Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 12/18/12
CLEVELAND -- Raptors coach Dwane Casey took a few moments prior to Tuesdays game in Cleveland to answer some questions about his team, as well as the Cavaliers. The Raptors (6-19) have won two straight overall -- but have lost 11 consecutive road games. Question:How is rookie center Jonas Valanciunas doing? Casey: Hes coming along. Hes a typical rookie -- hes had some good moments and hes still learning. Every night is a lesson for him. He gives 110 percent, but like any rookie, hes learning about the NBA and the nuances of the game. But hes getting better, learning different situations and were very pleased with his progress. Q: Why werent you scared off by his overseas contract when he entered the 2011 draft (Valanciunas was selected fifth overall but did not play in the NBA last season)? Casey: We knew last year was a lockout season and itd be just as beneficial for him to play overseas and get the experience. We think its going to pay off down the road. It was a short-term setback for a long-term investment for a young man of his talent. It takes most big guys a little longer to come along. But the sky is gonna be the limit for him. Q: What specifically do you like about him? Casey: He has great hands, good footwork, hes light on his feet, hes athletic for a 7-footer and runs like a deer. You cant teach that. The only he needs is to bulk up, the physical maturity. Hell get those things just by getting older. He loves to play, thats the other thing about him. Hell be in the gym, especially if youre in there to work with him. Q: What type of problems does Cavs guard Kyrie Irving present? Casey: Hes a handful. Hes just a talented young man. Theres a reason why he was drafted where he was. He just gets to where he wants to go with the ball, and has combined that with his outside shooting. That makes him doubly tough. His speed and quickness are issues (for opponents), and now you add Dion Waiters, who does the same thing Were going to have a lot of things to think about tonight. Q: What about Cavs center Anderson Varejao? Casey: The thing about him is he knows how to play. Hes going to take more charges than he does block shots, but he gets into the passing lanes for steals. Hes not a great shooter, but it seems like hes always around the ball and the basket. Theres a reason why hes one of the top big men in the game.
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