Valanciunas will shift to the bench for Saturday's Game 4 against Milwaukee, Michael Grange of Sportsnet reports. The big man has struggled to defend Milwaukee's versatile big men throughout the series, and the need for some sort of change was evident after the Raptors were completely blown out in Game 3 on Thursday night. In that contest, Valanciunas played just 20 minutes and finished with 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting. The big man is still expected to play a fairly significant role off the bench Saturday, but it appears coach Dwane Casey will lean more on floor-spacers like Serge Ibaka and Patrick Patterson, who also match up better, defensively, with quicker forwards like Thon Maker and Michael Beasley.
Valanciunas recorded 19 points (9-11 FG, 1-2 FT), five rebounds and two assists across 27 minutes in Wednesday's 105-102 win over the Pistons. Valanciunas scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Raptors rallied past Detroit on Wednesday, and his late game performance saved what would have otherwise been a pretty pedestrian night. The Lithuanian big man corralled just half of his season average for rebounds and failed to contribute statistically on defense. Still, Valancuinas has been rolling lately with 14.6 on an impressive 73.2 percent from the field with 11 rebounds over his last five games.
Valanciunas scored 10 points (4-6 FG, 2-2 FT) while adding 10 rebounds, two assists and a block in 28 minutes during Tuesday's 108-90 loss to the Pacers. It's his third double-double in the last four games, and Valanciunas is averaging a solid 14.2 points, 11.8 boards and 1.6 blocks over his last five. He's also been seeing a bit more court time during his hot streak, averaging 28.0 minutes after not playing more than 25 in any of his previous eight contests. With coach Dwane Casey tightening his rotations heading into the postseason, expect the 24-year-old center to continue seeing increased minutes over the Raptors' remaining games.
Valanciunas submitted 16 points (5-9 FG, 6-9 FT), 17 boards, two blocks, one assist and one steal across 28 minutes in a 111-100 win over the Pacers on Friday. Valanciunas still hasn't played more than 30 minutes since March 10 and has generally seen his playing time take a hit following the acquisition of Serge Ibaka, but he at least seems to be trending up again. He's now strung together two double-doubles in a row, and has scored in the teens in three straight contests. Valanciunas also achieved a little bit of team history by hauling in 13 of his boards in the third quarter, setting a new team record for rebounds in a period. The center will have a favorable matchup waiting for him Sunday against a thin 76ers front line, so he could make for an intriguing salary-relief option in DFS after his price dropped in recent weeks.
Valanciunas contributed 17 points (7-9 FG, 3-4 FT), nine rebounds and one block across 27 minutes during Monday's 131-112 victory over the Magic Valanciunas benefited from Monday's fast-paced affair, putting together his best scoring output since March 8 against the Pelicans by knocking down an efficient seven of his nine attempts from the field and performing respectably from the charity stripe. He broke the three-game slump he had been on, where he averaged just 6.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while hitting 47.1 percent of his field-goal attempts. The big man will look to build on Monday's performance when the Raptors face off against the Hornets on Wednesday.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||74||345||55.6||0||0.0||192||76.8||882||11.92||1624|