Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Patterson

A better effort makes all the difference for Raptors against lowly Pacers; The bench has been absurdly good and Bruno speaks on Canadian weather

- December 13th, 2014

For the first time in a while, the Raptors played hard, played tough and played smart (at least defensively). Against a good team, it might not have been enough to finally get untracked offensively in the fourth and still come out with a win, but luckily for the Raptors, the punchless Pacers are missing three key pieces from last year’s East-leading group.

- Wrote about how ridiculous the bench – especially Lou Williams and Patrick Patterson have been here. For an update, after Friday night’s games, Lou Williams now leads all NBA reserves at +153 and Patrick Patterson is next at +136. Tyler Hansbrough is up to sixth at +92. James Johnson and Greivis Vasquez are also up there, as well as Canadians Tristan Thompson, Robert Sacre and Cory Joseph not too far below them.

- All week long, Dwane Casey has been harping on the team’s awful rebounding and constant defensive mental errors. Strides were made in tidying up those areas against the Pacers, the second-best rebounding team in the NBA. Jonas Valanciunas was a force, completely overwhelming Roy Hibbert and the other Pacers all evening, something he has done consistently against the Pacers the past couple of years now. Patterson stepped up his rebounding effort and Hansbrough gave them good minutes. When the Raptors come out aggressively, they tend to win games.

“That was big for us especially with the talented bigs that Indiana has and just the physical basketball that they play,” Williams said afterward. “It was important for us to hit first and I think it carried over for four quarters.”

- Clearly the bench is a major strength. “It’s good for teams to have a second group, to give the first group relief and then for them to have a group when they go out of the game that isn’t going to allow slippage,” Williams said. “we have a lot of guys that can start on other teams and we’ve accepted the role of being backups and we take that in pride, we take that in pride that we know we’re going into games and going to change the pace of the game. I think that’s a major plus.”

- It was a happy locker room post-game. Vasquez was talking up all of his teammates, Lowry was talking up Williams (well, everyone was actually doing that) and Brazilians Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira weighed in on the weather. Bebe said he has seen worse. Bruno was told last winter was far tougher and responded with a smile: “That’s because I am here now.”

A couple of notes that I had to cut from the paper due to space limitations:

REST FOR AMIR?

Amir Johnson has been playing through some injuries this season and has not looked as mobile as he or the Raptors would like on many nights.

So it was natural that head coach Dwane Casey was asked before the game whether giving Johnson a bit of enforced rest might be an option – eventually.

“(That) hadn’t been talked about. We’re already a man down (DeRozan),” Casey said. “At some point that could be a possibility but it hasn’t been talked about.”

Casey said the team has looked at “all scenarios” including playing Patterson at small forward, sitting Johnson for a bit, or something different.

Casey said Johnson has a collection of “knicks and knacks” little ailments that are adding up.

Even though Johnson’s rebounding numbers are way down this season though, he is still doing a good job at boxing out, which is creating more opportunities for teammates – especially Valanciunas – to go to work on the boards.

Johnson had more lift on Friday, throwing down a couple of dunks off of passes from Kyle Lowry.

ONE GAME AT A TIME

The Raptors are playing some of the league’s dregs for the next little while, but Dwane Casey is not eyeing a big run from his team.

“We’re not in a position to overlook anybody, any stretch of games,” Casey said.

“Tonight, last night, it’s all been about the Pacers. That’s the most important thing. Once, as a player, you start looking down the road, next game, two games, a stretch of games whatever, that’s where you get in trouble.”

Starting with the Pacers, the Raptors next six opponents were a combined 35-101 so far this season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dominant Valanciunas, clutch plays by a variety of Raptors sunk the Suns

- November 25th, 2014

Remember when the Raptors were known as a franchise that never got it done in the clutch? It seemed to be that way for years. No team seemed to lose as many winnable games by doing one thing or another wrong late in fourth quarters. That simply doesn’t happen anymore. It started last year and has carried over to this season. What was different about the game against the Suns, was the way the fourth played out. Instead of mounting a furious rally, as has become their norm, the Raptors saw a 15-point lead get erased by the ridiculously explosive Suns. That forced the home side to have to make several key decisions in the biggest moments and they came through. DeMar DeRozan called some of those “muscle plays.”

