TORONTO – Despite the fact that it happened towards the end of the summer, the Toronto Raptors’ training to reintroduce the interior of the Walt Disney World Bud did not feel exactly the kind of light and windy summer camp you might be familiar with.
Instead it has become a surprisingly intense, trash-talk-filled affair with the boys walking hard towards each other.
“There’s plenty of juice, there’s plenty of juice in the building and high spirits,” the captain’s head coach Nick Nurse said at a conference on Thursday. “It’s all good stuff. I mean, it’s stuff of a competitive nature, but it’s all right.
Naples, Fla. Just as they did after their pre-restart camp, the Raptors are mentally ready to start the game again. When the team was finally allowed to start taking part in the 5-on-5 after arriving on the Orlando NBA campus, the stifled competition spread.
This is especially true of Toronto’s second-unit squad, who have boasted of mercilessly chipping starters during practice and pushing them to the limit.
“I was really happy and excited that the little boys were getting Fred [VanVleet] Kyle [Lowry] And Pascal [Siakam] Their intensity level has worked even higher, ”said Raptor Norman Powell. “The game got really good after we got things in our team skirmishes and things like that.”
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Powell sees himself as the leader of this Raptors reserve unit and conveyed this message to the bench in the beginning with what they got because it is not just for their benefit, but for the whole team.
“I have had multiple discussions with Stanley [Johnson], [Patrick McCaw]Chris [Boucher], [Terence Davis II], How they would look at me, how they would feed me, how they would go I told all these guys with them, especially in yesterday’s practice, I told them, ‘we’ have to go to these guys because we want their spot, ’” Powell said.
“This approach makes things just look out of place for them and that’s our approach every day. Every day you’re trying to prove something here. Every day you’re trying to show yourself why. With the Championship squad and all five of us being part of that championship last year, Going to a unit like going to the unit really helps with our confidence.When we win and beat them in the workouts and get frustrated, the calls that aren’t being made or whatever they are going crazy in the coaches, I think it’s for us Builds a confidence. “
Rhonda Hollis-Jefferson added: “I would say the first unit to understand that it’s a part of basketball, they know our job is to come up, push them and make them better. So, I feel like we’re doing it, we’re doing it. It’s hard for the boys to do it, the only way we can do it is to know how to make our team better overall, we know we have to come every day and those guys should just work there, when they come out it’s like, ‘We We’ve been in practice all day so we’re ready for that. “
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Perhaps the most memorable aspect of the 2017-18 Raptors season was the team’s Vanted Bench Mob, a team that combines defensive intelligence, endless strength, integration and fearlessness rather than the sum of its parts aud and a clear identity.
There are similarities between this season’s reserve group and that favorite 2017-18 iteration, especially how remarkably fearless and how competitive this unit of 2020 seconds is.
When the season starts again and in the playoffs it could potentially be a huge boon for the Raptors. Having more depth is never a bad thing, especially depth that is confident and ready and able to contribute to its potential.
“I think we have our own unique feeling and style of play and I think we have very hungry people who want to go there and prove themselves from the outside, from top to bottom,” Powell said. “We want to be able to get there and the coaches and starting units know that when we go out and play and get ready for these games we will not let go of any performance or intensity. “