Many Raptors fans were in hysterics when Jonas Valanciunas' name was called at the NBA Draft last Thursday because they had never seen him play. A whole bunch of them got their first look at the big Lithuanian on Tuesday afternoon and it was hard not to be impressed, even if he wasn't exactly going up against Wilt Chamberlain or Bill Russell. Valanciunas was the best player on the floor as Lithuania humiliated the United States 108-75 in a tuneup for the FIBA under-19 championship, which gets underway on Thursday in Latvia. The fifth overall selection by the Raptors imposed his will on the smaller Americans, compiling a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds, along with two blocks and a steal. Valanciunas is rail-thin and must pack on 15-25 pounds before he can compete effectively in the NBA, but against those his own age, he has consistently dominated. Previously, Valanciunas was named MVP of FIBA's under-18 and under-16 tournaments. The Americans, including 6-foot-9, 220-pound Florida big man Patric Young — a potential lottery pick in 2012 — had no answers for his length and intensity. Valanciunas constantly got under the skin of his opponents at both ends and drew a ton of free throw attempts, going 11-15 from the stripe.
Raptors draft pick sharp against U.S.
Toronto Sun | Jun 29