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Old 01-04-2012, 09:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
jeffb
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Raptors Valanciunas news

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Were pretty excited about obviously what he was able to accomplish this past summer, says Colangelo. Now hes playing back in the league. His team did not qualify for the Euroleague, they did qualify for the Eurocup competition. Hes done very well. I think early on he suffered a minor setback with a calf injury but, it just limited some of his playing time, but weve very excited obviously about what his potential is and about where he is as a player and where hes coming. I think he was a little burned out just from the repeated competition, the back-to-back world championship under nineteen, to the Euro championship and it was something that he had to recover from, emotionally and physically, but I think he is a very bright spot on our future horizon. As you look at him potentially being a cornerstone five in this league, hes got a chance were not going to anoint him anything hes got a chance to be special. Now its up to us to make sure we take the necessary steps and preparation for him to come into the league next year, healthy, ready to go, understanding the concepts and principles. Theres work being done to establish that foundation now in preparation for next year.

Sounds a lot like the Raptors as a team, doesnt it? They have a lot of work to do, and next year is expected to be the year when they make radical improvements. A full year under Dwane Casey will help, the addition of Valančiūnas will help even more, and having another decent draft pick in next summer very deep NBA draft will be the icing on the cake. Even so, the Raptors have made measurable improvements already through just five games, so the darkest times seem to be behind them.
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