Oct 03

Trail Blazers Training Camp: Day Two Notes And Quotes

By sarahhecht Posted in: joelfreeland, meyersleonard, NicolasBatum, trainingcamp

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.


  1. Oh my goodness Miss Sarahhechet, you do bring some fascinating news; I love it all.
    I read the bell thingy yesterday and am glad the team is making it chime.
    Keep bringing it

    by Hg on 10/3/2012 2:57 PM
  2. Yay, Hi Sarah! Great job with the notes! as you may remember I am a freak for Blazer everything. I watched every min of the day 1 practice and now I am combing through your notes:). The bell, I know what it is. Every time a player makes 20 straight 3's, they ring the bell. Coach Stotts implemented this idea. Cant wait to chat with ya on game day!

    by L.T.G on 10/3/2012 4:31 PM
  3. 3 words. I. CAN'T. WAIT. !!!

    by bigjeff911 on 10/3/2012 6:42 PM
  4. I mentioned on another blog site that it's interesting that Price and Mathews have rung the bell on both practice days.

    by riverman on 10/3/2012 9:58 PM
  5. riverman:
    Also, I have read that Price is playing like hungry rookies, full of fire and bringing it everyday, Maybe he brings more to the table then just a mentor for Dlill, You do remember that I am not a BB guru, just a Blazer nut, and I am learning everything I write about from varies blogs; My LBBIQ says that if Price is a natural PG and has curtailed himself from being a shoot first guard to more of a facilitator, therefore teaching DLill the same way and if he can still make shots, why not use him as a back up PG, as he would give us more experience in the second unit and now that EWill is down for the year regardless of the height, let Nolan be the main back up for the 2gd since he too likes to play aggressive and that is more his natural position until he learns more of the PG role and court vision. So Like Miss Sarahhecht says maybe we should just classify them as guards wings and bigs instead of pigeonholing each individual position, If Nolan becomes better at setting up the offense, then surely use him at the PG, but since Barton can already create for himself and others, does it matter when Nolan and Barton are in the game together which is classified as PG and which is classified as 2GD?

    BTW, Sarah, I got to listen to your whole show yesterday and loved it. You brought up the question of PF or Centers, which is the same thing I was referring to above. The reason LaMarcus doesn't want to play center is because he is superstitious about the PTB centers having a spell put on them with injury epidemic, He is fine with playing center but just call him a PF2.
    Your Question about Joel and LaMarcus playing together with both being a great elbow shooting and Big Johns reply was two players in the game doing the same thing usually doesn't work, which is IMO, true, but if you would take it one step farther and classify Joel as banging the boards for rebounds and put backs, and LaMarcus is not comfortable as of yet with contact, then the two fits much better. In fact I wrote in one of your blogs that if you thought that Leonard as classified by a few knuckleheads as being soft, and JJ as being a banger if it would not be better to put a combination of a banger and a finesse player together as a duo on the court; Big John kind of confirmed that yesterday.

    Ya I know, once I start talking BB I become a magpie, which by the way is one of my nicknames, because of my last name being Mangum and 99.9 people with speed reading sees it as Magnum and my E-mail address is magnumpi, so now I am Magpi. So ya again I just can't shut up when if comes to the Blazers.

    by Hg on 10/4/2012 3:41 AM
  6. Great article! I can't wait to read all the news from day 3. Not long at all until pre-season games start, so excited to see Damian and Meyers work that pick n roll

    by CamAUS3 on 10/4/2012 5:38 AM
  7. Wish I could be there, Keep the good news up.
    Don't quote Nick word for word, it is confusing.
    The behind the scenes stuff is FANtastic...... Thanks Sarah

    by mbmurr1 on 10/4/2012 11:43 AM
  8. Thanks for reading all!!

    Hg, the bell was ringing again today! Also, your thoughts on the game never cease to amaze me. As far as the big man situation goes, I really do believe we'll see a lot of mix and match that will cater to matchups. The guys are really working hard at expanding their games and complementing each other.

    L.T.G.! wELCOME bACK mY fRIEND! <-- haha, see what I did there? I'm amped to chat it up on game night, only six more days!!

    riverman, why does Wesley and Price ringing the bell surprise you? They're both solid shooters.

    mbmurr, when I'm quoting guys it's word for word. I don't take any liberties in changing their words because I don't want to unintentionally change their thoughts or messages.

    by sarahhecht on 10/4/2012 12:54 PM
  9. Miss Sarahhecht: I was watching Just Casey and was shouting hurray when those bells rang. but couldn't see who was doing the shooting. Then I lost my feed and never found out.

    BTW, do to my bad hearing, when Matthews was talking to you and Casey, about being in shape and now running in practice, Did he say until I pulled a hamstring? apparently not or you or Casey would of followed it up, so I am not sure if he was talking about Barton or what; could you fill me in?

    by Hg on 10/4/2012 1:25 PM
  10. Hg, Will Barton didn't practice today due to a pulled hamstring. He hurt it yesterday while running.

    by sarahhecht on 10/4/2012 1:28 PM
  11. Sarah, I had heard that, but I was worried that Wesley also pulled a hamstring.
    Thank you for your response.

    by Hg on 10/4/2012 3:14 PM
  12. Grrr....take advantage of my excitement on game nights will you? I will be forced to tell the world of your love of all things THE WAVE. Yeah thats right, Sarah is a fiend for THE WAVE yall.

    by L.T.G on 10/4/2012 4:23 PM
  13. Noooo! Not the wave!!!

    by sarahhecht on 10/4/2012 4:43 PM
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