Day two, check. Training camp is in full swing and the fellas are hard at work. Just like yesterday, here are some bits from the morning session.
The team isn’t practicing in defined units yet.
Normally when we watch practiced the team is divided into the starting unit and the second unit and they’ll practicing with their most common lineup. This is done to maximize the chemistry between guys and make their practices more efficient. So far, this training camp isn’t broken into units, yet.
Head Coach Terry Stotts on not breaking into units early in camp: “I really like the first week of training camp to mix things up. I like different people, trying to even out the teams, letting different players try to play with guys they may not if they were, say LaMarcus.”
Joel Freeland on the lack of defined units during practice: “We don’t really know, we’ve only been together for a day and a half so they’ve been mixing up the units the whole time so we don’t really know what the first unit is. I played with pretty much everyone so far. I don’t think he’s [Stotts] really putting in who’s the first unit and who’s not at the moment and time."
The competition for the starting center spot is real.
Freeland on the fight for the starting center: “There’s always competition, everyone is trying to fight for that spot. But at the same time we’re all teammates and we’re not trying to hurt each other we’re just trying to get out there and doing what we know best.”
Meyers Leonard on working toward being a starter: “I come in, show them that I want to learn and that I want to try and prove myself. I think if you come every single day to practice and show ‘em that you care and you want to work hard and you want to get better then you’re gonna have your chance during the games. There’s always intensity going on between guys trying to get playing time. But not only that, for me I’ve always been competitive, so I’m going to get after it regardless, but definitely, the fact that it’s kinda out there for someone to go grab and take off with it, it’s kinda a thing to fight for.”
Prepare yourself for a new-look offense.
I don’t think you’re going to see an entirely new offensive system, because lets face it, there are only so many basic schemes run in the NBA. But what you should be ready for is seeing this team play to their strengths and that means using their small size to their advantage.
Batum on offensive changes: “We are more aggressive on pick and roll. We have a small team, we are not like big, big men. You know, LA, Joel, JJ, Jared, alls more forwards than center so we pretty quick so we have to use it. We small, but we quick so we have to use our strengths. We move, we move around, we gotta be together, gotta talk. That’s what we talk about.”
The on court communication will be the key to defensive success.
As I noted yesterday, the gym was loud! It’s quickly becoming clear that Stotts is pushing communication as the keys to the successful defensive kingdom, a philosophy that the guys seem to be buying into. So much so that after the final team huddle the bigs stayed behind in a smaller huddle to address their role.
Freeland on the small huddle: “We we’re talking about that we need to talk more. We’re the back eye of the defense and we gotta let everybody know what’s happening all the time and some guys are not talking as much as other guys so we need to pick each other up all the time to make sure we’re all talking together.
Batum on the defensive emphasis: “Defense, this morning every time we play five-on-five or a game the point was on defense, almost like 90-percent of the time.”
As a side note, the bell was on fire today. Wesley, Nico, Luke and Ronnie, just to name a few. Not sure what the bell is? Learn up my friends.