Toronto Raptors: 14 bold predictions for the 2017-18 season

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 27: DeMar DeRozan /
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Toronto Raptors
AUBURN HILLS, MI – APRIL 05: Head coach Dwane Casey of the Toronto Raptors yells from the sideline as Jonas Valanciunas /

12) The fanbase finally realizes Jonas Valanciunas really isn’t that good

I don’t know how it can be more obvious to the fanbase that Valanciunas isn’t good. Valanciunas’ role on the Raptors has never been expanded beyond a role player who chews glass and finishes on the pick and roll. He was supposed to be a low post load with mid range ability, but it’s rarely ever amounted to more than flashes every 20 games.

JV’s numbers swelled two years ago before he hurt his ankle against the Miami Heat, but that’s been his peak so far. Even then he was doing the same thing he’s always been doing, rebounding, put backs and layups nothing more.

Now Casey’s new system is more motion based, which actually puts the ball in JV’s hand more frequently to make decisions. His post looks are going to be diminished, but he’s going to be a catapult at the elbows, making figuring out whether he can make the intricate passes necessary to keep the offence flowing smoothly.

If the ball sticks like it’s always done, you’ll know the reason why and if Valanciunas can’t make those midrangers when he’s left open (because defenses give up midrangers by design) Sauron’s eye will focus on him.

JV’s slow plodding style of play has been exercised from the NBA and the Raptors have fully acknowledged that; if he can’t adapt to his new, don’t be surprised when the fanbase turns on him. If a centre runs with lead boots, allows alarming scoring rates at the rim and has minimal offensive game, what exactly are they?