Archive for the ‘Practice notes and quotes’ Category

- Practice was short and sweet today, with the guys exiting pretty quickly to head to the airport and depart for Boston. The team will have a Thanksgiving dinner this evening and there was a nice sense of appreciation all around the practice court today. It may not be a holiday here in Canada, but while our American friends celebrate what they are thankful for, I’d like to say that I’m thankful for this game.

- No need for anything more from me today, except to say this: Jerryd Bayless was 3-for-3 from deep last night and he was draining them all over the place today in practice. Also, I’ve been told this before from friends who have covered him around the league, but seeing it firsthand, I can confirm: the guy is intense. Even during shooting drills, he is dialed in until he steps off of the floor.

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- Quickest way to ensure you don’t get anything original at practice? Add a ton of cameras and people who don’t normally attend present to the mix. With everyone in attendance to get info on the new players the team acquired over the weekend, there were a ton of media members at the ACC today. It was pretty crazy. Made me realize how insane it must have been during Vince Carter’s high-flying days. Made me happy we don’t have to fight for positioning in scrums every day.

- We did speak with both Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless, of course. I can’t say I spoke to Stojakovic, because here is the photo I took of his media scrum while I was not in it. Shout out to Eric Koreen for holding my recorder for me, though.

Quick thoughts on the two from only one brief interaction? Peja’s a fan of this city, a professional vet and is refreshingly aware of how blessed professional athletes are to live the lives they do. Jerryd’s very excited to be here with an opportunity to prove himself and if today is any indication of his media savvy, he may very well wind up being a go-to quotes guy.

- It’s a glorious sight to see Sonny Weems knocking down 3-pointers with ease during practice sessions this season. He’s clearly improved his range and today he was raining threes all over the ACC practice court.

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- This season, the Raptors have bumped practice times to a bit later and, wow, does that extra hour make it seem like your day is over before you even get home to sit down and transcribe. It’s nice to have a later start, but I hate getting through transcribing and feeling like it’s time for dinner. Where did the afternoon go?!

- Today at practice we saw a lot of shooting. A lot of shooting.

- We also saw Ed Davis. Today was the first 5 on 0 practice for the rookie who is able to do anything that is non-contact. He spoke briefly with the media after practice –and after a long wait, because he stayed on the court for a long time with Alex English getting some extra work in– and it’s easy to see it was not easy for him to be in a suit for the home opener last night.

- DeMar DeRozan and Joey Dorsey had a spirited game of one-on-one at the end of practice today. It’s almost frightening to watch some of Dorsey’s ballhandling skills. It doesn’t seem right that a man with a frame that big can also handle the ball as well as he does.

- About the shooting drills: Solomon Alabi was hitting everything. Inside, outside, Jay Triano wasn’t kidding when he said he’s got an excellent shot. Another Alabi-fave? The fact that even when he makes a mistake or has to be corrected, he takes the information, then smiles, nods and is ready to go through the drill again. The enjoyment he gets from basketball is written all over his face.

- This exchange was funny today:  Triano is reading fellow scribe Eric Koreen’s printed T-shirt. Triano looking quizzical, trying to see the last line, Koreen helps him out by saying, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. Feel free to use it if you want.” If you are as confused as Triano was, the line comes from the television show Friday Night Lights.

- Leandro Barbosa was wearing a brace on his wrist and says he will be wearing it from now on and just needs to get used to it because it restricts his shooting motion a bit. He also said he doesn’t plan on having surgery right now and is excited about this new opportunity for him.

Okay, to the quotes we go:

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- Not a lot to report from Shootaround. Jay Triano did say that Leandro Barbosa will play in tonight’s contest against the Knicks. He practiced yesterday and participated again in shootaround this morning.

- Triano also said the team had a sports psychologist speak with the team during the Vancouver portion of training camp about process and outcome and the things that will make them a better basketball team. He said this is something they’ll probably continue to use to help the team.

- Two Raptors brought out to speak with media today: Jarrett Jack and Reggie Evans. It’s a new day, people. Embrace it.

- Jack was asked about his leadership abilities throughout the preseason. He says he’d give himself a good grade if he had to grade himself and that he’s worked on being vocal and communicating, reminding guys when not to go out, or when to bring it in early. Sounds like he’s enjoying the leadership role he is currently occupying for the team. Jack’s family is in town for the game tonight and he mentioned at practice yesterday that there would be a home-cooked meal for his teammates courtesy of his parents.

- When asked about fans coming to the game, Jack told us a story about recently meeting a father and son at a hockey game. It was their first game and they were in awe of the professional athletes. Not knowing who Jack was, they asked him after some people came over to get autographs. After he introduced himself they were excited to meet him and told him they had never been to a basketball game before. The father/son duo –who live about an hour outside of the city– will be getting a chance to take in the game tonight, courtesy of tickets from Jack.

- Yes, people watched the Miami/Boston game. Jack said he wasn’t surprised with the outcome of the Miami/Boston game, saying that he expected Boston to win. He was sure to say that he thinks Miami will be a great team because of the talent they have, but that it’ll take time for guys to get used to how things are going to work.

- A note on Reggie: When he starts a quote with, “You know what, it’s like this right here,” you know you’re about to get something good.

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