Jonas Valanciunas: Grading the Toronto Raptors Center's First Olympic Game

Patrick YaghoobiansAnalyst IIJuly 29, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 29:  Jonas Valanciunas #14 of Lithuania attempts to steal the ball from Andres Nocioni #13 of Argentina during their Men's Basketball Game on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Basketball Arena on July 29, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The moment so many Toronto Raptors fans were waiting for this summer is now over. Raptors fans were able to finally watch Jonas Valanciunas play on national television.

Valanciunas played about 13-14 minutes and impressed in the little playing time he was given. One thing that was very obvious was that Valanciunas hustles, and that's one thing Raptors fans will really like about this guy.

In the limited minutes he played, Valanciunas grabbed five rebounds—two offensive, and three defensive boards. On one of his offensive boards, he turned a missed shot into a second-chance opportunity, which he converted on the shot.

On offense, another thing that was very visible was his pick-and-roll game. Going into the BA draft, people knew he was a pick-and-roll kind of player, and two of his three field goals were from a pick-and-roll situation. He only took four shots, and converted on three of them, so he did make smart decisions on the offensive end.

On defense, he did not block shots like he usually does, and he did look lost due to Argentina's great passing. Another point on defense was foul trouble. One con going against Valanciunas is his inability to prevent fouls from being called on him. He had two quick fouls, and that kept him out of the game for a while.

Valanciunas rarely played in not only the second half, but the whole game, which was a surprise. If there is anything this Lithuania team has that Argentina didn't, it was size. Jonas Valanciunas was the tallest player in the game, and the Lithuanians did not use that to their advantage and had trouble scoring.

He did not play great, nor did he do bad, but he played good in the minutes he was given. If Lithuania wants to make it out of the preliminary round, they need to utilize Valanciunas to his full potential.

Final Grade: B-

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