Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas unfazed by his first playoffs

Jonas Valanciunas drives to the net against Jamaal Magloire at Raptors practice on Monday. (Craig...

Jonas Valanciunas drives to the net against Jamaal Magloire at Raptors practice on Monday. (Craig Robertson/QMI AGENCY)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:46 PM ET

It’s not the big stage where Jonas Valanciunas gets nervous.

It’s the tiny, crowded venue — such as the impromptu interview space in the hallway outside the Raptors practice gym — where he’s less at ease.

As Valanciunas was led out of the gym on Monday afternoon and informed it was his turn to play 60 questions with the media, his eyes moved to the horde (half-a-dozen cameras and about 30 reporters all jockeying to get as close to the middle of the scrum as possible) that awaited him.

His eyes didn’t go that wide when he saw Dwight Howard in person for the first time or experienced Kevin Garnett’s unique brand of trash talk.

Garnett and the garbage he spews, Valanciunas can handle. But thrust into a media scrum with just enough confidence in his English to know he shouldn’t be doing this, Valanciunas was like the proverbial deer in the headlights.


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