Every minute counts for Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas

Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas still has a long way to go to being a dominant centre in the NBA....

Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas still has a long way to go to being a dominant centre in the NBA. (Reuters)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:15 AM ET

TORONTO - In the school of hard knocks, there is no mercy, no opponent will ever give an inch and every mistake or misstep is exposed.

Jonas Valanciunas is no exception, a rookie who is getting minutes and at times getting overmatched by the speed of the NBA and its elite players.

More than any player on Toronto’s current roster, Valanciunas represents a true building block, one who has the potential to dominate at both ends of the floor once he completely grasps the NBA game.

Mind you, it’ll take time and as time continues to draw to an end for this season, there are fewer opportunities for Valanciunas to learn on the job, which is the best and only way he can possibly grow.

In Rudy Gay, the Raptors have a legitimate small forward, a position that has finally been addressed following years of trotting out the likes of Shawn Marion or a Hedo Turkoglu.

Amir Johnson has been a model of consistency at power forward.


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