Day 8: Camp Wraps On The Left Coast
Related: Back To Training Camp Blog | Media Day Chat Replay
Follow Matt Devlin's Tweets From Camp | Preseason Media Guide (.pdf)
Discuss It On: Twitter | Facebook | Raptorspace
Day 8: Camp Wraps On The West Coast
Jay Satur - Raptors.com
October 5, 2010
Tuesday officially concluded the Raptors eight-day training camp but according to head coach Jay Triano, the preseason is merely another teaching tool for his rebuilt team before the games starting counting for real.
"We're just partially through it because we're counting all of October as our training camp," said Triano. "We're going to practice hard on a game day. Shootaround tomorrow is going to be a taped shootaround, where we're going to do live things and nobody is going to be playing enough minutes where they can't practice in the morning and then still play at night."
That being said, Triano is eagerly anticipating a new look from an opponent.
"I like where we are right now, but it's going to be exciting to play against someone else to see where we are against other NBA competition and not just against ourselves."
The Raptors will be considered the visitors against the Suns tomorrow at Rogers Arena on TSN at 10 PM ET and we'll have full coverage, including our first LIVE GAME CHAT of the season.
Dorsey's Peak Performance
With one of the more imposing physiques in the league, Joey Dorsey seems more likely to smash through mountains than climb them, but the big man was among a group from the organization that scaled the "Grouse Grind" near downtown Vancouver in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The 2800-foot ascent takes about 830 stairs and goes about 2.9 kilometres, so not exactly an easy feat for a guy who weighs in at nearly 290 pounds. But while on a team-building yacht cruise on Monday, Dorsey received all the fuel he needed.
"I heard the coaches talking about it and I asked 'can I do it?' They were like 'No way,'" said Dorsey. "They were like, 'Joey, you're not going to make it.' So, once they doubted me, I prepared myself to get up at 6:30 this morning and go take on the Grind"
The moral of this story? Do not challenge Joey Dorsey.
"That's the biggest thing with me," he said. "Everybody that says I can't do something, I try to overcome it and show them that I can. I've been told that my whole life. That challenge that they gave me yesterday, I had to take it on."
The climb however, wasn't without its pitfalls.
"Mentally, I broke down probably three times," said Dorsey. "There was a guy that went by me that was like 80 years old. He was coming into where I was at -- I was probably 30 seconds in front of him -- I looked back and he was right beside me. He was huffing and puffing and I was like 'man are you ok?' He's like 'are YOU ok? You stopped, I'm still moving.'"
Dorsey claims he was in third place early before eventually dropping down to 12th amongst the Raptors group, but he still earned some serious praise from assistant strength and conditioning coach Jon Lee.
"For somebody that's 287 pounds and climbing up that mountain he did pretty good," said Lee. "We started out at seven o'clock before that gate was even open and he was pretty pumped up to go up."
Amir Expanding His Repertoire
We've heard Amir Johnson mention his work with assistant coach and Alex English this offseason and on Tuesday, he got a little more specific on his focus while with the Hall Of Famer in East L.A. during the summer.
"Just working on his turnaround jump shot he used to do," said Johnson. "Just keeping the ball up the same time."
While new weapons in his offensive arsenal were part of the plan, building his range was also a priority.
"We always did five shots a spot. Then I'd run full court, come back down, same spot and shoot it and just do it all on five spots on the floor... it was a lot of repetition."
English has been encouraged by what he's seen from the five-year pro.
"He's getting better every day," said English. "The more he plays and the more that he gets a chance to use it in the game, it's going to only build his confidence.
"I hope we can keep him healthy, keep him in the game, because he really worked hard on his perimeter game, as well as, just being more focused on the floor."
English, an eight-time NBA All-Star and the league's 13th all-time leading scorer, knows a thing or two about adding to his game.
"I remembered when I played, every summer, I would add a different kind of shot or I would get stronger or I would do a little bit more conditioning, so when I came back I had something different to add to my game on the floor and every player should do that," said English.
"That's what Amir did this summer, that's what Reggie (Evans) did this summer and that's going to be a plus for us."
Check out even more video from Tuesday's practice, including David Amber, Rowan Barrett and Sherman Hamilton reflecting back on training camp, Matt Devlin's one-one-ones with Julian Wright and Andrea Bargnani plus Devlin and Jack Armstrong looking ahead to the preseason opener against the Suns (can you say, 'Ball'?).
Another blog down, another great experience. Bring on the preseason!