Josh Lewenberg: JV's heading to the locker room with just over a minute left in the half. Turned his right ankle a couple possessions ago, played through it
Toronto Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas was sidelined for Sunday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with a left knee contusion. Valanciunas injured his knee during the week and suffered some pre-game swelling, according to a team official. He’s averaging 11 rebounds and 13.8 points this season, scoring a career-high 32 points and grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds in the season-opener versus the Detroit Pistons.
Josh Lewenberg: How close is Valanciunas to 100%? "Close. I'm ready to go. Percentage wise? I don't know. My ankle doesn't say the percentage"
Sidelined Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas – out since Game 3 of the Miami series – is inching closer to a return and could be available for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. Asked if Valanciunas will play, Raptors coach Dwane Casey said, “We’ll see.”
The Toronto Raptors will not have starting center Jonas Valanciunas, the team's third-leading scorer in the postseason, for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. There doesn't appear to be much optimism for the remainder of the series either. "He's going to get treatment day to day," Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said during a conference call on Monday. "I don't foresee it but I'm not committing to it. Just going to see how his body reacts and comes through rehab. It's going to be very difficult for Game 2. But to cancel him out for the entire series, I don't know."
Since the injury, he hasn't done much on the court, only shooting free throws from time to time, as the Raptors continue to be cautious with their talented big man. "We're not going to jeopardize further hurting his ankle just to get him out there for a game," Casey said. "If he's not 100 percent we're not going to damage it."
Lue said the Cavs will prepare as if Valanciunas will play. And as for the extended rest? "I've always said anytime you get an opportunity to get some rest throughout the course of our season, it's always beneficial for anybody," James said. "Doesn't matter if you're a 31-year-old guy who's played a lot of basketball or you're a 19-year-old kid who just came into the league. It doesn't matter; you get a couple days in the postseason, there's a benefit."
Eric Koreen: Jonas Valanciunas is out for the rest of the Miami series with a sprained right ankle, Raptors announce.
Mike Mazzeo: #Raptors C Jonas Valanciunas has a right ankle sprain and will not return. No need for X-ray.
Head coach Dwane Casey said after practice on Sunday that starting centre Jonas Valanciunas will play against the Bulls on Monday after missing 17 games with a broken finger on his non-shooting hand. Toronto already boasts the NBA’s fourth-best offence and now returns its most efficient scorer, who averaged 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds in 14 games before getting hurt, on 55.6% shooting.
“It feels good, ready to go, 100% healed,” Valanciunas said, adding he just wants to add to what the Raptors have done recently. “They were doing a good job so I was sitting on the bench enjoying, but that was hard to see them doing so good and like I can’t do anything (to help),” Valanciunas said.
Valanciunas was at practice on Saturday but obviously not participating. The left hand was already in a temporary cast. Casey spoke in terms of options at his disposal to fill the minutes of a guy who is in the midst of a career season. “We could got small also with Luis (Scola),” Casey offered after Bismack Biyombo and Lucas Nogueira were offered up as possible replacements. “That’s something we worked on today just until Lucas gets back.
After undergoing further tests on Saturday, Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas will bypass surgery on the fracture in his left hand, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
September 26, 2021 | 3:30 pm EDT Update
Salman Ali: Rockets camp roster: DJ Augustin Tyler Bey Armoni Brooks Josh Christopher Dante Exum Usman Garuba Eric Gordon Jalen Green Danuel House Anthony Lamb KJ Martin Daishen Nix David Nwaba Kevin Porter Jr. Alperen Sengun Jae’Sean Tate Daniel Theis Khryi Thomas John Wall Christian Wood
September 26, 2021 | 12:48 pm EDT Update
Where do you feel you rank among the top point guards in the game? Ja Morant: Top 5. If you’re Top 5, who else is there with you? Ja Morant: Morant: Steph (Curry). I’m a big Chris Paul fan. I’d say Dame (Lillard) and (Russell) Westbrook. It’s tough. The point guard position is so loaded. Some guys have to get left out.
Your teammate, Jaren Jackson Jr., was the No. 2 breakout player, according to a poll of 15 NBA executives I did for HoopsHype. What do you expect from a healthy Jaren this season? Ja Morant: To me, personally, I think he’s No. 1 if he’s healthy. He’s been battling some injuries that set him back. A healthy Jaren is definitely the number one breakout player this season. He’s just a special talent that’s gifted. He’s 7-foot-1, can shoot the three, can put it on the floor, and can play inside. He does so much on the floor. As long as he stays healthy, which we need him to be, he’s definitely number one.
What do you think of Dillon Brooks as a defender and as a player overall for this team? Ja Morant: Dillon is an important piece to this team offensively and defensively. I’ve been saying a lot now that I feel like he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his defense, especially against some of the top guys. Some of them probably won’t admit it, but I feel like most of the games when they struggled, Dillon was guarding them. Soon, that’ll come that he gets his respect for that. Offensively, how he’s able to score the ball from all three levels is big-time for us.
Speaking of locker rooms, what are the expectations in the locker room for the Grizzlies this season? Where do you guys think you can compete on what type of level? Ja Morant: I feel like we can compete with the top teams in this league. We all have that mindset, and this chip on our shoulder we go out and play with each and every night. Now, it’s continuing to buy in and keep gelling as a team and getting better with chemistry. Having more guys step up and talk who’ve been in the game for a while to help the young guys come along. Our goal this year is to continue to be better in all areas and better than we were last year.