- To that point, there was this crazy Kyle Lowry sequence, there was Lowry swiping the ball away from Isaiah Thomas, similarly to how he had won an earlier game in Boston by pickpocketing rookie Marcus Smart. There was Patrick Patterson hitting two free throws when he hadn’t yet scored. There was Patterson pulling a Kevin Love by launching the ball down the court and Amir Johnson making a significant play to go up and haul in the pass like Calvin Johnson (no easy feat, considering Johnson has not shown his usual life this season. A joke heard afterward was that Amir only jumped three times on Monday, but he sure picked his spots well).

- Told by a reporter that the Lowry steal and his pass to Johnson were “ballsy” Patterson responded, sometimes you have to be.

- Lou Williams winning player of the week, despite being a reserve, was one of the more unexpected storylines we’ve seen in years, though it probably shouldn’t have been all that shocking. Dwane Casey seems like a near lock for East coach of the month and Lowry likely will be an honourable mention (with a shot at winning if Toronto beats Dallas on Friday I’d say).

- Williams talked about fighting to get back from a devastating injury, a process that definitely had some dark moments. Williams admitted he had some doubts after tearing his ACL in January of 2013. When he returned last season, he was not the same player he had been before. Atlanta basically gave him away for nothing rather than paying a guy they worried might never be the same.

Williams can’t blame them. “Absolutely. When you’re sitting there and you have a cast on and wheel chair and crutches and can’t lift your leg up, you can’t ride a bike, you can’t run, you can’t jog, obviously there’s going to be some doubt there,” he said.

“Two years later it’s great to see some fruits of the labour to feel myself back to 100 per cent, being back healthy and having some success.”

Williams said he was buoyed by the knowledge his friend Lowry had battled back from the same injury, suffered while he was in college.

- A lot of anguish out there about Valanciunas not playing for most of the fourth despite his huge game, but the Suns went tiny, who was he going to guard? Yes, he was scoring easily, but Phoenix wasn’t going inside at all, preferring to just bomb away (it was working) and Valanciunas would not have been able to cover enough ground out there defensively. Against most teams, his sitting after a performance like that would be an outrage. Against Phoenix, it made sense.

“They had three point guards out there so that caused us to do some things. JV had to come out and JV had it rolling,” Casey said. “As long as they kept their big in, it really helped us but once they spread those perimeter guys out it put us at a disadvantage. Threes vs. our twos is not a good trade off.”

- Valanciunas, by the way, is fifth in the East in player efficiency rating, is shooting 59% from the field, 80% from the free throw line and putting up career best rebound and block rates, with the lowest turnover rate in his three seasons.

- James Johnson returned far earlier from his ankle injury than expected (he missed three games), but was only able to play four minutes. Tyler Hansbrough (shoulder) did not dress.

- Isaiah Thomas on Lowry: ” He’s been given a good opportunity to run a team and he’s taken advantage of it. Everyone knows what Kyle Lowry’s about. He’s like a pit bull, he’s a leader, he’s a guy that never backs down. I think his opportunity just got bigger and he just took advantage of the role that was given to him.”

- Seem to say this daily now, but the Raptors refuse to get caught up in what the standings say: “For me we’re still a growing team. It’s still too early to look at the records,” Casey said.

“My job is to continue to push, continue to improve in a lot of areas and not get caught up in records or anything like that. Once you start doing that, that’s when you get in trouble. I remember in Dallas, we were like 24-5, and you would never know we were 24-5 because everybody had a businesslike attitude. All of the fans were watching Cowboys football. We were 24-5, and you would never know. That’s the way you have to approach it. You can’t look at the record. You’ve got to make sure you do your job, not only game by game, but possession by possession. This is [an unforgiving] league and it will do you in once you start overlooking possessions or skipping letters from where you are or getting caught up in thinking you’re somewhere where you’re not.”

- Casey pointed out rebounding as the area the Raptors need to improve in the most. Williams said if this is Toronto’s “roof, we’re in trouble. I think we have a lot more things that we should accomplish and other teams that we need to beat in order to be taken seriously in this league.” Like beating the Suns.

