Bosh and Turkoglu rested on day three but it doesn’t matter because it gives more camera time to Sonny Weems who is a funny guy. Last couple days he’s been barging in on other players’ interviews and yelling Beyonce has one of the greatest videos of all-time! What’s funnier is that I don’t think Devlin gets the joke, at least he didn’t when he was interviewing Antoine Wright about the day’s events. Wright – also known as the man who fouled but didn’t foul ‘Melo – is all about defense and says Triano’s preaching defense with every breath he takes and every move he makes. He says that although every player would like to start, he doesn’t need to start to make an impression on the team and points to ex-teammate Jason Terry and Denver ornithological interest, Birdman. Triano was asked which player had impressed the most so far and he went with Wright.
He was asked to pick one player who has impressed so far and he went with Wright:
I think Antoine Wright’s basketball intellect is very high, he seems to pick up things on offense, he knows how to play the game at the defensive end of the floor and he’s tough.
Triano on the effort so far:
The detail at which they’re paying attention and the effort has been outstanding. All you can ask for this early is that they work hard and they’ve done that in contact and non-contact drills.
Triano when asked how much he’s focusing on offense versus defense.
Very little of the offense, we’re slowly starting to get through the defensive situations and how we’re going to cover them but the biggest thing is drilling them and having guys becoming familiar with what they’re supposed to on the defensive end. We can drill individually but it has to be a team thing, because our defense is very much team-oriented. Defense is reminded every time we go into a meeting, every time we step on the floor…everything we’ve talked about is defense. It’s going to have to be one of our staples if we’re going to be successful and I think the guys know that.
Put all this together and it would be a massive understatement to say that the theme of the pre-season has been defense. He hinted at us hanging our hat on our defense and how it should be a staple of the team, whether it’s doable is another matter but it’s still a great philosophy to go into camp with. I’m thinking back to last training camp and can’t find a single fuzzy memory of Mitchell saying anything like that. Further testament to how hard we’re working on defense is Reggie Evans fouling out after five minutes of scrimmage. Either that or Reggie Evans can’t defend worth shit. The bruiser’s exploits are being depicted in this article where he’s portrayed as a man who just wants to swing some elbows, break some jaws and make men out of boys.
The Raptors have been going with Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon in the same lineup so far and according to Jack, the reasoning behind it is that it allows for two good ball handlers with Jose playing off the ball and more opportunities to run the pick ‘n roll. If Devlin could keep the interview serious and not talk about Bosh’s locks I’d have more to say. Jack also hints at Bosh being a leader because he’s the franchise player but I take that as being a generic statement made out of obligation rather than actually meaning it.
I know Jose off the ball sounds great in theory but I suspect there will be some problems with that. See, Jose is not very good at moving without the ball which means his defender won’t have a terribly difficult time staying with him. It’s not enough to be a great shooter to have success at off guard, just look at Kapono from last year as an example. Contrast this with Rip Hamilton who is terrific at using screens and ducking underneath his own teammates to find space and you’ll see the two very different ways one can play off the ball. Unless the other guard on the floor is someone who is constantly getting into the paint and drawing attention, Jose will have company as he waits at the wing for a clean look. Still, let’s give Triano the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure he’s got something cooking when it comes to getting his shooters clean looks.
I tried watching Colangelo’s interview but I was severely distracted by his hand motions. It’s like he’s at the doctors trying to describe a stomach pain which he can’t find words for. In the end he tells us that Antoine Wright was going at DeMar DeRozan yesterday and the rookie got frustrated but came back today with a stronger performance. Bargnani’s playing well but Amir Johnson is stealing a bit of the show with his shot blocking, mid-range game and by running the floor.
We apologize for these shorter training camp reports but we’re basically shut out here. If we were allowed at training camp we’d be keeping you so informed that you’d be sick of us and beg us to stop giving you updates of even the smallest possible story. Say for example Antoine Wright and DeMar DeRozan walked past each other without saying hi. Boom! That right there would be a 1000 word post.