Valanciunas (ankle) had nine points (4-4 FG, 1-2 FT) and one assist across 18 minutes during the Raptors' 116-78 loss to the Cavaliers in Wednesday's Game 5.
Valanciunas made his return to action after sitting out the last eight games due to an ankle sprain, and the big man was fairly effective during his limited minutes, most of which came in garbage time. It's unclear how much further Valanciunas will encroach on Bismack Biyombo's court time over the rest of the series, but if the Raptors fall behind again early on in Game 6, coach Dwane Casey could call upon the Lithuanian big man right away to get a more offensive-minded center on the floor.
Coach Dwane Casey said
Valanciunas is feeling healthy enough that he'll be available to play Wednesday. However, Bismack Biyombo is expected to remain in the starting lineup and see the majority of the minutes, so any fantasy value Valanciunas may have had remains severely restricted. If the Cavaliers' second unit continues to take the small-ball approach, it could be hard to find significant minutes for Valanciunas, but he should at least touch the floor at some point during Wednesday's Game 5.
The center indicated he's closer to 100 percent recovered from the ankle injury than he was in the
Coach Dwane Casey said that
Following a seven-game absence due to a sprained ankle, Valanciunas was surprisingly activated for Monday's Game 4 win, but didn't end up getting off the bench, as Casey elected to stick with Bismack Biyombo as his primary option at center. It seems as though Valanciunas still wasn't fully healthy despite being active, and that could remain the case throughout the series. As a result, don't expect Valanciunas to see significant run Wednesday, especially if the Cavs continue to frequently employ small-ball lineups that feature Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson at center.
Valanciunas (ankle) will be active and available to play off the bench during Monday's Game 4 against the Cavaliers, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com reports.
Valanciunas was surprisingly upgraded to questionable earlier in the day after sitting out with ankle injury since Game 3 of the Raptors' second round series against the Heat. However, despite being active, Valanciunas will come off the bench and is expected to see his minutes severely limited, as the Raptors want to ease him back into action. With that being said, it's likely too risky for fantasy owners to rely on Valanciunas for solid production on Monday, so it's a situation to avoid until we see what kind of role he'll be used in moving forward.
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