- Ex-Raptor P.J. Tucker on the ACC crowd: “It is a lot different, it’s unbelievable,” Tucker said. “Definitely moved up to one of the best home courts, hands down in the league. It is unbelievable what they have done here.” I was impressed by the way the fans roared once Phoenix took the lead in the fourth, showing their support, helping the Raptors to get back on top.

 

 

 

 

Raptors continue to tempt fate but Magic don’t have the experience yet to close games; Red hot Ross providing a boost; Bench the difference again

- November 11th, 2014

The Raptors are playing with fire, but until they get burned, things might not change. Until they start losing games that they “half-ass” at the beginning, they probably won’t alter the script. They were the best fourth quarter team a year ago and have picked up where they left off. They have all the confidence in the world that even if they coast early on, they will find a way to win games in the end. It’s a very dangerous game to play. Try it Thursday against Chicago and it is extremely doubtful the record gets to 8-1.

- The first quarter woes extended through the entire opening half against Orlando. The Magic shot 53%, had 16 assists (to seven by Toronto) and just five turnovers. It was basically a walk in the park for Elfrid Payton, Channing Frye, Nikola Vuvevic and the rest of the visitors. The Raptors were a first place team in name only.

- Assistant coach Bill Bayno made a good point at the break: The Raptors are a known team now. They have a large target on their backs. Teams go at them hard from the jump. It’s not an excuse, it’s reality. If the Raptors don’t come out aggressively early, you can bet most other teams will, because nobody is looking past the Raptors anymore. Those days are long gone.

- Top to bottom, Toronto just has a deeper, better team than Orlando. That depth carried the day on Tuesday, with Patrick Patterson, James Johnson, Lou Williams, Tyler Hansbrough playing the biggest roles, with some help from Greivis Vasquez, who had a poor game, but played well late. The reserves scored 11 straight points to tie the game, setting up the eventual victory. Not a lot of reserve units can match up with Toronto’s group.

“I like the resolve of our team. The second unit came in and did what they were supposed to do and really competed,” head coach Dwane Casey said afterward.

- Terrence Ross continues to sizzle. The third-year swingman has put a tough start behind him, rebounding with three straight strong offensive games. Ross has scored 18, 17 and 17 points in the games, and averaged nearly five rebounds. He has also hit 12-of-18 three-point attempts after hitting just six, total, over the first five games. By hitting 67% of his threes over the past three games, Ross has raised his average from outside to an outstanding 47%.

- Kyle Lowry was excellent and by far the best of the starters. DeMar DeRozan had a rough night. Johnson had a good offensive night and got better defensively as the game went on.

- Early on, Orlando simply outworked and outran the home side. Toronto’s big men were particularly disinterested in competing. Jonas Valanciunas has had some good games against Nikola Vucevic, but this certainly wasn’t one of them. He failed to run the floor and again looked a step slow defensively. Amir Johnson’s typical frenetic energy was absent early.

- Valanciunas has missed a lot of makeable shots so far this season and especially against Orlando. Valanciunas shot 61% on shots within five feet last year, but has been 10% worse so far. It is early, he has time to correct whatever is going on.

- Lowry has not been drawing as many charges as he did last year when he was right near the top of the NBA’s leaderboard, but he took a couple against Orlando at key moments.

- Not sure why exactly, but Toronto really has Orlando’s number. The games are usually pretty tight, but Toronto has won nine straight meetings, the closest being the one DeRozan won at the buzzer in Orlando a couple of years ago. It is the longest streak Toronto has against any team.

- Yes, the Raptors sit alone at the top of the NBA. Yes, it feels a little weird to type that.

Bloodied DeRozan carries the Raptors; Injuries ‘good’ for Raptors; Vasquez back in pass mode;

- April 3rd, 2014

DeMar DeRozan had an impressive night Wednesday. After struggling in the first quarter, DeRozan was excellent, putting the team on his back. He even wrapped up big Omer Asik, splitting his hand open, but kept on going, taking a big charge.

“I haven’t really played without Kyle. He played every game. It was an adjustment for me tonight. I figured it out there after the first quarter,” DeRozan said after the game.

“I kind of split the middle of my hand, the webbing of my hand. I didn’t even notice. I looked down and my whole hand was soaked.
“It wouldn’t stop bleeding. But it’s cool.”

