Game Notes: Philadelphia vs. Toronto

  • My evening started off with a laugh as I spotted the Raptors preseason media guide. Turns out the PR team has a great sense of humour because the cover of the media guide is a “Hello, My Name Is…” sticker with all the players names due to the team having such a large roster overhaul this summer. Genius.
  • I’m excited to announce that I’ll be writing Game Recaps for Slam Magazine this season. You’ll still find my Game Notes here on Hoops Addict, but if you want an Associated Press style game recap merged with Slam’s unique style then head over there to read my stuff for every Raptors home game. I’ll be posting links to my Notes and Recaps on my Twitter feed.
  • The walls leading into the Raptors’ locker room is now full of quotes meant to inspire the team. My favourite is the following: “Do the right thing. Do it the right way. Do it all the time.”
  • Before the game I had a chance to chat with Leo Rautins about the success he had this summer coaching the Canadian National Team. He broke into a huge smile when the topic of the World Championships were brought up and his Canadian pride easily shone through in the conversation.
  • Speaking of Canadians, I was able to chat with Samuel Dalembert tonight about how he’s adjusting to Eddie Jordan’s Princeton offense, his thoughts on Lou Williams being the starting point guard and his goals for the upcoming season. [MEDIA not found]
  • Shortly after that I was able to chat with new Sixers head coach Eddie Jordan about how he feels the players are doing at picking up the Princeton offense, his thoughts on having two young point guards looking to average significant minutes this season and how Jrue Holiday’s defensive presence will help him secure some minutes. [MEDIA not found]
  • I also scored exclusive interviews with Lou Williams and Jason Smith. I chatted with Lou about if he’s feeling any pressure this season as a starter, learning the Princeton offense, being a vocal leader on the Sixers even though he’s a young player and he shared his goals for the upcoming season. You can listen to my interview with Lou by clicking the play button below:

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  • Jason chatted with me about what he learned while on the sidelines last season, what he learned from Elton Brand over the past 12 months and he shared his goals for the upcoming season. You can listen to my chat with Jason by clicking the play button below:

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  • It was interesting to see the NBA’s director of officials (Ronnie Nunn) in attendance tonight. Something that stuck out in the third quarter was after Jose Calderon’s travel call was reversed Eddie Jordan walked courtside to complain to Nunn directly.
  • In the second quarter Amir Johnson bit through his upper lip and left the game to get stitches. Ouch! He then proceeded to gut it out by returning in the third quarter to play some more minutes. His night didn’t get any better in the third quarter when he had a player step on his back – yet he just bounced up and kept playing. After the game I talked with Amir about the abuse he took tonight and he told me, “It was crazy, I got ‘bowed in the mouth and the foul was on me!” Later he talked with me about how he’s been trying to wear a mouth guard but it prevents him from breathing properly so he’s tried to play without it.
  • I hijacked Robin’s Court and this season I’m doing segments with Robin that will be our attempt at providing a PTI feel to Raptors coverage. Tonight we talked about our favourite moves by the Raptors this summer and I feel it’s a segment that fans will enjoy. Please send us feedback via the comments section of this  post or through email (ryan@hoopsaddict.com) about things you like and what we can improve for future segments. [MEDIA not found]
  • I can’t say I was surprised when I walked into the Raptors locker room to find Andrea Bargnani and Marco Belinelli have lockers next to each other.
  • Sitting courtside there was an obvious improvement in Jose Calderon’s lateral movement. I talked with him after the game and after briefly joking with me about “getting” the best of Williams, he told me the following:

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  • Speaking of defense, one of the pleasant surprises for me tonight was the play of Sonny Weems on the defensive end. Sure, he had some impressive dunks, but his job taking away passing lanes, his tracking and overall gritty defense is what caught my attention. After the game I chatted with Weems about his defense and he talked with me about the pride he has in his defense:

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About the Author

Ryan McNeill Ryan McNeill has appeared on NBA XL, ESPN Radio, The Fan 590, The Score, TSN Radio and The Home Stretch. He has covered the NBA with media credentials since the 2007-08 season.

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