After his start to the season was slowed by injury, Leandro Barbosa is beginning to show the skills that Raptors fans have seen from him over the years in Phoenix. His lightning-quick speed and the ability to put points on the board in a hurry are both things that the Raptors desperately need. Luckily for Toronto, Barbosa is beginning to find his way within the offence.
Part of the reason for his recent success is getting familiar with his teammates. Another has been two weeks worth of training sessions with the man known as “The Hoops Whisperer”, Idan Ravin. Ravin is a former lawyer turned trainer who works regularly with the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Jason Richardson.
After Barbosa returned from missing six games with a shoulder strain, Ravin came to Toronto to work with the Brazilian Blur on getting himself back on track. While he left Toronto on the 5th, his work paid off.
Barbosa was first introduced to Ravin through former Suns teammate Richardson and says the two have worked together for years.
“I always tell him any time that he has time to come to me, to come,” Barbosa said. “We worked very, very hard every single day. It’s been working really well for me.”
Barbosa would not share what he and Ravin had been working on, but the results are obvious when looking at recent box scores. The eight-year vet was under the weather with a cold last week, but has scored 22 points in his last two games while shooting better than 60%. More important than numbers is how comfortable Barbosa is beginning to look in a Raptors uniform.
“I’ve been working with Idan since I was in Phoenix. We have a good relationship…and since I met him I’ve never stopped working with him because he always makes me feel comfortable. My game gets better and that’s what I need right now. I’m very happy that he got to spend time with me to work me out.”
Barbosa acknowledged that he’s still not 100 percent healthy, but it’s coming.
“I’m feeling better. He’s been making me do a couple of things that I usually don’t do. I’m definitely very comfortable right now.”
Comfortable, but still not where he wants to be. Thanks to his time with Ravin, though, Barbosa is confident he will get there.
“I’m not there yet, but I’m getting better,” Barbosa said. “He is getting me over there.”