Now the Raptors will have to try to stop the bleeding on the injury front. That said, Amir Johnson and Kyle Lowry should be back as soon as Friday, and some Raptors believe a brief absence by those two crucial players could actually help the team if one is thinking long-term.

“I thought this was good for us as a team because it gives guys confidence and gives guys more minutes going into the playoffs.” said Tyler Hansbrough, who has more post-season experience than most of his teammates combined.

“When you go deep in your bench and build, that it helps you for later on down the road.”

Added Patrick Patterson: “They’re all-stars, they’re leaders, the backbone of this team. Whenever Kyle’s not playing, that allows DeMar to get more shots, more opportunities and he capitalized on that tonight. Whenever DeMar’s not playing, Kyle does the same thing. When they’re both out there, it makes it a lot easier for all of us. When they’re out, it causes everybody to raise their game to another level.”

- Greivis Vasquez had been asked to score the ball for the past two months, playing a lot beside Lowry, but with Lowry out, he was asked to be a facilitator again. Vasquez responded, picking up eight assists and no turnovers.

Casey on the injuries: “We’ve been very lucky. Our training staff has done a great job of keeping guys prepared. We’ve been very lucky not to have had some major injuries, knock on wood, throughout the year. The little injury bug has hit us a little bit. The schedule’s not going to stop. We’ve got to keep going. Next man up.”

 A few stats:

Terrence Ross tied his career high with nine rebounds

Toronto is 31-2 when leading after three quarters. Houston shot .294 in the fourth quarter.The Rockets sat fourth in the NBA in field goal percentage and third in points per game coming in. No Dwight Howard obviously changes things for the Rockets considerably.

The Raptors sit at 19-8 when hitting 10+ threes. DeRozan has now scored 28+ points in three of the last four games.Houston went 23-7 against the East. Toronto is 15-8 since the all-star break.

 

 

 

 

 

Bucks at Raptors Points Per Game: The DeRozan surge continues; Taking care of business; The JV up-fake; Bench still balling; Greek Freak impresses

- January 14th, 2014

These Raptors continue to differentiate themselves from editions past. That certainty those who cover the team on a daily basis or those who have watched for years that Toronto would somehow find a way to blow almost any game late is gone. The tendency to look past middling (or worse, as is the case with the Bucks) opponents, also is mostly a relic of the past.

- DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry continue to make convincing all-star cases. Both shut the door on Milwaukee in the third quarter (Toronto continues to dominate in third quarters of games, puzzling Dwane Casey who was lamenting the team’s struggles coming out of halftime only about a month ago). Lowry shot 4-for-5 in the third. Everybody knows Lowry’s a great passer, but DeRozan’s become an effective quarterback with the ball as well. His improvement in terms of seeing the floor is as noticeable as his step forward as a scorer.

- Toronto’s now third in the East and since Atlanta’s not getting top player Al Horford back this season, could well stay there. Why? The team has jumped to sixth in the NBA in defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) and is 2nd in that category since the Rudy Gay trade and is 15th in offensive rating (12th since the deal).

- That defensive success starts with the standout job Lowry is doing at the initial point of attack and filters to Amir Johnson, one of the league’s 10 best help defenders. Jonas Valanciunas has taken major strides forward as a helper and Patrick Patterson has been solid all-around. Add in the jobs Terrence Ross and John Salmons are doing guarding the perimeter and slight improvement defensively from DeRozan and it all adds up to strong defending. The Raptors play hard and tough and are positionally sound, executing what the coaching staff asks of them on that end every night.

- What’s up with teams biting on the Valanciunas up-fake? Does nobody watch video? He can hit short jumpers, but would rather do something else. Yet, half the league seems to bite hard when he pump fakes, leading to dunk after dunk. The Bucks are long and athletic with the potential to have a bunch of all-league defenders, but John Henson and his teammates need to up their basketball IQ. That will come with experience. Again, they’re not the only culprits. Casey won’t like me writing this, but it’s baffling how the league has struggled to counter the Valanciunas pump fake or the Terrence Ross corner three. Both of those things have been huge for the offence.

