Jonas Valanciunas will play in critical Game 4 for Raptors Monday
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.