If there’s one common theme that runs through the conversations we have out here every day with folks who we haven’t seen since about the middle of June, it’s this:
“Hey! How are you?”
“I’m good. You?”
“Living the dream, of course. How was your summer?”
“It was okay. Too short though. Way too short.”
That happens at least three or four times a day and while it’s understandable and very true, it’s one of the underlying issues that bears paying attention to as the pre-season rolls on.
None of these players has ever gone through anything like this, none of the coaches really have either.
The grind of going so hard for so long – playing high intensity games into June – and then having to start gearing up again about three months later isn’t easy.
The bodies aren’t right, the minds aren’t right, the rhythm is just off a little bit.
Now, there’s no way anyone would trade last spring and the early summer for the few extra weeks of off-season. That’s a ridiculous suggestion.
But it is new and it’s put an onus on the team’s medical staff to make sure they have a handle on everyone’s load, it’s put an onus on Nick Nurse to avoid pushing too hard, too fast; a delicate balance indeed.
I have a feeling they’ll handle it perfectly well and from the very limited actual basketball we’re allowed to see everything seems fine. Talking to people who are in the gym for the entirety of workouts yields the same thing: They’re being careful and not pushing too hard but they’re getting the requisite work in.
I guess the full impact of the long season and short turnaround won’t be known until late October when it starts for real and things matter but if there’s a slow start to the season, it’s going to be easy to explain it.
One Quebec beef: It takes forever for any ride-share ride to find you and that’s bad because there seem to be basically zero cabs anywhere we are.
Oh, and it’s like 6 C and under clouds this morning so if someone wants to talk to someone about the weather for me, that’d be nice.
And maybe I’m not looking in the right places or maybe the outcome is a foregone conclusion but there’s a distinct lack of election signage in the parts of this city I’ve been in.
That’s kind of refreshing, actually.
The election is still on, right?
Had this quick one on Fred yesterday and this little notebook to go along with it as we start getting back into regular season shape ourselves.
It’s not easy.
Yeah, I’ll ask for some more mail today.
Get more basketball insight in your inbox
Get Doug Smith’s weekly newsletter on all things Raptors and beyond and satisfy your craving.
Sign Up Now
Get to email@example.com and put your thinking caps on, you’ll be glad you did.
Wonder how easy it’s going to be here tonight to find somewhere that’s got great food – that’s actually the easy part – and has a comfortable enough setting where we might watch both the baseball playoff game and Game 2 of the WNBA final.
And I wonder which one will create the most buzz?
I haven’t certainly haven’t been to all of them but I’ve been to my fair share over the last couple or three years and feel comfortable saying that this sports complex at Laval where the Raptors are holding training camp has to right at the top of any list of the best in Canada.
The indoor complex has a huge swimming/diving section, a great big gym, impressive workout facilities, services of all kinds, a rec centre for what I imagine I anyone’s use.
Toss in the lovely football park, the overall setting, the beach volleyball courts and just about anything else you can think of and the students here truly are pretty lucky to have it on campus.
And I hear the smoothies at the snack bar are top notch so trying one of them has to be on today’s agenda.
The city’s picturesque inside the walls, tiny streets full of interesting restaurants and sites, there’s all kinds of history just oozing out of it.
We’re not staying anywhere near there but it’s a short uber or cab right and both nights we’ve ventured down have been outstanding.
And as we’re sitting around the excellent Café-Terrasse La Nouvelle-France last night with our congenial host Uncle Kevin, it felt like we were in some great European city.
So far, so good on this journey.