- I apologize about the time of these notes going up. I’m a sneezing, ear-popping disaster over here (lovely image, right?), and got in a serious nap this afternoon as I shake off the beginning of a sinus cold that is trying to knock me down. Better late than never, right?
- We had Ed Davis at practice today and he sure was a welcome sight. While he spent a lot of time working out with Alex English, former Raptor Jerome “JYD” Williams was also at practice, in the ear of Davis, giving him some words of encouragement.
- It was pretty hilarious to me to hear Ed talk about the D-League like it was a complete nightmare. I guess it likely was for a kid who grew up with a father who was an NBA player and who just finished playing at UNC. Bad motels and bus rides are simply not cool with him. Let’s see if he works his butt off up here so he doesn’t have to go back for more conditioning or experience.
- While Jay Triano said he wouldn’t be starting Davis, he didn’t say if it would be Amir Johnson or Joey Dorsey getting the start, but I see why he likes staying with Dorsey. If you put Johnson into the game and he picks up a couple of quick fouls, then you are stuck with him on the bench for the majority of the first half.
- I asked Triano whether he had heard anything about Davis’s conditioning from the coaching staff of the BayHawks, but, understandably, he didn’t want to give the full report he had been given. I did press on the conditioning issue, though and he said he was told his conditioning was fine. That’s good news for the rook who finally gets to get some game action in.
- Another good thing about Davis being back: He was painfully shy prior to being sent to Erie, but now that he’s got something to talk about, he seems a little more open. Here’s hoping we get to see more and more of his personality and opinions as he gets some games under his belt.
Here’s some Jay quotes for you. I’m trying to decide the proper format for this column to make for the easiest reading with the quotes. If you’ve got a preference on the block quotes or just straight transcripts of the scrums, let me know what works best for you.
- On what he’s expecting from Davis when he is able to throw him out there for his first bit of NBA action:
“I’m not sure. A lot of it will depend on what the guys are doing in front of him and how he does when he’s out there. We’re going to have to play him through some of the growing pains. He didn’t have preseason, he hasn’t had a game until now, so we really don’t know what to expect. We’re going to have to let him play through some of the mistakes. We’re just going to ask him to go out there and play hard, rebound the basketball and play defence and let the game come to him…if he can change the way that teams attack the rim with his length and his ability to block shots I think that’s a positive for our team in general, not necessarily with anybody, another big. On the offensive end, if he can get into the paint for us and get offensive rebounds it’ll help everybody.”
- Telling Davis not to focus on thing offensively when he is out there:
“I think it’s the easiest thing for anybody coming in in their first game. Don’t worry about going out and trying to get numbers. Go out there and play every possession. Do the right things at the defensive end. Box out and get rebounds and let the game come to you. If you go out and try to force things, I don’t think that’s going to help.”
And now a little Davis for you…
- On his time with the D-League:
“One, that I never want to go back down there again. It’s a struggle down there. It’s rough. I had a five-, six-hour bus ride to Fort Wayne. It’s really a struggle. You get in the mindset that you just really want to work hard and not go back down there.”
- On what is going through his head and what he’ll be focusing on tomorrow in the game:
“Whenever I’m called on, if I’m called on tomorrow, just do whatever I can do to help the team win…just rebound, run the floor, block shots.”
- More on the D-League lifestyle:
“I was in Erie for two or three days, and I was at the Sheraton. Then we practised at the Cavs’ facility and then we went to Fort Wayne and we were in sort of like a motel-type thing. It was a bad hotel, or a motel or whatever. It was a struggle in Fort Wayne. It was cold out there. There weren’t many places we could eat. I’m just happy to be back here.”
- On the impact the D-League had on him mentally:
It was more of like a mindset thing. For myself, I just never want to be down there again. I just want to work hard, hopefully stay injury free and be out there with the team. The NBA and the NBDL are day and night.”