Trail Blazers Capitalize On Rare Practice Opportunity
This year’s condensed season has been an adjustment in many ways. From limited rest days to back-to-back-to-backs the list of differences from a normal schedule is extensive. Perhaps most importantly, beyond the grueling physical demand, is minimal practice time.
In a normal 82-game schedule teams practice a couple times a week, play a few games and have a day to rest. This year, squads are lucky to practice once a week. Most play four to five games and try to squeeze in a practice, but are forced to rely heavily on pre-game shoot arounds to do their learning.
Today the Trail Blazers had a chance to utilize a full practice to focus on execution of offensive and defensive sets as well as integrating new pieces into the lineup. Here’s what the Interim Head Coach Kaleb Canales and a few of the guys had to say about the importance these rare “off-days.”
Interim Head Coach Kaleb Canales
“I thought today was a good practice day. I thought Jonny, Hasheem, J.J., we got a lot of good reps in. Offensively and defensively what we want to do and preparations for tomorrow night, but any practice day is good.”
“We gotta take advantage of them. It’s been a weird, weird season as far as trying to cram everything in a short amount of time. So, for us, the more practice time the better. We have a lot of new guys as well so we’re trying to implement those guys.”
“I don’t mind the less practice honestly. [laughs] It’s definitely needed. I think a lot of times people don’t realize how important it is. Especially for a team like us, new head coach, bringing new guys in, it’s definitely important, getting the rhythm to play with each other offensively and defensively. Today was a good day coming off a good win. It wasn’t too intense, but it was to the point where we were in and out real quick so we can save our bodies for tomorrow’s game.”
“It’s good, you get to catch up on some of the things that we’re successful in the game that we just had and some things that we need to work on and not have to go 100 percent in a game situation during the game, trying to make adjustments from last game. You have practice time to figure it out, talk it out, so we can get ready for the next one.
“It’s more maintenance and just getting down to what needs to me done execution wise. There are not many days in between where you can try to kill each other and then execute the next day and then play a game.”
“You need practice, especially in this shortened season like this where practices are really, really scarce. So when we can have days when we can really get after it a little bit it’s really helpful. Especially for a player like myself that’s coming in.”