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Thread: "Casey: Valanciunas' Worst Case Scenaro Is Noah" & "Koreen: Too much hype?"

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    Default "Casey: Valanciunas' Worst Case Scenaro Is Noah" & "Koreen: Too much hype?"

    Dwane Casey on Jonas Valanciunas: “At the worst, we’re getting Joakim Noah”

    Raptors coach Dwane Casey was on Prime Time Sports yesterday to talk about the season and his thoughts about the Raptors’ savior, Jonas Valanciunas. He said pretty much what you’d expect about Andrea Bargnani — that he’s impressed by his scoring and his ability to play defense when motivated, but that “he’s gotta do a better job of going after rebounds” — and he had encouraging words for Jose Calderon and DeMar DeRozan. But his money quote was his response to a question about Jonas Valanciunas’ potential:

    “I saw him last summer with the Lithuanian national team and the Euro games in the championships — big-time energy, runs the floor, rebounds. At the worst, we’re getting a Joakim Noah from Chicago — a guy who mans the middle, challenged a little bit in terms of scoring in the paint but as far as of pick-and-rolling to the basket, he has great hands to roll and finish. He hasn’t developed that consistent outside jumpshot at the elbows yet, but something that you can’t teach — and I do know that it’s an NBA skill — is each every time he walks on the floor, he’s gonna hit people, he’s gonna play with energy, he’s gonna play hard, he’s gonna bring an energy to the court that is an NBA skill. And being seven-foot, that’s a plus when you can have your big man with that type of energy and that type of aggression.”

    Clearly, Casey sees the same things many of us have witnessed over the past 10 months. I’ve tended to waver between comparing him to Noah and Tyson Chandler, but with the potential for more offensive polish than both of them. I don’t think Valanciunas has Noah’s ball-handling or passing skills yet, and he’s definitely not the defensive force that Chandler is, but the comparisons are far from a reach.

    In terms of when we can expect Jonas to take over the starting center role for this team, Casey referred to his old-school values when it comes to young players needing to earn their spot in the starting lineup:

    “At some point… Now to say that he’s gonna come in here and take over the starting position early — I want him to earn it… Someday, he’s gonna be our starting center — I don’t know if Day One, I don’t know if Aaron Gray — hopefully, Aaron Gray, we’ll re-sign him as a free agent, or Amir Johnson playing the five, those guys may start out that way. But sooner or later, he’s got the talent and skill and ability to be our starting center. And I hope that he’s improved and he keeps on working this summer so when he comes in, he just kicks everybody’s butt, and takes over the starting center position and keeps it from Day One. But in reality, he’s probably going to be backing up one of our guys until he earns it and until he learns the nuances of the NBA.”

    It’s worth noting that Casey seems to want unrestricted free agent Aaron “White Panther” Gray to return next season, and I definitely wouldn’t have a problem with that as long as he’s relegated to a backup role no later than midway through next season — assuming that Jonas doesn’t get hurt or show up to training camp in Andray Blatche condition. Gray was the Raptors’ best rebounder this season and he seems like a decent teammate. As a placeholder while Jonas acclimates to the NBA, you could do a lot worse.
    Source: thescore

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Casey doesn't understand Raptors fans yet... When the "trade JV" or "JV is a bust" outcries begin while he's still learning the North American game Casey will understand he shouldn't say these kinds of things. That said, it's great to hear nothing but good things about JV.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star RandomGuy's Avatar
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    Why do the coach himself put so much pressure on that guy.

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    Makes me wonder where all the Ed O'Bannan... oops, I mean Kemba Walker fans are?! Provided we fans give JV time to acclimate himself to the NBA, I think we'll all wind up feeling quite pleased with him as the #5 pick in the 2011 draft! I only hope that he proves to be more of a legitimate franchise cornerstone to build around than DeRozan/Davis have shown to be.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Joakim put up 6pts, 5rpg and a block as a rookie.
    Chandler put up 6pts, 5rpg and just over a block as a rookie.

    I'm not sure comparing Jonas to either of those guys is putting undue pressure on him.
    Matching their rookie campaigns should be easy.

    However, I bet if he "only" puts up 6 and 6, I imagine we'll get some people calling for his head.
    In Masai we Trust.

