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  • A recent Insider article at ESPN shares the 10 things to look for this season. Tom Haberstroh writes this for #6:

    Remember the name (and the pronunciation, too): Jonas Valanciunas

    If you're looking for a reason the Toronto Raptors jumped to a 5-1 start in the preseason, look no further than the immediate impact of the 20-year-old Lithuanian big man, Jonas Valanciunas (pronounced Val-ehn-chew-ness). The near-7-footer has been an instant presence underneath, averaging more than eight points and eight rebounds in his past four games as the Raptors' starter. More impressively, he's kept his fouls down to a manageable level while seemingly blocking everything in sight.

    It's too early to say whether Valanciunas is ready to be a legitimate NBA starter, but there's a lot to like about this kid as he tests the NBA waters for the first time. His youthful energy (he's probably calling for the ball as you read this) and underrated skills on the block has befuddled opposing defenses already. If Valanciunas is ready to be a cog in the middle, Dwane Casey could coach this team into the playoffs.
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story...s-watch-season
    http://twitter.com/m_shantz

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    • I've been thinking...Raptors should pay to have Jonas go and work with Hakeem during the off season. Jonas could turn into a real offensive weapon for us 3 years out. If we keep him and Bargnani together that is when I see this duo peaking.
      For still frame photograph of me reading the DeRozan thread please refer to my avatar

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      • thead wrote: View Post
        I've been thinking...Raptors should pay to have Jonas go and work with Hakeem during the off season. Jonas could turn into a real offensive weapon for us 3 years out. If we keep him and Bargnani together that is when I see this duo peaking.

        I think he could be a real offensive cog by the end of the year. I am waaaay impressed with his on court presence. He is aware of where the ball is, his defender, and the motions of his team mates. Just a matter of familiarity in game situations before Lowry, Fields and Bargs start finding him regularly. I thought that Fields and he had a bit of chemistry going last game. Lowry is already looking for him.

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        • I don't know what JV will do this year but I think he's going to surprise some people. Most of the season previews from other cities mention him as a project import. Then, anybody who has watched the preseason says, wow...look what this guy is doing. There may be a lot of that coming up. Under the radar suits us just fine

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          • Burden of Saviour Weighs Heavy on Raptor's Jonas Valanciunas

            Link to a great article.

            Right now, there is no joke to tell. He is confronting the expectations being placed on him. They are impossible to quantify, as being able to restore hope to a wayward franchise cannot be described with a simple metric.
            Hope he stays positive. Sounds like a great kid!
            “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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            • i killed a man and jv forgave me

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              • Miekenstien wrote: View Post
                i killed a man and jv forgave me


                Did you pray to him and sacrifice a Lamb?
                TORONTOOOOOO RAPTORSSSSSS

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                • That needs to be put in the original post.

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                  • Hmm.. unless that above GIF is a travel obviously..
                    The Baltic Beast is unstoppable!

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                    • Jv to the rim!!!

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                      • JV's got a lot of basketball IQ for a guy his age. And that alone helps him be as efficient as he was in those preseason games. Reminds me of his sensei!

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                        • Wonder if Sabonis is interested in playing on my oldtimers team. He would fit right in, except for being infinitely better.

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                          • enlightenment wrote: View Post
                            Hmm.. unless that above GIF is a travel obviously..
                            Pump, pump, step, dribble, step step launch, KABOOM

                            I don't see a travel...
                            TORONTOOOOOO RAPTORSSSSSS

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                            • Man, you know you're a hopeless basketball junkie when you see a youtube video of a 50-something Arvydas Sabonis playing in a meaningless exhibition game and your first thought is "hmm, that looks cool, think I'll check it out."

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                              • Shoutout for JV!

                                http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/30/sp...onference.html

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