Valančiūnas confident Raptors can beat Heat to clinch final four spot
The Toronto Raptors face the Miami Heat tonight with the chance to clinch a final four playoff place and Toronto’s injured Lithuanian NBA star Jonas Valančiūnas is confident they can close the deal in Miami.
"I have faith in my teammates and they are doing a great job," Valančiūnas said. "I'm going to be cheering, going to be doing what I can do to support them and hopefully they're going to win this series and next series I can help them."
Toronto take a 3-2 lead to Miami and are one game away from a first Eastern Conference final in their history. The key match-up will be between Dwayne Wade and the Raptor’s DeMarre Carroll, although Carrol is a doubt with a wrist injury he told reporters he was confident of starting.
Valančiūnas was ruled out for the rest of the semi-final series with a sprained right ankle, but whether he’s out for the rest of the season season is unclear.
"We’re just going to see what’s happening," Valančiūnas said earlier this week. " The plan is ice, keeping it high and resting. You do this and see what happens."
"It's tough because I was enjoying playing basketball. I was doing work so right now I cannot think about it, have to just get better and come back," he said.
Toronto’s two All-Star guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry stepped up in Game 5 with DeRozan hitting a playoff career-high with 34 points, and Lowry chipping in 25 points and 10 rebounds to put the Raptors in pole position going into to tonight’s game.
Toronto will looking for their two go-to men to replicate that form tonight in Miami and take the Raptors into the final four of the playoffs for the first.