* I was impressed when I arrived at the arena nearly three hours before the opening tip and saw Gilbert Arenas and Mike Miller working with the Wizards assistant coaches. It’s rare to see vets putting in that kind of work but it’s the kind of example the Wizards younger players need to see.
* Today I switched things up and had Robin film some video segments before the game. He was able to chat with Caron Butler, DeMar DeRozan, DeShawn Stevenson, Mike James and Reggie Evans. Look for those videos to show up in the Hoops Addict Media Player over the next few days.
* Something that is great to see is how Jarrett Jack is putting some of his younger teammates under his wing. Today before the game Jack was chatting with Sonny Weems about defensive assignments and it was interesting to hear Jack walk the younger player how he would react when he saw a couple different sets and looks Washington might throw at Toronto this afternoon.
* Before the game Caron Butler talked about how he stopped drinking Moutain Dew and started eating breakfast (oatmeal and bananas) this summer because he wanted to start treating his body like a temple.
* After the game I was able to chat with Marco Belinelli about feeling more comfortable on the court and how his court vision helps more open looks for himself and his teammates:
* One of the big players today for the Raptors was Amir Johnson with his great hustle. After the game I talked with him about his block on Nick Young, his 12 rebounds and how each time I see him he has a new battle wound somewhere on his face:
* This weekend I was watching the Real Madrid-Utah Jazz and I realized former Raptors forward Jorge Garbajosa will be playing for Real Madrid this season. After the Raptors game tonight I was able to chat with Jose Calderon about how Garbajosa feels about playing in Spain this season, how Garbajosa’s leg is doing and how their friendship survives such a large distance:
* It was great to see Sonny Weems rocking an old school Montreal Expos hat after the game in the locker room.
* Something else that was great to see in the locker room is that Jay Triano searched out Patrick O’Bryant to talk with him about something he noticed today during the game. I’ve been really impressed by the fact Triano is taking every opportunity he has to teach and work with his players.
* Last season it appeared at times the Raptors were allergic to driving the lane and drawing contact so it was great to see the team wrack up 40 free throw attempts. They connected on 36 of those attempts which contribute to over a third of their points this afternoon.
* A huge thank you goes out to the Raptors for suppling us media folk with pumpkin pie this afternoon. My family is having their Thanksgiving dinner this afternoon and I was bummed about missing out on some pumpkin pie so one of the highlights for me was to indulge in a slice.