- Top Raptor reserve units of all time … go – This one’s up there. Patterson’s been fantastic at both ends of the floor and added 18 more points while maintaining his 50% accuracy mark from three-point range as a Raptor. The bench combined for 43 points. John Salmons followed up his best game as a Raptor with an outing that might even have been better. Rudy Gay’s doing great in Sacramento, but this deal was a massive win for Toronto. I’m sure Masai is happy his friend Pete D’Allesandro benefited as well, but what he really cares about is what it did for the Raptors and the answer is – a lot.

(Great (OK, good) Raptor bench units of the past: Of course T-Mac, Dell, Muggsy, Willis; Dee Brown, T-Mac, John Wallace before that; JYD, Childs, Murray; Marshall, Bonner, MoPete; Bargnani, Calderon, MoPete, Graham, Humphries).

- A minor complaint, maybe, is the average play lately from  Johnson. He’s set the bar pretty high over the years and is still doing it all defensively, but his offensive game has been far less noticeable than usual the past few weeks.

- Said this the other day, Giannis Antetokounpo does things every night that make you think he’s going to be special down the line similar to a young Tracy McGrady. You don’t see that very often. Anthony Davis had it at Kentucky but was more of a finished product (even though he still has a massive ceiling). Butch Carter tweeted the McGrady comparison yesterday and he’d know as well as anybody having been there for McGrady’s start. The Greek Freak looks like a multi-dimensional game-changer down the line. It just might take a few years before he gets there.

- Count Bucks coach Larry Drew as sold on the Raptors:

“Right now they’re certainly a different team than they’ve been in the last two or three years,” Drew said. “They’ve added some real solid pieces that give them a lot of stability. They’re very, very deep.”

“They played a much more physical game than we did and we just didn’t respond to it,” Drew said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Draft rumblings; Calderon on Bosh; Bosh on the radio, etc.

- June 24th, 2010

Crazy day today. Besides all the draft stuff, there’s news from Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon.

That stuff first:

Bosh was on ESPN Radio and had a few things to say. Basically admitted LeBron is the first domino, everyone is waiting to see what he does before they make their move – no surprise there, the other guys will wait to see what the league MVP does.

“Am I waiting on LeBron? Pretty much,” Bosh said. “I think everyone has to. I have to as well.”

“He’s a great player and I would be crazy to think that all the teams that are considering him, they would talk to somebody else first,” Bosh said. “I think everybody is going to be going at him first.

Bosh talked of the importance of playing for a great coach. As I said earlier, he’s bang on there. You need a proven coach to get it done in this league, history shows that.

Bosh said Toronto isn’t out of it, but I think that’s just to appease the remaining fans he has here (and from the e-mails and Twitter comments I’ve been getting, most people have already turned on him)

“Toronto is a great place. … They have a lot of good things going,” Bosh said. “And they’re definitely a team that I’m going to be looking at very hard because they can do things that other teams can’t.”

To me, though, that’s been one of the main problems. How many good teams give the ball to their star big at the end of games? Dallas and who else? It doesn’t work. This is a guard’s league now. You build around a stud swingman or point guard and have a great No. 2 big man to help out.

Going to address a couple things than move on from Bosh topics for the day. A lot of people have turned on the guy, predictably in this city. But, unlike Vince Carter or Tracy McGrady, Bosh was straight up and played hard for the organization from Day One. Is he acting a little suspect by basically whoring himself out for attention the last little while? For sure, but to forget about everything else and hate on him for that is a bit silly if you ask me.

On to Jose Calderon. My friends at Raptors Republic found a Spanish interview and summed it up like this.Calderon doesn’t know if he’s staying or going but thinks he will stay in Toronto. Free agent market is crazy. Few players know where they are going to play next season.

Now, the main event, the 2010 NBA Draft.

I still maintain, barring the freefall of one of the top guys (including Paul George), the Raptors will end up with Cole Aldrich or Patrick Patterson at 13. I’ve talked a lot about how well Aldrich fits in Toronto but what about Patterson?

Patterson’s main weaknesses are lack of ball-handling (faceup game in progress) and underachieving rebounder considering his size, athleticism and length. So, horrible fit with Andrea Bargnani right? Well, maybe not so fast. Yes it’s a bad combo on the boards, but offensively, Patterson actually might complement Bargnani better than Bosh did in that he is a low-post scorer who can also step out and hit the jumper whereas Bosh could hit the jumper but was far more often a faceup player than a low-post scorer.