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    i could see him almost posting up a double double in his rookie season.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    A few points:

    - Just 2 years ago, Chandler was basically a backup centre on a mediocre Charlotte team. Now, people talk about him like he's a 7-time defensive player of the year. Funny how quickly careers can change.

    - I don't think anyone will be calling for JV's head next year, unless he does his best impression of Araujo. DeRozan's rookie year was VERY uninspiring for a lotto pick, yet most people realized that patience was required.

    - Casey seemed to be referencing JV's work from last year. He probably hasn't seen much of JV's work this season with Rytas. It's possible that JV has improved his offense since Casey was last able to evaluate him.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    Makes me wonder where all the Ed O'Bannan... oops, I mean Kemba Walker fans are?! Provided we fans give JV time to acclimate himself to the NBA, I think we'll all wind up feeling quite pleased with him as the #5 pick in the 2011 draft! I only hope that he proves to be more of a legitimate franchise cornerstone to build around than DeRozan/Davis have shown to be.
    I still think that Walker would've been a good fit here. I wouldn't mind taking a run at him this offseason. He could still turn into that "PG of the future" while learning from a guy like Calderon. The talent is most definitely there. He just needs a teacher.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Re his offensive/j shooting improvement....he has a great FT shooting %. Good ft players are typically predisposed to being decent jump shooters. It'll come. When he starts it will be his energy and protecting the paint which will stand out I think.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    The talent is most definitely there. He just needs a teacher.
    One could argue the same points about Bayless, with Bayless having a bit more size to offer.
    In Masai we Trust.

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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    One could argue the same points about Bayless, with Bayless having a bit more size to offer.
    The difference is that Bayless has had 2 years to study two of the best "pure" PG's in the game (Paul and Calderon).

    I don't know if one year of DJ Augustin provided the same opportunity for Walker.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    i wouldn't be surprised if we see Jay Bay resigned for next season. Maybe all those games of Jose he watched when he was injured inspired him

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    I still think that Walker would've been a good fit here. I wouldn't mind taking a run at him this offseason. He could still turn into that "PG of the future" while learning from a guy like Calderon. The talent is most definitely there. He just needs a teacher.
    He just needs a teacher? It's not like he just came from high school, he spent 3 yrs under Calhoun. He had way more teaching then simply AAU.

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    Quote Rainman wrote: View Post
    He just needs a teacher? It's not like he just came from high school, he spent 3 yrs under Calhoun. He had way more teaching then simply AAU.
    Yeah, and he was a pretty good point guard under Calhoun, until his final year, where he was asked to take on the scorer's role out of necessity.

    Regardless, Calhoun can only do so much to prepare someone for life in the NBA.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    Joakim put up 6pts, 5rpg and a block as a rookie.
    Chandler put up 6pts, 5rpg and just over a block as a rookie.

    I'm not sure comparing Jonas to either of those guys is putting undue pressure on him.
    Matching their rookie campaigns should be easy.

    However, I bet if he "only" puts up 6 and 6, I imagine we'll get some people calling for his head.
    This. A million times this.

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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    Joakim put up 6pts, 5rpg and a block as a rookie.
    Chandler put up 6pts, 5rpg and just over a block as a rookie.

    I'm not sure comparing Jonas to either of those guys is putting undue pressure on him.
    Matching their rookie campaigns should be easy.

    However, I bet if he "only" puts up 6 and 6, I imagine we'll get some people calling for his head.
    I agree, this is not a lot of pressure. Frankly I think he can be better than either one given his higher offensive potential. Shit, his FT shooting alone should make a big difference.

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    Quote NoPropsneeded wrote: View Post
    i could see him almost posting up a double double in his rookie season.
    He would be in select company considering only 8 guys did that this year in the entire league.

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    From what I've seen/heard he has two important qualities that are intrinsic that will be respected in the NBA and most importantly with the Raptors management, coaches teammates and fans. The ability to step out of his shoes and realisticaly look at his development (maturity & inteligence) "I'm not ready for the NBA" and (part of this) is to enjoy himself and have a great presence and future influence on the team.

