Training Camp Recap - Day 3
Matt Tierney - Raptors.com
On a gorgeous day in Burnaby, B.C., the Raptors were busy grinding out another two-a-day, leading up to Sunday’s preseason opener against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Here is what we learned…
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BIGS
Not often does an NBA team enter training camp with most of their big men in mid-season shape. This is the scenario that the Raptors find themselves in with Jonas Valanciunas and Luis Scola playing for their countries this summer and Bismack Biyombo with the NBA Africa initiative.
Valanciunas in particular believes this summer has set him up for a strong start, “My expectations for this season are high, I’m ready to play and I think we have a great team. I was working out with Jack Sikma a lot, we had a good offseason.”
Much has been made of Valanciunas’ new contract extension and the increased expectations that come along with it.
Both Coach Casey and Patrick Patterson feel Valanciunas is ready, “He’s getting older, he’s been battle tested so you see that confidence level,” said Casey.
“JV has improved overall, his ability to score in the post and also on the perimeter being able to knock down shots,” added Patterson.
Luis Scola seems to be flying under the radar but his new teammates and coaches are well aware of what he brings to the table.
“Luis definitely has gas in the tank. He’s so smart. He does a lot of subtle things you don’t notice,” Coach Casey’s assessed.
Former Houston teammate Patterson was impressed that at age 35, Scola was still adding new facets to his game, “I’ve known Scola since I first came into the league and seeing him hitting turnaround jump shots are things I haven’t seen before.”
That’s all for Day 3, Sherm and Jonesy to close it out…..