- There was a ton of news to come out of practice today as guys were scrambling to get ready for their four-game road trip.
- Most importantly, the injury update: Leandro Barbosa will not travel with the team on the trip. He is going to remain in Toronto where he will receive continued treatment on his strained left shoulder. Linas Kleiza did not practice because of the Achilles. Jarrett Jack did not practice because of a sore thumb sustained in the first half of the game against the Bobcats last night. He’s also got the sore knee that they’ve been managing by keeping the swelling down. Reggie Evans did not practice because of a bruised hip. David Andersen did not practice because he still has the flu and was kept away from the team. He did see the doctor, though, and is no longer considered contagious.
- Jay Triano listed Jack and Evans as “probably probable” for tomorrow’s game against the Magic while saying he’d guess Kleiza is “doubtful”.
- That sore Achilles’ may be to blame for some of the traveling/offensive foul turnovers Kleiza’s been collecting so far this season. We saw how it limited him last night when he shot that air-ball and didn’t have any lift on his shot, but it could also be affecting his explosiveness and ability to start/stop in the lane.
- If Kleiza doesn’t start, expect Sonny Weems to be tossed into the starting five.
- Expect to see Joey Dorsey on the floor against the Magic tomorrow. He’s got the size to battle Dwight Howard and especially if Andersen isn’t available and/or Evans is banged up/limited, he’ll be earning minutes.
- When Barbosa left the practice court today he did not have a sling on and Triano told us he said the shoulder is feeling much better. The time off will allow for him to rest both his shoulder and his sore wrist.
- I asked DeMar DeRozan if he remembered the day he signed his letter of intent to go to USC, but he started laughing and said he actually couldn’t remember the day, but did know that he never really celebrated it. He said when he realized he was going to USC, “I told myself. And then my family.” Always so laid back, those Cali boys.
- How do you keep yourself ready when you’re not getting consistent minutes?: “Just stay in shape, stay fit. Try to get some extra work in. Also I’ll go a little early. I feel like even if I play 22 minutes I can still get early work because we need practice. It doesn’t bother me, I’ve got some youth on my side (laughs). I try to stay positive. It’s really the mental aspect of it. Try to stay mentally prepared. Pay attention to the scouting report. Being in the league, it’s my fourth year, I know a lot of players, too. That helps as well, not being a rookie who is thrown out there.”
- What do you bring to the floor?: “I just try to do the little things out there and I don’t really buy into how many minutes I played. This game or not that game. Whenever I’m out there I’m going to play. That’s how I’m going to play. It’s how I’ve been playing my whole life. It’s in my DNA. I’m out there, I’m going to play. As hard as I can.”
- On Miami: “I think they’re picking on the whole team since they were the face of the NBA since the start of the season.”
- What is the trademark of this Raptors team going to be?: “Hustle, play hard and get grimy and grind it out. Like I said, we have to do it for the whole 48 minutes. We can’t start late during the third or fourth quarter coming back and playing hard. We’ve got to play hard throughout the whole game.”
- How do you get over the hump towards playing a full 48 minutes?: “For us, it’s just keep working. Keep getting better. We’re doing all the little stuff that makes us better. We’ve just gotta keep working. That’s all it is. We practised hard today, we came with the mindset that we’re going to get better. We’ve got to keep playing.”
- On Canadian cable and Chris Bosh’s comments: “I haven’t been watching too much TV. I don’t know…I don’t know man. He’s a grown man. He can say whatever he wants to say…I haven’t been watching too much TV. I just got Call of Duty so I’ve been on that.…I’m here to play basketball, not to watch TV.”
- Getting forced out of what they wanted to do last night: “For large parts of the game, our best thing was transition. We got out and we scored in transition when we passed it ahead. When we tried to dribble in transition, we turned the ball over. Our execution has to get better. We shared the ball better than we did in the previous couple games.”
- End of game situations, defensively/offensively: “Defensively, I thought our execution, we did the right thing and had a chance at the end. Offensively, I’ll take the blame for that. It was a play that I diagramed. It’s tough: you know the other team is going to switch on the screen-roll, so you don’t want to set it up for that. But we should have gone to that anyway, because that’s our strength. We could get a big guarding a little, and maybe tried a three over top of a big with Jose or Jarrett on the floor. It’s a play that has worked for us in the past…”
- Who to go to down the stretch: “It’s us trying to figure out where we’re going to go late in games. For years, it was centred around Bosh, or use him as a decoy. Right now we’re still trying to figure out who’s going to be the guy to make the play.”
- Statuses for tomorrow’s game: “I would think that Jarrett is probably a probable and Reggie’s probably a probable. I would say Kleiza and I’m just guessing, but from what I’ve seen, is probably doubtful. David Andersen, I have no idea. We haven’t seen him. We’ve tried to keep him away from the team.”
- Will Andersen travel?: “He will travel, yes. Isolated cabin on the plane.”
- On Kleiza’s limitations last night: “I thanked him after for trying to play because he was not even close. His jumpshot, he’s a good shooter, and he shot an airball. He has no lift, no spring.”
- On Dorsey vs. Dwight: “I almost hesitate to say it, but last year, one of the big things was let’s foul him. But every time we play him, it seems he hits his free throws. Last night, he couldn’t make a free throw, and they end up losing the game.”
- More on Dwight: “There are not a lot of capable options against Dwight in the league, number one, size wise and athletic wise. Joey’s one of our best to go in there and battle, for sure. It’s not an easy task, but he’s got the physical strength might deter him maybe a little more than others might be able to.”
- Does he think Barbosa will join them in DC or Philly to finish out the trip?: “I’m not optimistic right now. I think if we felt like that, he would probably travel to stay in tune with what we’re doing.”
- Based on recent comments, it sounds like Bosh didn’t enjoy himself here?: “I didn’t get that sense when he was here. I don’t remember one day when he came into practice and said he was mad because he didn’t have good cable. We all travel in the States. I watch the same shows here as I do there. I watch every NBA game every night. I flick around and watch it.”
- More specifically, his comments were about being able to have League Pass in Miami: “Do you have League Pass? So do I. We should have informed him that he could’ve got it.”
- On all of the Bosh talk: “I’ve got to be honest. I haven’t heard any of it. I trust you and you guys that say that he’s saying things. I’m not listening to it and I don’t care.”
- On running: “We’ve got to be aggressive but smart. I’m just using an example. I’m not sure it was them on the floor. But we can’t have Andrea and Reggie both run underneath the basket, and Jarrett penetrate and the two wings get deep for shots, and then us turn it over, because now we have five guys on the baseline. The one big has to go down and occupy the rim, which attracts people, and that’s what allows the wing passes. The second big, if he sees the numbers that the guy has in front of him, he’s got to be the safety, he’s got to be the reverse man if we don’t get anything in transition, and he’s got to set drag screens which leads into the flow of our offence.”