- Injury report: Jose Calderon left shootaround early and is still being held down by that flu. Jay Triano said he will be a game-time decision tonight. I’m kinda hoping he sits and gets healthy and Jerryd Bayless gets some serious burn.
- We spoke to Sonny Weems at shootaround and got some insight into his injury and how he’s taking precautionary measures to keep his back right. While Weems said he’s feeling much better and had his first real, full practice with the team yesterday, he spoke about how tough it was to be down with an injury for so long and how young players blessed with athleticism often take their bodies for granted and don’t put in the necessary work to take care of them:
“Before the injury I didn’t do anything. I didn’t stretch. I hated stretching. It caught up with me. I never stretched, even in high school, college, throughout my whole career, I never stretched. It caught up to me. Taking more heed to it now, though.”
“I love it. I loooove stretching now. I try to do it as much as I can.”
Weems said he was given an exercise ball from one of the Raptors’ trainers and that he is so focused on his core strength he has taken to sitting on the exercise ball instead of the couch while watching TV. It sounds like the injury caused Weems to take a moment and evaluate how he had been treating his body:
“It makes you more humble. A lot of young players don’t like to stretch, don’t like to do the simple stuff to make you become a better athlete. A lot of young players take that for granted. Me for one, I did that. I took that for granted. One thing I know, I’ll never do it again.”
Weems had his family come up to Toronto last week while the team was on the road because he needed some positive reinforcement. While they’ve returned to Memphis (“My dad’s a pastor, so he has to get back to church and my mom, she’s the first lady, so she had to get back, too”), it sounds like their visit was exactly what he needed as he went through four hour treatment sessions while the team was gone.
It was real tough, man. I had to bring my mom and dad up here just to have family around. You want other people, like your family members to tell you it’s going to be alright. It’s nothing like having your family around when you’re going through tough times. My mom and dad came up here and made me think about everything else.”
Wondering how DeMar DeRozan assesses his game and what he needs to improve on? Here’s what he had to say about things he needs to focus on besides his offence:
“Defence. Defence is always the key, especially at this position. Going against the two guards every night that are extremely good. Just get better at that end and once that gets down pat, offence will come easier…Sometimes I get frustrated with myself when I see I only have two or three rebounds because I should be at least having six or seven or eight rebounds. Just going in there, definitely helping them out.”
I think those six, seven, eight, rebounds might be a bit of a lofty goal for every night, at least at this point, but hey, nice to see the sophomore aiming high and expecting big things out of himself. I’d take the defence before rebounding if I had to take one, but, to sound like every guy who has ever played professional basketball before, “it is what it is.”
DeRozan also told us his team during his first two years in high school was “horrible” and that he got through the bad times by staying positive and telling himself that tough times don’t last forever, but tough people do.