- This season, the Raptors have bumped practice times to a bit later and, wow, does that extra hour make it seem like your day is over before you even get home to sit down and transcribe. It’s nice to have a later start, but I hate getting through transcribing and feeling like it’s time for dinner. Where did the afternoon go?!
- Today at practice we saw a lot of shooting. A lot of shooting.
- We also saw Ed Davis. Today was the first 5 on 0 practice for the rookie who is able to do anything that is non-contact. He spoke briefly with the media after practice –and after a long wait, because he stayed on the court for a long time with Alex English getting some extra work in– and it’s easy to see it was not easy for him to be in a suit for the home opener last night.
- DeMar DeRozan and Joey Dorsey had a spirited game of one-on-one at the end of practice today. It’s almost frightening to watch some of Dorsey’s ballhandling skills. It doesn’t seem right that a man with a frame that big can also handle the ball as well as he does.
- About the shooting drills: Solomon Alabi was hitting everything. Inside, outside, Jay Triano wasn’t kidding when he said he’s got an excellent shot. Another Alabi-fave? The fact that even when he makes a mistake or has to be corrected, he takes the information, then smiles, nods and is ready to go through the drill again. The enjoyment he gets from basketball is written all over his face.
- This exchange was funny today: Triano is reading fellow scribe Eric Koreen’s printed T-shirt. Triano looking quizzical, trying to see the last line, Koreen helps him out by saying, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. Feel free to use it if you want.” If you are as confused as Triano was, the line comes from the television show Friday Night Lights.
- Leandro Barbosa was wearing a brace on his wrist and says he will be wearing it from now on and just needs to get used to it because it restricts his shooting motion a bit. He also said he doesn’t plan on having surgery right now and is excited about this new opportunity for him.
Okay, to the quotes we go:
- On being told his home opener suit was nice: “Thanks, but I wish I was in uniform.”
- What he’s been doing during practice without being able to participate: “I really just try to learn what he preaches to the team and try to learn the plays and just his personnel and everything. It’s all the little things.”
- On Reggie: “What Reggie does is, it’s not a bunch of learning. He outworks everybody on the floor. That’s why he got 16 rebounds last night. It’s more that he’s just working hard. You learn from him that if you work hard you can be that because he’s not the tallest or he doesn’t jump the highest, but he works harder than everybody else and that’s why he gets those rebounds.”
- If last night felt good to know the NBA dream is happening, even if he’s not yet on the floor?: “In a way it did and in a way it didn’t. Like I said, I would have loved to be in uniform and help the team win. It kind of felt good, but not really.”
- What he’s been trying to pick up on, while on the sidelines: “Just like when we’re in meetings and coach points something out, when you’re playing you might not see that, but when you’re on the sidelines you really can see exactly what coach is talking about. Like, if a guy doesn’t sprint back and he might think he did but he really didn’t, just little things like that.”
- On how the Raptors team appreciates/wants to use his skills: “I appreciate that they want me to do all those kind of things. I try to help my teammates and bring all the energy I got in everything I do, the skills and everything, so they can do the same thing and we can go as far as I can.”
- On being known as a streaky shooter and what you do when the shots are not falling: “You’ve just got to be patient and always be positive…”
- Status of the wrist: “I’m a little sore. It’s a little uncomfortable. I just have to get used to the brace and as I get used to it, I’ll be fine… I’m not planning to have surgery right now. This is a new opportunity for me. I’m very happy to have this situation in my life. I want to be here for the team.”
- On needing to get used to wearing the brace: “Yes, yes. I need to get comfortable. I need to practise a lot with the brace, shoot a lot, so I get used to it.”
- On how difficult it is with it on: “It changes a lot because it’s stiff. What they’re doing is putting on this tape and then I put on the brace. I cannot make my whole movement. And my shot … I don’t really bend. It’s all about my wrist. I’ve just got to get used to it. And as I get used to it, it will be OK, it will be all right.”
- On missed layups in the game against the Knicks: “Usually I don’t miss those kind of layups, and I did last night. It was affected, being the first game. It’s something that I don’t do most of the time. I just need to get used to the brace and then I’ll be fine. I will make the layups. I promise.”
- On his daughter’s reaction to his 16-rebound night: “She just asked me how many points I had. That was it. She just asked me how many points I had. I told her I didn’t have any points. She was just like, ‘Oh, all right.”
- On having the 16 rebounds without any points: “When I was in Denver, I had more rebounds than that and I didn’t really score. My teammates were getting on me, Kenyon and Melo and all that, ‘Score a point, score a point.’ I was, ‘What you want? We good.’ You know what I’m saying?’”
- On playing Amar’e: “It’s cool. I’m in for it. I learned from that pre-season game where he kind of just got away with a lot of stuff. He did a lot of things. But it was good for me. I learned from it, because if you remember the last two times we played him, I didn’t play. I didn’t go to Phoenix. When we played them here, I was at home. It was good for me to let him go off like I did. That way, I can see more than one thing. I can see the transition buckets. I can see the jumper. I can see the drive right all the way. I can see the drive left, spin back to the right.”
- On what he saw from Amar’e this time around: “I don’t want to say. I don’t want to say because you don’t really want to give someone too much fuel, like, ‘Oh you said that, oh you said that.’ I saw some stuff where I was like, ‘OK, I didn’t know you had this in you.’ But I don’t want to say it and it gets back to him and he uses it as motivation and kind of kicks my butt.”
- On last night’s game against the Knicks: “If we can hold teams to 43 percent from the field we’re going to win a lot of basketball games. I don’t think we’re going to shoot 38 percent and watching the tape today, we missed 12 layups that we normally make. I didn’t hesitate in showing that to the players because I think that’s a confidence thing. If it was jump shots, then you start thinking, ‘I’m not shooting the ball that well,’ but these are layups and we’re going to make those.”
- On getting 94 shots up: “If you can name five that were not good, I’d be surprised. I liked all of the shots we took and you’re right. We took 95 of them or 93 or four or whatever. I liked the shots we took. If you looked at the shot chart, we were in the lane all of the time. Most times we’re going to make those shots and we’re going to be a lot better off offensively than we were/ If we make half of the layups that we missed last night, it’s not close.”
- On the Knicks getting 52 points in the paint: Well, they took 25 threes as well. We held them down to a pretty decent percentage from the 3-point line, but we did not do that in the first quarter. That’s when they hit four. After that we thought we did a lot better and that’s when we got back into the game. Amar’e's going to score inside, that’s his strength. He’s not going to shoot the ball from 15 feet. He’s going to try to pound it inside.”
- On Reggie’s 16 rebounds last night: “I thought he rebounded the ball very well and got us extra possessions. That’s what we want from him.”
- On Reggie kicking the ball out: “If he’s got a wide open look, we want him to take it. He’s not going to run out with a wide open look, but he’s undersized inside. Sometimes it’s tough for him to get a shot off. We want him to get us another possession. If he can make a basket on it, then we take it, if not then we get the ball.”