- It’s amazing what a win can do. While Jose Calderon stressed that the Raptors need to keep in mind the game against the TWolves was just one game and one win, everyone was feeling good today. Well, everyone but Jerryd Bayless. Jay Triano said that Bayless started practice and was hoping to be able to participate despite the sprained knee, but wasn’t able to finish.
- There was not a Trey Johnson sighting at practice today, but that could just be because signing tomorrow would mean his second 10-day contract would run through the Raptors’ final game before All-Star Break. Thanks to Doug Smith for pointing out the schedule to me. We’ll see tomorrow if this is how it goes down.
- Leandro Barbosa went through practice and is feeling better, minus the issue of conditioning. After missing the last three weeks with that hamstring strain, Barbosa hasn’t been able to do much of anything. While the time off has helped his wrist, shoulder and other various ailments, Barbosa was winded today. So winded, in fact, that he remained lying down on a training table while we came to him to speak with him.
- As soon as he saw us he immediately apologized for lying down while laughing and saying he couldn’t get up. There was a day-long basketball clinic going on at the ACC that Amir and Leandro were conducting after practice, so the two were resting before another round with the kids. Looking tired from the practice, he was in good spirits and is anxious to be back:
“This is my second practice since I’ve been hurt. After three weeks not doing anything, I think it’s just normal. No cardio right now for me, I think that’s the most hard thing for me to get. As the game goes on I think I will pick it up.”
- One thing that was apparent from talking with Leandro was how tough the past three weeks have been on him. We often overlook the guys who are stuck on the bench or at home, injured during a losing streak. If it’s painful for the guys on the sideline, it’s got to be really frustrating to not even be able to help your team try to get back on track. Here’s Leandro on being sidelined through the streak:
“It’s really tough, you know. When you see your team up there on the court and trying to win games, trying to do the best you can do and you know you could be there, it’s not fun. It’s not a happy thing to watch the team as you know you want to be there. It was really sad for me. I don’t want to say depressed, but you get low. I don’t like to feel that way. I don’t like to get hurt. Sometimes you go through bad things and you have to be ready for that. I’m happy to be back.”
- The kids attending the clinic in the Barbosa jerseys were a pretty adorable sight. Especially the little boy who said, “This is the best shoe ever. Barbosa just stepped on it!!”
- There was a lot of dunking going on after practice today. Jose Calderon was getting up and showing his teammates he could still throw down while Leandro, Sonny and DeMar cracked up watching him. Sonny was working on a crazy dunk attempt on a side basket, but couldn’t sort it out. We were told that DeMar did manage to complete the dunk the other day when Darryl Dawkins was in working with him. All I’ll say about it is that it’s something I have never seen before and would make for a crazy difficult and exciting showing if he’s able to go with it in the contest.