That's how I approach this new season in Toronto. Everyone asks me about the team, about the additions, and our role in the League. The truth is that I sense certain degree of concern about the role that we can achieve this year with respect to all of the questions. To be honest, I'm worried as well. However, concerned does not mean defeated. It is clear that there are many new faces and we lack the benchmark of our last years. When I arrived in Toronto five seasons ago, Chris was the bulwark of the team and that never changed. He was always there, but not anymore. It is clear that others must assume his role and take responsibility for what he did. We can not think of Chris anymore, and he will not be responsible for the victories or the defeats, therefore we have to take ownership and we have to take it forward.
If am I worried? I am concerned about the youth of the roster. Clearly there are many talented young players but they are still not familiar enough with the league and they need experience. They have quality, but the knowledge of the League is fundamental. I remember perfectly how my first year was and I came from an important professional league and National Team in which I had responsibility in high competition.
I am also concerned about the allocation of roles; thus far the preseason hasn't left a clear idea how those roles are going to be shared. We are all playing pretty much the same number of minutes and with equal responsibilities on offense. It is early, there remains another ten days until our first game, but we have unknowns that need to be defined.
I am worried about my performance and my physical condition. I'm fine and I feel good. The small injury suffered before the World Cup is forgotten and was not significant. Jay Triano knows he can count on me, like always, and I'm ready from the start. I'm working on these games to analyze the play of my new colleagues and see how I can help more. I am not worried about the topic of scoring, whenever it is necessary I will assume those shots that I'm not taking now. The important thing is to get to know each other better, to know where they need the ball and how I can help them perform better. This is how I understand my work as a team point guard.
As I said earlier, I can understand that they think about us with concern, but I also know that we will depend on ourselves. If we can play as a team, defend, not be selfish and think more about the collective than the individual, we must not fall behind other teams in reconstruction. Without going any further, in our Division (the Atlantic), I see Boston clearly above anyone, I even see them fighting for the ring. However, Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey are like us. We can compete with any of them if we propose it to ourselves.
That's enough for today, next week I want to talk to about my teammates and tell you what I think about them and the team.
Josť Manuel Calderůn