It’s happening again. All you Jonas Valanciunas fans out there, if you thought that going to the Grizzlies was going to free your man from the yoke of questionable coaching, it’s not looking good. It’s still early, so Bickerstaff has some time to get things properly in order. Let’s not panic yet. But tell me if this looks familiar to you: after finally getting the go-ahead to play from President Trump himself (he intervenes in immigration matters personally if he feels like it), Valanciunas scored 23 points in 21 minutes in his first action for Memphis. Let me repeat myself. 23 points. 21 minutes.
Now, maybe Valanciunas is still recovering from his injury and they’re trying to ease him back into things. I’m right now praying to every deity I can think of for that to be the case, and I suggest you do the same. Otherwise, it’s looking like the same story from his Raptors days: big production despite being held down at every turn.
It’s very strange seeing him in a new uniform. I’ve been making vids for this dude since his debut (I didn’t actually upload his debut because I didn’t want to step on the toes of someone else who already uploaded it; I hope other highlight makers extend to me the same courtesy and refrain from uploading other versions of this performance). That’s 7 whole years of seeing the very best (and none of the worst) of Valanciunas. And I think I spent half that time complaining that he should get more minutes; if he doesn’t get those minutes in Memphis, I’m gonna lose it.