Raptors lost in Detroit
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The Raptors struggled on the glass and couldn't find their offence late against the Detroit Pistons in a 101-99 preseason road loss on Wednesday. DeMar DeRozan scored 17 points, John Lucas added 16 points off the bench and Jonas Valanciunas posted two points and two blocks in his NBA Debut.
Game highlights and video:
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It was a debut game for Jonas Valanciunas.
The Raptors rookie centre saw just over 13 minutes of work in his first appearance on Wednesday since suffering a calf strain and finished with two points and two blocks (I saw three) in a Raptors 101-99 loss to the Pistons.
Head coach Dwane Casey said Valanciunas did an “excellent job” given the context of his first game and competition in the form of a big Detroit frontline.
“He was where he was supposed to be a lot on his offensive sets and defensive situations and he opened up Andrea (Bargnani) on rolls,” Casey said post-game.
It wasn’t perfect. He didn’t grab a rebound on a night the Raptors were beaten badly on the boards and a turnover on a handoff attempt for a teammate come to mind. But the flashes of just how he could thrive in the NBA were also on display.
Both of Valanciunas’ blocks came against gifted offensive forward Greg Monroe and he maintained an aggressive approach while recording just the one foul. One of those swats also led to a major Raptors highlight as he sparked a fast break with a block, sprinted up court to command defensive attention in the lane and created room for DeMar DeRozan to attack and finish with a vicious dunk.