Things aren’t exciting enough in pre-season so we’re going to create a scandal – Bowling Gate. Did Triano “hustle” Jack? Were Jack’s ulterior motives at play as he intentionally lost to try and appease Triano? Did Marco Belinelli kick the ball thinking he was playing soccer? Did Evans aggravate his foot injury by dropping a size 18 on it? Did Amir Johnson insist that he bowl in a lane without gutters? All questions to be pondered on another dead day. That and Triano talking about all kinds of stuff.

Call me a tribal honker but I think Sonny Weems is great. Here’s what him and DeRozan revealed:

  • He scored a 96 and a 68, DeRozan claims it was a 32 and a 35.
  • Weems’ record against DeRozan in Madden is 5-0. Weems is the best dunker on the team.
  • Hopla going 140/141 forces a man like Weems to listen.
  • North Dakota is the worst city ever (even though it’s really a state).

Here’s a bullet-point summary of what Triano said on Wednesday:

  • “We had a very intense practice. Lots of scrimmage, lot of breakdrown of drills. It inspired some of guys which is what we were trying to do.”
  • Wright went through everything today just like every else and there was no swelling. He’ll be ready to play on Friday. He’s going to get him a lot of minutes because there’s only one game left.
  • They’re trying to keep the weight off of Reggie Evans’ foot so the tendons can heal.
  • Wright is our best defender since Belinelli, DeRozan and Weems all have much less experience. Wright is very coachable and plays extremely hard which makes it easy to give him the nod. Just because he’s the best defender doesn’t mean he’ll play the most minutes.
  • The rotations in the regular season will vary based on matchups and health. Nothing will be set in stone.
  • The players have been educated about the new system and now he’s just drilling it into them practically.
  • The players aren’t 100% committed yet to the defensive system because they’re doing things as they’re told, not how they feel. He equates it to “learning how to run, you have to walk first and then jog. We’re probably at the jogging stage.”
  • Other than Hedo and Bosh, all other guys are ready to play the minutes they’re going to play in the regular season.
  • He is one of the few coaches that dedicates part of their practice to weight lifting, this will pay off later.
  • Teamwork and conditioning are the two key things to improve because we’re missing assignments because of fatigue. We have to improve our endurance level in order to play the defensive system we have.
  • All the Raptors live in the downtown core.
  • He doesn’t want players looking ahead to the schedule, they need to take it one possession at a time. He doesn’t even know the first few games on the schedule because he just doesn’t look ahead.

Here’s something from Wright who obviously hasn’t had this much attention shown to him since…well…umm….ever? He did say this about DeRozan and Weems:

“I think half of the challenge is him being a rookie and not knowing what to expect on this level. I have to make it hard on him in practice, especially when he’s going to be out there when I’m not out there because one of us is going to have to set the tone. I can’t go in with his guy already hot, and he cant go in when my guy’s hot. I have to make it tough on him and push him. I have to push Sonny as well. He has well in pre-season and I expect him to continue to play well. I think we have a lot of talent and depth on the roster. We all just have to be ready to play.”

Bosh vs Bargnani. It’s unbelievable how lopsided that poll is. Sure, some might have misunderstood the question but I think we can make one conclusion from the results so far: Most people think that Bargnani has more tools that could help him become a better player than Bosh. It doesn’t mean that he’s going to be better than Bosh, it’s just that he has the potential to be. Once you look at it in that light the results make a little more sense.

More later.

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