A boring day at practice

I’m pretty sure Antoine Wright isn’t going to take DeMar DeRozan’s starting spot. See, DeRozan has done exactly what he’s been asked to do, he’s kept an ear open to the vets and coaches, he’s played smart basketball and has improved with each game. Taking him out of the starting lineup won’t necessarily hurt his development, but it will slow it down. And confuse him. It’s like your boss telling you that you have to do so and so to get that promotion and then you do exactly that so and so and at the end of the month he’s like: Sorry, I promoted Bill.

When you don’t have much to talk about, talk trash. Says one Antoine Wright as he drains his knee and takes another cortisone shot:

“Honestly, I talk trash everyday. You either are going to beat me or get tired of hearing me talking. I think now, the level of practices just has been raised just with guys (having) to hear . . . me celebrating about all of the wins I got today. They are going to be ready to play, hopefully.”

So let me get this psychology straight. He’s talking trash to his teammates after winning a shootaround hoping that it raises the intensity level of the practices? That’s scrapping the bottom of the barrel for motivation. Intensity is always set by the play, not by talk. Trash talk does wonders for personal battles in the heat of a game, not sure how much it’ll help a unit in practice, especially when only one side is talking. Still though, give Wright points for thinking along the right lines. Let’s hope he backs his words with his play in, you know, a real game.

If that didn’t warm you up to this chap, how about this little quote which he advocates taking out one of the C**tics:

“A guy like Ray Allen can get going quick and sometimes you’ve just got to knock him down. You don’t get rollover fouls. You don’t get to use them the next game, so sometimes you’ve got to break a guy’s rhythm. Take a hard foul, regroup, talk to the coach, maybe change the coverage…When we say stand up to them, nobody is going to fight anybody. This is basketball. When we say ‘getting tougher,’ it’s just the mind frame of being able to block out a little bit longer, being able to set a screen every single time. It’s just about being mentally tough enough to carry it out. I’m not saying we need Chris Bosh to start throwing his elbows like Charles Oakley.”

Whoa Daddy, stand back, this guy just might be packin’ a piece his next game! Good quote though, one of those that says “I’m here to turn these pussies into gangstas”. Problem though is that these kinds of quotes shouldn’t be coming for role players on the fringes of the NBA, they need to be coming from your core product which is one of Bosh, Bargnani and Calderon. They would carry a whole lot more weight if that were the case, right now it’s just fodder for a slow day.

Moving along, Triano’s talking about how the team is out of shape and how they’ve finally eased up on the classroom sessions and are playing some real basketball.

“Today we had a lot of positives, we’re starting to grasp a lot of stuff but we’re not in very good shape. We did a lot more live drills, not much instruction. was good intensity guys played hard.”

Ex-Raptors shooting coach Dave Hopla will also be with the team for three days. He’s not contracted to any team and is consulting out there so the Raptors thought they’d teach Amir Johnson how to shoot. Apparently Hopla only missed one shot in 40 minutes and made like a 100+ shots before missing one.

Here’s more video from Turkoglu and Bosh. I’ll summarize what Bosh said: He felt he had a pretty good game against the C**tics and even though he was “huffing and puffing” a lot, it was due to him playing his first 30 minute game since April. He’s also glad that there’s one more pre-season game left and that they’ll play that like a “regular game”.

There’s also this article in the Orlando Sentinel that ranks Chris Bosh as the 4th best PF in the league behind Gasol, Garnett and Nowitzki. He’s just ahead of David West.

I want to touch on the DeMar DeRozan to Vince Carter comparison that came up during my pick-up game today. They are nothing like each other, nothing. Vince was a power-player his early days, DeRozan is a slithery type that looks to slice his way to the rim. Vince had a higher vertical leap and made up for a raw post-up game by simply elevating over anyone for short fades. DeRozan’s mid-range game is all about spotting up for a catch-and-shoot or pulling up after a quick hard dribble and using his high-release. Vince was very active on the offensive glass his rookie year and averaged close to 6 rebounds. Sure, he played 35 minutes but still, that kind of rebounding output from a SG is considered high. If I had to pick NBA players to compare to DeRozan I’d go with: J.R Smith, Danny Granger, Rudy Gay, and Al Thornton. I’m sure I’m missing some but you get the point.

So we have three leagues of 20 teams each in our first RR fantasy competition. Great turnout, thanks for joining, we appreciate it. Those of you who couldn’t get in, sorry, but even though there’s room for probably three more “arenas”, it would’ve been an administrative nightmare, more so than it is already.

Raps are off till Friday and we got nothing but practice talk till then. We’ll throw in a podcast in there too.

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