If you’re here… chances are you’ve already heard the introductory press conferences, and Eric’s 1-on-1′s with Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks (if not, see earlier post)…
So with that now in the past… Some quick notes from practice:
Jose Calderon and Joey Graham will both be good to go against Cleveland tomorrow… while there’s “an outside chance” that Chris Bosh will be ready. Despite the break, Bosh is still feeling the affects of what he called a “mild sprain and a bone bruise.” A lot will depend on how he feels in the morning. As for Jose, you may remember that he sat out the last game (win) against the Spurs, after aggravating his strained hammy… while Joey left late in the 1st quarter with a calf contusion.
Tomorrow marks game one of the new (interim?) era… Both Bosh and Coach Jay Triano (the two we spoke to at practice) were confident that Marion would be able to fit in quickly. He’s not typically a guy who has too many plays run for him; moreso, he plays the lanes and creates a lot of his own opportunities on the break by crashing the glass. With that being said, Triano says Marion seems like a quick learner. With 27 games remaining, you’d think he’d have to be if the Raptors plan on making a push to 8th and above. Triano says he’s expecting Marion to thrive a little more in the Raps’ offense, as opposed to Miami’s (where Dwyane Wade pretty much just dominated the ball – and rightfully so), because he’ll be playing with a “play-making” point guard like Jose.
As for Bosh, he said he appreciated the all-star break, not only for the rest, but for the time to reflect on what went wrong over the first 55 games. He didn’t pinpoint specifics, but acknowledged that he and Jermaine O’Neal played a similar brand of ball… and didn’t get enough opportunity to really gel (with their respective injuries mostly to blame). But with the addition of Marion, it puts everyone back in their comfort zones or their “natural positions.”
We’ll see if that can be manifested into wins – because they need more than a few of them to gain the much-needed ground for 8th or above.