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    The Jonas Valanciunas hype machine can’t stop and won’t stop

    Eric Koreen May 2, 2012 – 1:02 PM ET | Last Updated: May 2, 2012 1:25 PM

    The fifth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, who turns 20 on Sunday, is the greatest hope for a long-term turnaround for the Toronto Raptors

    It is possible that expectations might be getting a little out of hand for the arrival of Jonas Valanciunas.

    The fifth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, who turns 20 on Sunday, is the greatest hope for a long-term turnaround for the Toronto Raptors. After sitting through rather hopeless seasons of 22 and 23 wins, everybody associated with the team is setting the bar at playoff berth next year. The arrival of Valanciunas is supposed to be a key reason why.

    A problem: Rookies rarely blossom right away, especially rookie big men. (Some exceptions, to varying degrees: Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudemire and Pau Gasol.) Beyond Gasol, it has proven very difficult for European big men to get acclimated immediately to the NBA game, especially if they are expected to patrol the paint instead of operating on the perimeter.

    And yet, the Raptors continue to hype up Valanciunas. For one, there is the half-hour television special on Valanciunas that is on a virtual loop on team-owned NBA TV Canada. As well, there are the quotes that continue to pile up in praise of the Lithuanian centre.

    • “I don’t care if the guy is from outer space, because you can’t find a lot of big guys that can run the floor, are athletic with great hands, dives down the lane, finishes at the rim.” – Dwane Casey, June 23, 2011

    • “This pick is going to be one where people look back and say that was the right guy.” – Bryan Colangelo, June 23, 2011

    • “Clearly there were players on the board that would have yielded instant gratification, or more potential instant gratification. But this is about a long-term pick, and it clearly is the right long-term pick.” –Colangelo, December 2011

    • “To have a 7-footer like that with that kind of personality is unusual. Usually 7-footers and big men are reserved. But this kid shows a lot of energy, is a great leader on the court. He plays with a lot of enthusiasm.” – Ed Stefanski, December 2011

    • “Valanciunas is a different story. I truly believe his experience is going to have him a step ahead of any rookie we bring in. I really think he’s played against men in Europe. He’s going to be a step ahead.” –Casey, April 27, 2012

    • “I saw him last summer with the Lithuanian national team and the Euro games in the championships — big-time energy, runs the floor, rebounds. At the worst, we’re getting a Joakim Noah from Chicago — a guy who mans the middle, challenged a little bit in terms of scoring in the paint but as far as of pick-and-rolling to the basket, he has great hands to roll and finish.” –Casey on Prime Time Sports, April 30, 2012

    In fairness, the Raptors have been trying to counter the praise with some realism.

    “Young players take time to figure it all out, what the nuances of the NBA are all about,” Colangelo said last week. “He’ll be fine. But we’re not going to force feed anything. I’m not going to tell coach he’s got to play him so many minutes, not going to say he’s got to start.”

    If and when Valanciunas struggles to start his career, the Raptors are going to have to double down on such reminders. And if the Raptors complain about outsized expectations, do not forget to have a good, long laugh.


    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/...and-wont-stop/
    I have to agree. I expect big things from him but in my opinion a 20 year old rookie when the season starts next year who gives you 6-7 points and 6-7 rebounds is a big deal. I have a feeling many will be disappointed with anything less than 15 points and 10 rebounds.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    I have to agree. I expect big things from him but in my opinion a 20 year old rookie when the season starts next year who gives you 6-7 points and 6-7 rebounds is a big deal. I have a feeling many will be disappointed with anything less than 15 points and 10 rebounds.
    Two points:

    In defense of Casey's Noah comment, his point was that the worst case scenario for JV, in his prime, would be Noah. A lot of people will take it to mean Casey thinks JV will be Noah in his rookie year. This is patently stupid and ridiculous on its face but, of course, when JV doesn't put up Shaq-like numbers in year one, you'll have people throwing this quote around like morons.

    Still, as Koreen notes, the Raps have no one but themselves to blame for the outsized expectations. Same thing happened when they drafted Derozan and Colangelo was comparing him to Vince Carter and Air Canada 2 and all that nonsense. I realize they need to sell tickets and generate interest but enough is enough. Let's stop this nonsense at least until he plays a single minute....

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