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Nov 16, 2012 8:49pm
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

Last spring, the Toronto Raptors left mouths across their home-town agape when
they selected a little-known Lithuanian, Jonas Valanciunas, with their fifth
pick in the NBA draft. Brandon Weeden Womens Jersey .  Fans cried
foul as the club imported yet another European that they had little-to-no
familiarity with, and even now, more than a year later, most fans are still only
peripherally aware of Valanciunas as an actual basketball player. That means
that for many fans, this weekend will represent the first opportunity many have
had to watch Valanciunas in action as he suits up with the Lithuanian senior
mens national team for his first tour of duty at the Olympic games.  No longer
will fans have to satisfy their curiosity with YouTube clips or fawning praise
from Raptors executives, theyll get to watch Valanciunas for themselves and,
finally, begin to form their own opinions of the mysterious foreign centre. Fans
shouldnt let their expectations get too out of control though. While Valanciunas
is loaded with potential, he is still just a 20-year-old kid playing in
tournament full of grown men. He is by far the youngest member of his squad, and
it is a testament to his skill and effort that he is being given any minutes at
all at this level.  Country-mate and fellow 2011 draftee, Donatas Montiejunas,
turned down the chance to play for his country over fears that hed see no floor
time in London – and hes nearly two years older than Valanciunas is and has a
more refined offensive game. So what should fans expect from Valanciunas this
summer? Well, they should expect a big man with a relentless motor who chases
down blocks and rebounds, defends with alacrity and finishes well in the
pick-and-roll.  He wont back down from anyone in the post, and FIBA play is
notoriously physical around the basket, and he knows how to play smart
off-the-ball defense and makes the right rotations to help his teammates in team
defense situations. What fans shouldnt expect, though, is a ton of polish in his
game. If you want an imperfect comparison, try and remember what Joakim Noah 
was like in his first year in the NBA. He was the very definition of all-out
effort, but he had a lot to learn about the subtleties of high-level
basketball.  The club wont be throwing the ball to Valanciunas down low to make
plays, they expect that hell have his fair share of fouls considering hell be
defending guys like Marc Gasol , Luis Scola and Nene and they know that playing
him means that theyll have to accept a certain amount of ‘young player mistakes
as he adapts to the level of competition. That said, Valanciunas is an integral
member of this club. Starting centre Robertas Javtokas had to leave the team
this month after suffering a stress fracture in his foot, leaving the door open
for a huge role for Valanciunas, who had been coming off of the bench ever since
joining themens senior team last summer.  Valanciunas started in Javtokass place
in a friendly against Russia five days ago, and while the club would no doubt
love to have someone with more experience in his place the already small
Lithuanian squad will probably be forced to throw Valanciunas out to the wolves
beginning with their first game on Sunday against basketball powerhouse
Argentina. Regardless of how he performs, Valanciunas is getting a much stronger
basketball education his summer than fellow rookies Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy
got earlier this month at the Las Vegas Summer League. Hell begoing up against
real NBA-caliber competition nearly every game, and hell be doing it in games
that actually mean something in terms of wins and losses. Experiences like this
can only hasten his development into whatever player Valanciunas is destined to
be, and for many Raptors fans this will be a great first taste of what the
Raptors invested in last June.  Hes far from a finished product but getting to
see him in actual game action (and alongside fellow Raptor, Linas Kleiza) will
be a great tease before he dons a Raptors jersey of his own in Toronto this
fall.      Trent Richardson Youth Jersey . The Rangers
have one of the deadliest lineups in baseball, and if Saturday taught us
anything it is that it is impossible to ever count them out of a game. After
giving up a pair of runs in the top of the 13th inning, the Rangers came back in
the bottom of the frame with a resounding response, collecting three straight
hits, capped off by a Josh Hamilton walk-off two-run home run to claim the 8-7
victory. Jim Brown Womens Jersey . Kaman, who played
last season in New Orleans, announced on his Twitter account Wednesday that he
was “Partnering up with (at)swish41 and heading to the Mavs . http://www.nikeclevelandbrownsjerseyshop.com/trent-richardson-jerseys
. He was 88. New Zealands Sir Edmund Hillary makes a speech during the 50th
Anniversary of Scott Base celebration, at Scott Base, Antarctica, in this Jan.
20, 2007 file photo. Hillary, the unassuming beekeeper who conquered Mount
Everest to win renown as one of the 20th centurys greatest adventurers, has
died, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced Friday, Jan. Jim Brown Youth Jersey . —Clayton Richard
did a nice job using his off-speed pitches to keep the Oakland hitters guessing.
Trent Richardson Womens Jersey . The Amqui,
Que., native was originally picked in the second round, 57th overall by the
Canucks in the 2012 NHL entry draft in June.DETROIT—The Detroit Tigers have
traded outfielder Jeff Baker to the Atlanta Braves. Detroit dealt Baker on
Friday, the same day he was designated for assignment. The Braves will give the
Tigers a player to be named later no later than Sept. 30. Baker hit .. Jim Brown Jersey. .200 with four RBIs in 15
games with the Tigers, who got him less than a month ago from the Chicago Cubs
for two minor leaguers to be named. Baker has a career .268 batting average over
eight seasons with the Tigers, Cubs and Colorado. ’ ’ ’ 

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