPR is this a legit account @J_Valanciunas ?"
Didn't realize how long JV is. If he ever develops a mid range shot, it will be hard to block. Also like how he keeps his blocks inbound.
From what i saw he doesnt have confidence in his midrange shot, thats probably because he was always asked to play like a "true" center (playing inside etc.) i think with practice and with in game succes his shot will improve, because he has a good shot technique and a great FT percentage
Here's the Lithuania vs Russia friendly game. Watching Valanciunas in this game, it is clear that he needs some work, but he is a player... just gets it done. The boxscore didn't do justice and his boxscore was pretty good for a young kid playing against a good Russian team (Mozgov is the backup Centre). There was an impressive play in the game where JV outworks Mozgov for an offensive rebound, putback and foul.
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
― John Wooden
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