- The Bobcats are an interesting team. When I went to their morning shootaround (that was held at 9am, which is like the crack of dawn for sportswriters who don’t go to bed before 3am), I was the only media member there. No, I don’t mean from Toronto media, I mean from either team. No TV crews, writers, anyone. The team was very low-key, very quiet, very on their own. Maybe it was the morning hour, maybe it’s just how the team goes, but it sure was a change from the Raptors who are always involved in halfcourt shooting or one-on-one battles, etc.
- The big news we were waiting on today was the status of Leandro Barbosa, Linas Kleiza and Jarrett Jack. While Jack has promised he will play, Jay Triano says that Kleiza’s still experiencing soreness of the Achilles’ and will be a game-time decision. Barbosa underwent diagnostic testing on his left shoulder yesterday and left the ACC in a sling. He will not play tonight and is currently listed as day-to-day.
- The good news about Barbosa: The results from yesterday do not show any major damage to his shoulder and the diagnosis is still a shoulder strain with some swelling. It is not known if he will accompany the team on their two-game road trip to Orlando and Miami.
- After talking to coach Jay Triano, Andrea Bargnani was given the duty of speaking to media today. That went about as swimmingly as you’d expect. Bargnani is pleasant enough and always answers your questions, it just feels like he does it in 20 words or less. If you don’t know what I mean, check his quotes, below.
- On why the ball isn’t moving on the offensive end: “The inability to attract a double team. We had a lot more freedom of movement when we were attracting double teams and able to move the basketball. We haven’t been able to move it because we haven’t been breaking guys down. Guys have been a little bit selfish in trying to do it all themselves. The selfishness, it’s them caring and wanting to do it on their own. But we have to be smarter than that.”
- Offence going stagnant as guys play one-on-one: “Guys are just trying to break the guy down in front of them and get us back into games. That just fuels the other team’s transition and fast breaks, and increases our numbers of turnovers and bad shots. If we move the ball, make a couple of extra passes, we’ll get a better look, or the same shot. But at least other guys have touched the ball and become engaged.”
- On the breakdown of their turnovers/getting into trouble when guys go one-on-one: “51 of our 105 turnovers are guys trying to do it by themselves instead of making a play for somebody else. That’s 50%, or pretty close.”
- Turning the ball over: “I think there are too many turnovers in the game right now for us. We’ve talked about it: we need every possession. The thing that hurts even more is when we turn it over, we don’t give ourselves a chance to play in the halfcourt defensively. That is when your defensive field goal percentage against goes skyrocketing, when teams run out and get layups on you or open looks because there are a couple men down at the offensive end.”
- On needing a win now: “Yeah. We’re 1-6. We really have a sense of urgency. We need this game. Then we’re going to go on another tough road trip so we definitely need this game more than anything else.”
- Just 1-2 at home on the season. How to turn that around: “Play better. Play with more energy, more pride. We didn’t play good last game. We’ve got to play better. Pick it up. Everybody.”
- On the offence getting stagnant: “We’ve got to share the ball better. We’ve got to play everything better. Everything we do, defence, offence, passing the ball, rebounding, a little bit of everything.”
- Does the offence dictate the defensive intensity?: “Probably. We miss shots, we hang out heads down. We’re a little bit upset and we come back defensively, we don’t play with aggressiveness on the defense end.”