Jonas Valanciunas ‘doubtful’ to play Game 4

Courtesy of Dan Hamilton, USA Today Sports

Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas is still significantly hampered by the ankle injury that has kept him out of the last seven games and isn’t likely to play in Game 4.

His official status for the upcoming contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers is “doubtful,” as reported by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

Valanciunas suffered hisĀ ankle injury in Game 3 of the last series against the Miami Heat, and he was sorely missed in the first two games of the current series when the Cavaliers dominated the paint.

However, in his absence center Bismark Biyombo roared to life in Game 3, recording a franchise-best 26 rebounds to go along with four blocked shots. At one point he was dominating the game without having even scored a single point, but he actually went on a six-point run a while later and finished with seven.

As well as Biyombo played, there is no doubt the Raptors would be in better shape with Valanciunas in the lineup as well. His ability to spread the floor to create space on offense has been generally missed, as have his five extra fouls and his ability to snap up rebounds. In 10 playoff games, he was averaging 15 points and 12.1 rebounds per game before being injured.

If the Raptors can string together two wins in a row to even up the series, perhaps the extra time off as they travel back to Cleveland will finally give Valanciunas the make an impact in this series.