- Injury report: No Sonny Weems, Leandro Barbosa or Reggie Evans. Linas Kleiza and Joey Dorsey will both be game time decisions.
- With Peja Stojakovic waiting to join the Mavericks — he was on the sidelines during the Mavs practice today– and Sundiata Gaines not with the team now that his 10-day is up, the roster is looking a little thin. My man Scott Schroeder over at FanHouse reports that the Raptors have signed D-League leading scorer, Trey Johnson to a 10-day. Welcome, Mr. Johnson. Healthy? Good. Stay healthy for the next 10 days, would you?
- Lots of talk about the morale of the team today at shootaround. Normal for a young team after going 0-5 on a five-game trip and losing their last seven straight.
- My favorite quote from the morning came from Jay when I asked how he keeps a young player like DeMar DeRozan focused on attacking the hoop and not on getting involved with the officials when he’s not getting the calls he thinks he deserves:
“Keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t say anything to the officials. Eventually, they will respect you and your game. If you stop, then they win.”
- Who would have thought when Sonny Weems went down with back spasms on December 17th that he’d still be out. It’s been just shy of six weeks since Weems has played in a game for the Raptors and this morning Jay said that the guys who didn’t travel with the team on the road trip would not be ready to go tonight. Yikes. That’s 18 missed games and counting for Weems.
Some quotes from this morning:
- Jay Triano on how he the guys have been fighting through the frustrations of losing:
“We’ve talked from the beginning of the year that it’s about the process more than it is the outcome…I think they care. They like each other and they care and they want to be coached and they want to work hard and I don’t think you could ask for much more than that. The only thing we can keep giving them is keep coaching them, keep working hard as coaches and keep giving them the experience that they need to become better basketball players.”
- Jay also talked about the struggle in coaching a young team where results are not the single most important factor:
“We don’t want them to hang their heads. I think this group has been pretty darn good about trying to stay positive and trying to keep working through. I think the other night in Miami was the perfect example where you’re down 26 at half and you could just mail it in in the second half, but we talked about being a better team in the locker room and I thought, second half we actually put ourselves in a position where we could come back.”
- DeMar DeRozan spoke about the road trip:
“Everybody is just fighting for a win. Seems like it’s always something. Somebody is hurt, somebody is getting sick, but we can’t really worry about that. We’ve just got to keep playing.”
and then about the positives the team is taking from the second half of the game against the Miami Heat:
“You seen the fight. We fought back when we got down big to a great team. We fought back and I think we showed our will to win. We’ve just got to be able to play a 48-minute game.”
“Man, it was definitely important, because I think nobody on the team wanted the same outcome that happened from the previous game so everybody just sucked it up and played hard.”