How they were last season: Jonas Valanciunas was not a very good rim protector this past season. We saw a big dip in his effectiveness from the previous season when he was allowing just 46.5 percent at the rim, and the Raptors were way more effective defensively when Bismack Biyombo was on the floor and protecting the paint. He ended up missing a bunch of games due to a thumb injury, and it's likely that lack of time on the court led to conditioning issues that left him a step slower defensively. Two seasons ago, he was saving 1.5 points per 36 minutes. Last season, he didn't even get to a quarter of a point. Was it an outlier or was it the beginning of a defensive decline for the 24-year old?
How they project for this season: I'm expecting a bounce back season for Valanciunas defensively. I've said this with a few guys, but it rings true with every single one. As long as he's healthy, we've seen him be a much more effective rim protector than what he was last season. The Raptors also don't have a great backup option to bring in to right the defense now that Biyombo is in Orlando. So they greatly need Valanciunas to be a defensive monster. Dwane Casey is great at devising a scheme to make it happen; he just needs his big man on the floor consistently.
51st or 85th, etc is not solid imo. It's borderline avg to poor. I wouldnt anchor a defense around that if I wanted to be a real contender.
Oh well, let's fight about it!
JV fan club or the people who don't need constant hyperbole to get their point across. Hard to tell anymore
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