Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls

Raptors Valanciunas hurts neck, taken to hospital after game


In recent weeks, the Raptors have seen a lot of progress out of young center Jonas Valanciunas — he came into this season in Toronto with a lot of hype but proved to be a work in progress. But last month he was the Eastern Conference Rookie of the month with a double-double in 12 straight games. And he’s still improving nightly.

Which is why the end of Tuesday’s game was frightening.

Rudy Gay and Carlos Boozer had a jump ball with 9.1 seconds left and Valanciunas went hard for the loose ball after the tap, his head hitting Gay’s shoulder. Hard.

Valanciunas went to the bench where treated by team doctors, and while you might have thought it was a concussion they were worried about it was more of a whiplash like injury, reports Steve Aschburner at

Long after the final horn, as fans exited and cleanup crews began their work, Valanciunas was fitted with a protective collar and escorted from the court. He was taken to nearby Rush Presbyterian Hospital as a precaution and to undergo a more thorough exam.

Doesn’t look like anything long-term serious, but serious enough he had to go to the hospital.

Hopefully he is back fully healthy — next year he could be part of a renaissance up in Toronto with the Raptors.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.