Patterson, like Bosh, is a poor passer who doesn’t recognize double-teams quickly, but I think if he sets up down low while Bargnani, the centre in theory, roams around  a bit more, it could work. Defensively, Patterson will be able to guard NBA fours and Bargnani has proven he can guard fives. The question is, is Patterson a good enough help defender to make up for Bargnani’s huge failings in that area?

The Raptors continue to try hard to add another pick. If George, Patterson and Aldrich are gone, I can see them trading 13 for a proven player and a later pick (but not Rudy Fernandez, as was rumoured, more like an Eric Maynor) or for a couple of extra picks. Oklahoma City has picks to dangle and Maynor, a player I have liked going back to his days as a Duke killer at VCU.

Problem is, New Orleans may want to trade the 11th pick for two Oklahoma City picks, trumping the Raptors. I think the Thunder take Aldrich if they make that trade.

Update 2:45 – Yahoo! reports New Orleans has turned down that offer, so the Raptors are back in business.

Like Doug Smith, I don’t expect the Raptors picking at 13 to be the only thing they do tonight.

We shall see.

More as I get it.

Lakers win it all; More from Raptor workouts

- June 18th, 2010

Congrats to the Lakers and to Ron Artest to winning it all. That was the greatest post-championship interview I’ve ever seen. Artest thanked his hood and his psychiatrist and pimped his upcoming album. He’s one of a kind.

I think the Celtics would have won if Perkins was in the lineup, Pau Gasol ran wild.

Now, on to Raptor draft workouts.

Thursday the workouts were headlined by Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson and Eric Bledsoe, as well as Fresno State’s Paul George and Kansas guard Xavier Henry.

All seemed to impress the Raptor brass. We only saw a bit of the workout, as usual and George and Henry getting banged up during the 3-on-3 left us with very little on-court stuff to analyze.

In the brief action I saw, George was able to break down Henry and take it to the rack, though he couldn’t finish. That at least showed me some ball-handling ability, which is the main knock on George.

Patterson looked very smooth. He’s going to be solid and dependable, like Udonis Haslem. He was nailing his jumpers.

Bledsoe looked very quick, Jim Kelly actually said he is quicker than Avery Bradley. Bledsoe said he is trying to slow down a  bit on the court in order to cut down on his high turnover rate.

Here’s the highlights of what they had to say:

Patrick Patterson:
“We all had great performances, we got to showcase our abilities.
(On draft uncertainty) The top five, you can name them, after that, it’s anybody’s game. Each team, they have so many different needs. Frustrating thing because you have so many players, teams can’t decide. Definitely want to come out and make a statement, pretty much show them why they should take you.
(Stock) My stock is just first round. I’m hoping to go lottery, just because I played on such a loaded team, we were loaded, anybody could score on any given night. I think because my numbers dropped, teams don’t believe I can score as well, can’t rebound. I think that’s why they’re a little hesitant.
Main thing (trying to show) is I can shoot the ball. Mid-range jumper and my three. Post game can improve. Just a hard worker who can run up and down and not get tired. Still more comfortable with my back to the basket, but I’m definitely improving on my faceup.
Ball-handling, to really take a big man off the dribble. Can improve on that.”

Patterson has not been invited to the NBA’s Green Room yet, but is hopeful and has bought a suit.

Xavier Henry:
“This is my 11th workout. My back was getting a little tight so I had to get ice on it. Other than that, I think it went fine.
There’s like the top four or five, but after that, it seems like it’s wide open. 

I just want to go to the right team. Number doens’t matter, you’re playing for your second contract, not your first.

Toronto. Good, young team. Seems like there is going to be a lot of movement with free agency and everything.

(Describes his game) An aggressive scorer. A complete player. Rebound and play defence.

Keep up with teams. Make sure I need their roster, know what they need and what they’re looking for. I want to go to a team where I can do well and help the team. I just attack the basket a lot make sure they know I can do that. At Kansas, coach (Bill Self, Henry is his first one-and-done player) just wanted me to shoot open threes. I did that and made a lot of them, but didn’t get to show my whole game so when I come out here I make a point of showing I can attack the rim. Two/three at the next level.

