Dwane Casey has a message for the rest of the NBA.
Get yours while you can against Jonas Valanciunas. The opportunity isn't going to be there long.
Three games into his NBA career, Valanciunas has a target on his back. Teams are looking up and down the Raptors roster, seeing a rookie starting at center and going right at him.
The Pacers did it with Roy Hibbert, the Nets did it with Brook Lopez and Sunday night the Timberwolves did it with Nikola Petkovic.
Hell, Dwane Casey said he would have taken the same approach were he the opposing coach.
And while Hibbert, Lopez and Petkovic have all had varying success against the Raptors fifth-overall pick of two drafts ago, each has also discovered that Valanciunas has adapted as the game has gone on and what they could do against him in the first quarter, was not necessarily there by the third.
So when Casey says "People should get their licks in now because once he learns and gets to where he needs to go, it's going to be a different story," he's not issuing an idle threat.
Casey is well aware he's putting his rookie in a most disadvantageous position by starting him, but he also knows that's the quickest way to success both individually for Valanciunas and for the Raptors as a team.
Get your shots in on Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas now
Toronto Sun | Nov 6