The Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat will likely both be without their starting big men for the rest of this second-round series. Soon after Miami announced Hassan Whiteside's sprained MCL would keep him out indefinitely, the Raptors said Jonas Valanciunas will miss the rest of the series with a sprained right ankle injury.
Valanciunas' status should the Raptors advance to the Eastern Conference Finals is unclear. Toronto holds a 2-1 series lead over the Heat after winning Game 3 on Saturday. Game 4 is scheduled for Monday night.
Valanciunas had been dominant in Game 3 prior to the injury, particularly after Whiteside went out early in the second quarter. The Raptors' big man notched 16 points and 12 rebounds before coming down awkwardly on a rebound early in the third quarter. He also helped power the Raptors to victory in Game 2, scoring 15 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, including several crucial offensive boards late in the game.
Backup Bismack Biyombo will likely start in Valanciunas' place, just like he did for the 17 games Valanciunas missed early in the season with a fractured hand. The Raptors could also use forward Patrick Patterson at center to change things up, as they did in the fourth quarter of Game 3.