First time in Toronto, I always thought Toronto was snow all year.”

Eric Bledsoe:
“Very happy with it. Competed. Show them my decision-making. John pretty much did a lot of the decision-making. Show them that I can play the point guard position. More comfortable playing the one. Pretty much played it all my life. (Moving off the ball) I think, that helped a lot. I like Chris Paul. I like (Russell) Westbrook too because he made a big change point guard from two-guard, he was in my position. He came and had a real big impact for his NBA team.

This is my 10th workout. I’m ready to shut it down.
(Turnovers) Just going to work on my game. Turn it down (the tempo).

(On Avery Bradley who he went up against at most workouts): He’s a competitor. He’s a little bit taller but I’m bigger than him. We’ve been going head-to-head. We have a little friendship going.

Paul George:
“Little problem at the end with my hip. We’re out here competing for a job, everybody’s going hard, so (injuries) are going to happen. Just letting them know that I can compete at a high level because that was a question. Defence: Brings the crowd into the game. Get a steal, get a dunk. This draft, after the one and two, I think it’s pretty much up for grabs after that.
Position: See myself being a shooting guard, but a shooting guard who can play multiple positions. I wouldn’t limit myself to just one position. I can pretty much touch every position on the floor.

(Must improve) Just ball-handling in general, I think anybody can improve on that, that’s something that I’ve really been trying to add to my game.
Like a Joe Johnson. Joe Johnson being a 6-8 big shooting guard. He can do a lot of things on the court, so I try to model my game after that.

Jim Kelly:
“Where they are in the process: The number is probably down to about six or seven players. I think we’ve pared that down some. I can’t really say that we’ve pared down what position because I don’t think we’ll take a player by position. As you get closer to draft time, the pot starts to boil more in terms of trades (you make this trade you get this player back, etc., etc.) so a little like a final exam if you were in college We’ve done all the studying, we’re down to the five, six, seven key areas and we’ll be ready to make a decision when we have to.
It is more challenging because sometime you look at a player one time and say maybe he isn’t our player, but you watch a DVD and (he impresses). In one video they’re not dong so well, then maybe you watch another DVD and all of a sudden he jumps back out at you.
You have to have a list, because the draft doesn’t revolve on us. We have I don’t know if you call it a list, we have a group that we would consider if something else comes up there, but I wouldn’t call it a list. I don’t think we’ve gone that far that we’ve refined it.
You’re walking a thin line if you pick a player because he has, or didn’t have a good workout. Try to build a book up on them. Look at where they were, where they are now, and where they might be in two or three years.
Paul George long, very very talented wing player there.We sort of put him in wings category. We have wings, we have points, we have bigs. The two and three are kind of interchangeable.

Xavier, that was a pretty intriguing matchup they both came up a little bit lame. That’s really his strength, shooting the ball from outside. Would like to see him go to the basket, he’s got a great body. Only a freshman. Needs to develop. Going to the basket. He’s got an NBA frame.

Patterson does what he always does. Steady, consistent, unspectacular but always gives you a good effort there and a pretty good point guard in Bledsoe.
Bledsoe vs. Bradley: Bledsoe’s a little bit quicker, probably a little more offensive-minded, Bradley’s a very good defender, mid-range shooter, Bledsoe I think, is a little more into distributing the ball although if you look at his numbers from Kentucky, because he playd with John Wall, that didn’t always happen.

It’s very hard to transfer over point guard skills to three-on-three. You’d always like to get a few more guys in.

Probably not going to get anybody else in. Might bring people in next week. Talked to some people, we’ll see where we go from there.
Damion James. Brought him in last year. Two interview sessions. We’re pretty comfortable with where we are with Damion James.

(On players coming in for exceptional workouts like Vince Carter and DeMar DeRozan): That’s rare. Especially as you get farther down the draft. We’re talking 13 now, that’s probably more rare.

A little on Hassan Whiteside and Solomon Alabi:

“Alabi a little bit longer, a little bit more experienced. Whiteside does some phenomenal things. He made some jump shots (from outside). One or two real big blocks, then at other times he’s just sort of watching everybody else. you wonder let’s go, let’s go, but I think that speaks to just (one) year of college (not at the highest level). Probably needs to get a little more education in that regard (basketball experience).