I saw Dwight Howard, Deron Williams and those guys and they have muscles. I wasn’t as strong as I wanted to be. Seeing the contrast between me and the other guys made me [bulk up]. It made me totally submissive and I told [the trainer] I’ll do what you want me to do. If I got to do a million push-ups I’ll do it. In years past, I’ve settled for jumpers too much and to be honest with you, you have to be stronger if you’re going to take it to the hole. You have to have good strength to finish around the basket. You get a lot more productivity that way and I want my points and rebounds to go up. I knew I had to get a lot strong in order to do that…I want to be the best player in the league one day.
Thank you! Now enough talk and get on to doing it.
If you read this site at all you know that the #1 criticism levied against him is that he takes too many jumpers, so for him to admit that is always welcome. I’d be even more excited about that quote if I hadn’t heard something similar last training camp, the only difference is that he seems more motivated to follow through. That motivation doesn’t necessarily come from seeing himself in the mirror next to Dwight Howard, but the fact that he’s in a contract year. Everybody talks tough and says all the right things in training camp but nobody remembers these quotes or even looks back at them after Game 10 of the season. Let’s not judge Chris Bosh’s efforts of becoming tougher and stronger in training camp, let’s see what he brings to the table against Shaq on opening night.
Other than that, he did a lot of shooting today and expects to be back either Tuesday or Wednesday. He says even though he’s been out for some time, once he gets back out there, he’ll recover really fast.
You know, Quincy Douby was training with Chauncey Billups and Kevin Garnett all summer, you know, and has picked up a lot from them, you know. Not the voice though you know, he had that before the summer started, you know. I’d paste his entire quote here but I fear it would mostly be a string of “you know”‘s with a word or two here and there. He’s saying that the team is full of players with high IQ and already know the things that you have to teach most other players. He’s again praising the defensive mindset Triano is bringing but is cautious that nothing can be said until they actually face, you know, a real team.
I like Quincy, he worked his ass off in the summer and I’m not talking about Vegas either. The regimen started from the day after the regular season ended and went all the way through to training camp. Weight room, drills, sessions with assistant coaches, training with other NBA players, the whole shebang. The commitment to get better and make a mark in the league is impressive and the reason he’s going to get some minutes even if Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon play well. Other than DeRozan, he was the only other Raptor that looked like an NBA player in summer league and it’s good to see that he might be one. Nothing spectacular but a good 7-10 minutes of ball handling, taking the seam when its there and hitting the open jumper against a defense that has to do a double-take when they see him. People forget he was the 19th pick overall so he does have some talent, he’s shown that he’s multi-skilled and best of all, he’s confident in his ability.
On another note Sonny Weems is my favorite Raptor. He makes another cameo in this DeMar DeRozan interview and has the news of Kanye West canceling his tour with Lady Gaga broken to him by Matt Devlin. He’s the joker on the team.
DeRozan sounds like the last three days have been grueling. Players have been going at him and he’s had to do a lot of learning on the fly; at the end of it he’s crediting his counterparts for showing him the way:
Antoine Wright and Jarrett Jack from the get-go helped me learn stuff quicker and helped me understand stuff. They’re walking me through what they went through on their first training camp and giving me advice which will better prepare me for when the season starts.
He’ll be fine but it’s interesting to note that you don’t hear any stories out of camp talking about him doing anything too spectacular. It’s probably because he’s playing against real NBA players for the first time and the experience has been a bit of an awakening for him. The thing to take away from his interviews is that he’s willing to learn, is humble and is respectful of his mates. He’s got an open mind and understands that he’s got a long way to go before he’s even considered half decent. I think the cast around him is helping him a lot and the more you hear him, the more it makes sense for him to come off the bench and ease into the game. Much more manageable than dealing with the pressure (both due and undue) of dealing with starting responsibilities.
According to Devlin, the Raptors have done more conditioning, fundamental and instructional work this week compared to last season and finished off today’s team meeting with an emphasis on defense. With Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu still out, it makes sense not to practice the offense much. Those two are key pieces of any play we’ll run and not having them around while practicing sets isn’t going to yield much. There’s only so much offense you can teach with second stringers and Calderon/Bargnani, time is better invested preaching and instilling defensive principles.
I’ll be driving to Ottawa at around 8AM for the scrimmage which will be four quarters of eight minutes each with a timeout per quarter. Triano will pick teams (who will change sides during the game) for the scrimmage at the coaches meeting today.