Daily, I will discuss one of our Toronto Raptors players how what their strengths are and how the areas of the game they need to work on.
Today, I would like to discuss about the finally arrived 5th pick from last year, Jonas Valanciunas. I have to say. I have never been this excited for a Raptors draft pick for this long time until Jonas arrival. First of all, since I have to interview Raptors players and fans, pronouncing Jonas’ last name gave me fits early on, but I kept practicing it, I know I am able to pronounce his name. Nevertheless, his last name is too long, so I have decided to give him a nickname of “Big Volcano“. That’s because Jonas can erupt anytime now and when he does erupt, watch out!
From all the new pieces GM Bryan Colangelo has assembled in the past 2 years, I strongly think Jonas Valanciunas will be the determining factor on whether the Raptors will be a strong contender for many years to come or a struggling team for many years to come. A centre usually takes relatively longer time to adjust to the NBA style of play and they just simply take longer time to develop. Furthermore, Europeans are often perceived as soft, mind we are getting a euro center. I am not going to lie that when I heard of Jonas being drafted by us, I was like “how tough can a Euro be”. But once I saw his highlights, this kid is special. He has energy, he is aggressive, he isn’t afraid to play against the elite. He has passion and he has energy. In his rookie season, I don’t expect much from him. If he can average about 10 points a game, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks, I will be happy. He is listed as 6’11 which is a true-centre frame. His presence in the paint will surely protect the paint and will reduce the ease of guards penetrating the paint, which our team wasn’t able to stop in the past 5 years. With Jonas manning the paint, it will ease the focus for Andrea Bargnani to focus on scoring. Jonas will have eased the defense deficiency from Andrea.
I just hope Jonas V will be able to get stronger and being able to score and play solid defense against the elite. Also, I just hope Jonas V stayed healthy and doesn’t get foul out often. If you ask me of all the young players we have drafted or signed, who would be an all-star? I can confidently tell you that Jonas V will be the only one who will be an all-star in the near future and put Toronto on the map again. No offense to Andrea Bargnani, I think he has a great silky shot and he is talented, but I think Jonas showed more passion and his heart even in such a young age. I could see the competitiveness and the drive out of Jonas than any other more experienced player on the roster so far. Jonas will be a star in the making!
I super excited to see “Big Volcano” goes to work night-in and night-out during the regular season and show everyone that we are no softy anymore but a solid team that other teams and players would give us respect.
Let’s go Raptors!