Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Jonas Valanciunas will play in critical Game 4 for Raptors Monday

Indiana Pacers v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven

TORONTO, ON - MAY 01: Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the Toronto Raptors smiles in the first half of Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Indiana Pacers during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on May 01, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Getty Images

He’s going to be on a minutes limit, he’ll be rusty, and he may not move terribly quickly, but the Raptors will take him.

Center Jonas Valanciunas says will be back for Game 4, the team announced.

Valanciunas had gone through practice but was a game-time decision, but we knew he was close.

He is expected to come off the bench behind Bismack Biyombo and give the Raptors some needed depth and potential scoring punch along the front line. His size could be a problem for Cleveland. When healthy he is a load in the paint with a variety of scoring moves and a soft touch.

But coach Dwane Casey and the Rockets need to be careful — he likely will get matched up against the Cavaliers smaller units where Kevin Love and Channing Frye are the bigs and both can space the floor. If his presence leads to open shots for the Cavaliers and he can’t balance that out with scoring on the other end, it may be difficult to play him much.

That said, it’s at least an emotional boost for a Raptors team that needs to win Game 4 at home, if they go down 3-1 heading back to Cleveland the party will be over.