Just missing the cut
(i) It might not sound particularly “sexy”, but Valanciunas was at his most efficient shooting the rock in 2014-15. He finished the season second in the NBA for both field goal percentage and back-to-the-basket shot percentage.
(ii) Talking of efficiency, this season was proving to be Valanciunas’ most productive yet, prior to dislocating his thumb in December. He was averaging career bests per 36 minutes, for points, defensive rebounds, steals and assists.
More generally speaking, Valanciunas was doing more with less, after losing his spot as a regular start and averaging a career low for minutes played. This was best displayed by being on course for career-bests in field goal percentage, effective field goal percentage and free throw percentage.
(iii) There was little to cheer about for the Raptors, when they were swept out of the playoffs last season by the Cleveland Cavaliers. On a personal level though, Valanciunas recorded the best double-double performance in franchise history during Game 1, when he scored 21 points and grabbed 21 boards.