Koreen: JV Hype Machine
Old 05-02-2012, 04:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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NATIONAL POST

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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.
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And yet, the Raptors continue to hype up Valanciunas.

• “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

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.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Casey also said that he likely won't start next season and he'll take time to get acclimated to the NBA. And BC said he's have troubles learning the NBA game and will probably be foul prone his first season. They have hyped him but have also attempted to temper expectations. It's a jungling act.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
Casey also said that he likely won't start next season and he'll take time to get acclimated to the NBA. And BC said he's have troubles learning the NBA game and will probably be foul prone his first season. They have hyped him but have also attempted to temper expectations. It's a jungling act.
I bet I could find a lot of quotes about them tempering expectations and write the opposite article.

It's also not like they are going to slag the guy, what do they expect our GM and Coach to say? haha
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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with all this hype I'm expecting him to be a frontrunner for rookie of the year
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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with all this hype I'm expecting him to be a frontrunner for rookie of the year
With Anthony Davis playing? Unlikely.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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With Anthony Davis playing? Unlikely.
well both their worst case scenarios are noah's apparantly so..
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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With Anthony Davis playing? Unlikely.
yes
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What would be satisfactory?

Here are some comparisons randomly chosen by me, in their rookie season:

Greg Monroe: 9.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG .6 BPG 55%FG
Demarcus Cousins: 14.1 PPG 8.6 RPG .8 BPG 43%FG
Pau Gasol: 17.6 PPG 8.9 RPG 2.1 BPG 52%FG
Marc Gasol: 11.9 PPG 7.4 RPG 1.1 BPG 53%FG
Emeka Okafor: 15.1 PPG 10.9 RPG 1.7 BPG 45%FG
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The Marc Gasol numbers seem about right. I'm guessing he'll play about 25mpg so 11/7/1.5 is pretty realistic.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MikeToronto View Post
With Anthony Davis playing? Unlikely.
val is much more NBA ready IMO.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Grizz View Post
What would be satisfactory?

Here are some comparisons randomly chosen by me, in their rookie season:

Greg Monroe: 9.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG .6 BPG 55%FG
Demarcus Cousins: 14.1 PPG 8.6 RPG .8 BPG 43%FG
Pau Gasol: 17.6 PPG 8.9 RPG 2.1 BPG 52%FG
Marc Gasol: 11.9 PPG 7.4 RPG 1.1 BPG 53%FG
Emeka Okafor: 15.1 PPG 10.9 RPG 1.7 BPG 45%FG
i would be happy with even the lowest of those, monroe.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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val is much more NBA ready IMO.
Let me put it this way: I've seen players like JV before. Biedrins prior to injuries and Noah are only the two most recent examples of an active, wiry big man with great motor and hustle. I'd love to have one of those and I am looking forward to having him on my team.

Davis, on the other hand, looks truly unique to me. Perhaps there was someone like him in the distant past, although I doubt it very much, mostly because of his unparalleled athleticism. His main unique trait - guard skills and instincts in a still growing true big man body - is as much a freak of nature (and developmental timing) as LeBron's or Howard's bodies. There might never be another LeBron, just like there might never be another Anthony Davis - he is at that level of uniqueness, IMHO.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Let me put it this way: I've seen players like JV before. Biedrins prior to injuries and Noah are only the two most recent examples of an active, wiry big man with great motor and hustle. I'd love to have one of those and I am looking forward to having him on my team.

Davis, on the other hand, looks truly unique to me. Perhaps there was someone like him in the distant past, although I doubt it very much, mostly because of his unparalleled athleticism. His main unique trait - guard skills and instincts in a still growing true big man body - is as much a freak of nature (and developmental timing) as LeBron's or Howard's bodies. There might never be another LeBron, just like there might never be another Anthony Davis - he is at that level of uniqueness, IMHO.
athleticism is often overvalued.... I think JV is a better prospect despite it not being the consensus opinion. I'm not sold that Davis is going to be good enough offensively in the NBA to truly warrant all of this hype.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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athleticism is often overvalued.... I think JV is a better prospect despite it not being the consensus opinion. I'm not sold that Davis is going to be good enough offensively in the NBA to truly warrant all of this hype.
Well, I am. I'd go on record to say that, barring major injuries, Davis will go on to have an exceptional NBA career and will be the cornerstone of whatever franchise drafts him.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well, I am. I'd go on record to say that, barring major injuries, Davis will go on to have an exceptional NBA career and will be the cornerstone of whatever franchise drafts him.
I think he'll be very good, like Marcus Camby. Very good still, but will take time
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think he'll be very good, like Marcus Camby. Very good still, but will take time
On Camby comparisons - they end with shot-blocking. Coming out of college, Camby was the most awkward stick-man you've ever seen. Aside from rebounding and shot-blocking, he could only dunk the ball. He had no handles (still doesn't), no jump-shot (still doesn't) and no reliable post moves (now he has some, just barely).

Davis today is a better offensive player than Camby today.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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On Camby comparisons - they end with shot-blocking. Coming out of college, Camby was the most awkward stick-man you've ever seen. Aside from rebounding and shot-blocking, he could only dunk the ball. He had no handles (still doesn't), no jump-shot (still doesn't) and no reliable post moves (now he has some, just barely).

Davis today is a better offensive player than Camby today.
I'm not sure I agree.... even Calipari thought that the Camby comparison was apt. Regardless, I think you're banking on top-end potential being reached with Davis which is fine, but I think his offensive game will look a lot weaker in the NBA.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm not sure I agree.... even Calipari thought that the Camby comparison was apt. Regardless, I think you're banking on top-end potential being reached with Davis which is fine, but I think his offensive game will look a lot weaker in the NBA.
Dude, we will see. It's one of those arguments that Father Time will settle in next to no time.

I expect Griffin-like assaults on the rim pretty much from day one, so long as he is drafted by the team with at least one starter capable of throwing lobs.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:41 PM   #19 (permalink)
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From what I've seen and heard Valanciunas doesn't play around the perimeter. There's a reason he's being hyped, the author is acting as though he's a bust in the making. More crack reporting from the National Post.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:58 PM   #20 (permalink)
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i said it many times, atm JV is not nba ready. But knowing how fast he is improving, i wouldn't be surprised if he is ready by the time he's a Raptor. I expect him to elevate his game after the summer with the national team.
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