Jonas Valanciunas: False Messiah?

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View Poll Results: Have we been too easy on Valanciunas (in terms of not actively criticizing his game)?
Yes 15 19.48%
No 57 74.03%
Don't know 5 6.49%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-16-2012, 09:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Jonas Valanciunas: False Messiah?

Actually read the entire piece prior to making any comments.

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I know most of us like to point to Andrea Bargnani as the cause of our defensive woes, but will letting him go be a panacea to our defensive deficiencies? Chrisholm mentions the PER that Bargnani (15.2) and Davis (21.1) have been giving up to opposing power forwards as evidence that our problems are more complex than a simple swap of Davis for Bargnani into the starting 5. We’re in his words only “1.9 points per 100 possessions better defensively when Davis in on the court.” We all like to point to Bargnani, but Jonas Valanciunas has also hurt us quite a bit this year defensively. Opposing centers have time and time again put up big games at the team's expense. Recently, Chris Kaman dropped 9 points in the opening quarter, to only score an additional 6 points for the entire game as Valanciunas turned spectator. During our last two wins, Valanciunas has essentially been a non-factor and barely seen any floor time. Bryan Colangelo has also mentioned that incorporating Valanciunas into the lineup in some ways has hurt our team defensively. At the same time, in his own words, he’s anointed Valanciunas to one day assume the role of “the face of the franchise”. Will he become a capable franchise player for us whom we can build around? Will he be our messiah whom we can rely on to take us beyond mediocrity? All the hoopla surrounding John Hollinger’s endorsement combined with Bryan Colangelo’s assurances of Valanciunas, has in some ways led to complacency with respect to taking a critical approach to his game. I rarely see someone question his defensive deficiencies on this board. We are so fixated on his potential that we tend to get overly defensive if someone were to criticize an element of his game. It appears that Valanciunas has a bright career ahead of him, but what if he doesn't turn out to be the defensive stopper that teams so desire in a center? I am not in any way shape or form answering “Yes” to that question, as it's way too early to write him off defensively; but what if that’s the case 2-3 years from now? What if one day Andre Drummond, whom we recently passed on in the draft, blossoms to become a solid center with defensive prowess while Valanciunas continues to struggle defensively? Bargnani’s play has definitely regressed from last season as he continues to be struggling on both ends of the floor. However, our troubles thus far surely extend beyond Bargnani; as the team for the most part has been fairly inconsistent as well. It’s understandable that a young prospect with a high ceiling gets playing time (as it's a necessity to his development), but have we in the process been too easy on Valanciunas? Colangelo has surely placed high expectations upon Valanciunas as someone to build around, but what if; contrary to his expectations, he becomes nothing more than a false messiah?
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Last edited by Raptors1995; 12-17-2012 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Way too early, he's not Lowry and been in the league for seven damn years. This kid is going to be very good but give him time. The NBA is a man's league and nowhere tougher than with the men that play up front.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He has a chance to be solid like Kanter and Vucevic have a chance to be a solid legit starter. He is no all-star talent. The reality is though that getting decent starters is something we haven't had as much of lately as people think. Demar and Bargnani aren't legit starting caliber players. Davis has a chance to be but isn't yet.

Last edited by The MVP of West Hollywood; 12-16-2012 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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He's 2 months into his rookie season...
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Whats to criticize? Recent struggles is entirely fatigue and being matched up against some big dudes. Casey is right to limit his minutes but also right not to take him away from starting lineup
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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how old is he 21?
why would anyone criticize his game? he's going to be solid, we can all see this.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
T. Ross IS The Phantom Menace.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoolAid View Post
He's 2 months into his rookie season...
What else needs to be said than that? He's in NBA diapers and he is not physically strong enough yet.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INSIDER View Post
how old is he 21?
why would anyone criticize his game? he's going to be solid, we can all see this.
he's 20, making this all the more ridiculous. especially given that defence is most times the last thing to come to players, especially in a role where you're expected to be the team's anchor. he's a frigging kid still for god's sake! let him bulk up a bit. the intelligence is there, half the fouls being called are ghost fouls as he really is doing nothing apart from standing with his hands up. I have high hopes for him, and surely believe he can fill them, to at least some extent.



also, has anyone noticed how much better his D is playing along side davis than bargnani? that's something else people forget to neglect. early in the season I thought I was seeing good D from bargnani, but now that I see this front court defensively? he's a fooking pilon, 7 feet!
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INSIDER View Post
how old is he 21?
why would anyone criticize his game? he's going to be solid, we can all see this.
no he is still 20 years old. His birth date is May 6, 1992.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I did not for a second question whether or not he will be a solid player. The poll has somewhat misguided the discussion from the other points my piece has raised. I pointed to the fact that our problems extend beyond Bargnani's lackluster player. Valanciunas is a rookie, and with experience and building more strength, he can definitely become a better player. However, I rarely see someone question his defensive deficiencies as if he’s immune to criticism solely based on the fact that he’s a rookie. Does that mean he will never improve? No. I clearly mentioned that it’s way too early to write him off defensively, but just because he’s a rookie doesn’t mean we can’t have a healthy discussion regarding his performance. Moreover, management, particularly BC, has sold this kid as a franchise type player. I'm just taking a critical approach and not blindly accepting what BC wants to sell us. Will be a good player in this league? Yes. Will he one day be a franchise type player (messiah) that BC envisions for us to believe? The jury is definitely still out on that one!

Last edited by Raptors1995; 12-16-2012 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The MVP of West Hollywood View Post
He has a chance to be solid like Kanter and Vucevic have a chance to be a solid legit starter. He is no all-star talent. The reality is though that getting decent starters is something we haven't had as much of lately as people think. Demar and Bargnani aren't legit starting caliber players. Davis has a chance to be but isn't yet.
It's nice to see that someone actually adressed one of the central questions.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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He could easily be part of a strong core. He has hurt this team defensively, but he's also hitting a rookie wall. With the minutes he gets now he hasn't hurt. His toughness still shows through. Not much to worry over.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoolAid View Post
He's 2 months into his rookie season...
So much this
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummomd so people stop whining

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This fanbase is so fucked up sometimes!!

Last edited by jeffb; 12-17-2012 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
This fanbase is so fucked up sometimes!!
sometimes?
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
This fanbase is so fucked up sometimes!!
??
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:03 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Umm, a bit too early to judge him I think?
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:09 AM   #18 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummomd so people stop whining

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Umm, a bit too early to judge him I think?

Gee ya think
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:25 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I’m not judging his future. Actually take the time to read the ENTIRE PIECE!! I raise questions. How dare we as a fan base say anything negative about one of our young players? Right? There’s no question that Valanciunas is one factor among others that has hurt us defensively, but we rarely mention that? Obviously we can cut him some slack because he’s a rookie and he’s going to improve, but talking about some of his defensive woes somehow leads you guys to think I came to the conclusion that he’s a bust. Far from true, I think he has potential and mentioned earlier that it's far too early to write him off. I do take issue with Bryan Colangelo trying to sell him as a future franchise player. I, for one, think that’s way too early. This fan base is fucked for taking a critical approach? Because Valanciunas is a rookie, doesn’t mean he should be immune to criticism. In fact, it’s actually healthy for us to take an holistic approach to his game.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:32 AM   #20 (permalink)
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