It’s evident that Jonas Valanciunas is happy coming off the bench for the Raptors so long as he’s still a core component of the team’s rotation, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. Prior to Toronto’s series-clinching victory over the Bucks Thursday, the 24-year-old discussed his new role.
“I’m good. I don’t feel bad if I don’t start,” the Raptors big man said. “I’m playing the same minutes, doing good things on the court, that’s all I need to do, right? I’ve just got to do my job. As long as we’re winning — I’ve been saying that a long time — as long as we’re winning I’m OK.”
Even though he came off the bench for Game 6, the Raptors appeared to make an effort to get the pivot involved early. Though he wasn’t featured as heavily toward the end of the contest, he was on the court serving as a potent post threat through to the final buzzer.
It’s unclear if Valanciunas will slide back into the Raptors lineup against the Cavaliers. He had started Games 1 and 2 against Milwaukee but moved to the bench when Dwane Casey employed a smaller lineup featuring Norman Powell.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- The Nets rested their players in the final game of the regular season, despite the fact that they were long eliminated from the postseason, had zero incentive to tank and were matched up against a Bulls team that needed a win to sneak into the playoffs. Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily recently wrote about the controversy the decision has stirred up.
- Does Isaiah Thomas deserve a max contract? A panelist of NBA writers at CSN New England discussed the topic in a recently published video segment and were torn as to whether or not the Celtics could justifiably pay up.
- Less than two weeks since the conclusion of the 2016/17 campaign, Sixers president Bryan Colangelo is already in Europe scouting players. Per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Colangelo has recently watched Milos Teodosic and Philly draft pick Furkan Korkmaz.