TORONTO – Jonas Valanciunas was one of the faces of Toronto Raptors for several years. The Lithuanian was a huge, great, as the best fan of the mainstream of the Toronto Rising of the Eastern Conference which was back to multiannual power.
Valanciunas is a nice player, just like the Raptors's nice team. But when Dwane Casey handled and traded DeMozan De Rozan for Kawhi Leonard, Raptors, the president of basketball operations, Masai Ujiri showed that the days were arranging to be a nice team with nice guys.
In the hours that come up with a Thursday Closing date, Ujiri put his final push into the middle of the table, launching Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and choosing the second round to Memphis Grizzlies with Marc Gasol.
In an eight-minute stretch to open the fourth quarter on his first home game with his new team, Gasol went to Toronto just because the Raptors had a move. By the time he was overwhelmed, he dropped 5 out of 5 from the floor, scoring 1
"I found myself more comfortable," said Gasol. "It is clear that there are a few things I can do at both ends of the two floors."
He made them all in those eight minutes to start a quarter. He was a part of Gasol for his best – and an example of how Toronto's top-of-the-art goal might be two final rounds of the Eastern Conference games.
"It was good, right?" Nick Ritchie's Nick Raptors coach asked a smile.
He was sure. That version of Gasol is that the Raptors must be required regularly this spring if you want to do the message Ujiri was launching his team with the movements he did last summer and the one He tried to get Gasol on Thursday.
It's no good good any longer. It's no longer good. For this to be a successful season for Toronto – a team expecting Leonard to convince Leonard as a free agent this summer – it will only be a lot of the NBA Calendars for the first time in the history of franchise.  The Raptors also know, because they know it will not be easy. They saw [MilwaukeeBucks (Nikola Mirotic) and Philadelphia 76ers (Tobias Harris) deals at the deadline, and the Celt Celtics are still a threat – even with their recent content. Most of these were involved in Gasol fighting and landing Gasol, who looked at a person who was inspired by his new environment after spending the last few months in Memphis with a team going anywhere.
"Undoubtedly," he said Monday morning when the trade asked for a new energy contractor. "Of course."
Even before Gasol added, however, these Operators were fantastic for this season, dating 42-16 to date – good for the best record in the Eastern Conference and a third in the NBA – notwithstanding they only had two games with a full turn-on of their disposal.
The first time came November 2 in Phoenix. The second came Saturday in New York against the Knicks – after the team losing five players in about two hours as they went up to the trading deadline.
This third game will not come soon any soon after the Raptors announced Wednesday to Fred VanVleet will be out for at least three weeks with a partial injury in its thumb on the left.
"Well, it's a part," said Nurse of the issues that had been injured in Toronto during this season. "I do not know if [it will] but I always try to keep a positive attitude to ask for those things.
" We have made a little bit on the uneven side of going here, and & # 39; it will only be balanced at the right time. "
Fred VanVleet will lose the watermelon guard for at least three weeks with a ligament to be a left thumb thumb. The team says Van Spleint must spend a splint for about three weeks before the reassess injury.
Hawks Jeremy Lin guard agents with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Atlanta is expected to be bought as early as Monday, and Lin could sign with the Raptors Toronto mid-week
Who won this big trade? Pelton's grates of the move.
The Raptors want to trade their full season seasonal injuries if It is a guarantee that the time of play would happen. (Narrator: That's not how this works.)
Meanwhile, it was more fortunate that the Rapids were Going to Jeremy Lin's guard when he clears a waiver on Wednesday afternoon, after Lin's agreed to buy Atlanta Hawks. Lin did not reach many times he hit during the peak of Linsanity days with the New York Knicks in 2012, including his sticker hitting the Raptors in Toronto seven years ago this week. But he has a signed career, thanks to the skill that arisen out of his break: his ability to work in the pick and roll.
Lín brings Toronto, as well as Gasol, a flow to this team that can be used. The Raptors would like to enjoy more, but they lost the wing shipwrecker Wayne Ellington, who signed up with Detroit to get more money and more than a minute.
Even when they were playing for their best this season, the Raptors often looked for two teams, playing one way when Kawhi Leonard is at court and playing another when he is not . Another pair of creative, offensive players such as Lin and Gasol should help these differences and allow the Raptors to keep the ball ball and the proportion moving on the way their coach gets.
"I am the uncertain player," said Gasol. "When I see a pass and open someone, regardless of who is, I'm wearing it and keeping them motivating a child to move and move without the ball. So if they get behind their defenders or if their defendants make a mistake, we're trying to pay for it. "
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Gasol, however, accepts more questions. Even: Who will start? In the first two games from the Gasol crisis, Toronto has maintained that it is consistent starting with five Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka. However, however, will change – starting Wednesday against Washington Wizards or, as most likely, next week after the All-Star break.
Gasol could place a Ibaka place to book, as did Toronto with Valanciunas earlier this season. It's also a good chance, Altra will, at a certain point, try to play a lot of play, featuring Leonard at a shooting guard, Sékam a little forward, Ibaka is at the power and Gasol replaced (other Eastern staff said will be able to watch).
Regardless of all, the Raptors must get their current starting group. When Toronto got started with his start to start the season, the toshers went 14-2 in the 16 games that played together and issued 16.1 points per 100 holdings in 234 minute at court
Since then, that group took 7-5 in 12 games and there are 3.3 points per 100 holdings near 245 minutes, including four points within 25 minutes of Monday. Whether it's tired (the NBA's biggest games to date), the injuries or a combination of both, the Raptors must change.
"I think we found one eye on the [All-Star]] a little break," said Nurse. "I think they've done many games and a lot of minutes. We need to be a little glossy up. We're talking about it as well. We're trying to get more movement in the beginning, even some plays maybe to make sure we're moving because we'll get a bit bit of bit.
"It's a veteran group. Four of them are four long term chairs who can move slowly at times while Pascal is running around it. We just need to keep track of them and keep them fresh and energy. "
The break should be emerging. Gasol should also be available. Toronto will need if he wants to escape from the East and live up to Ujiri's ambition promise to created
It's no longer nice. The Operators are now looking forward to it.