In preparation for Tuesday's first preseason game against the Utah Jazz, The Blazers finished up a Wednesday's practice with a set of hard scrimmages.
Coach Terry Stotts announced after practice that guard Wesley Matthews was feeling ill after the first half of practice. The illness is not considered long-term, and he is expected to play on Tuesday.
Steve Blake stopped to talk with Blazer's Edge about the upcoming preseason.
Q: While it is just preseason, how excited are you going into the first game on Tuesday?
SB: I'm excited for the first game. Training camp is a grind, and you kinda know once you get past that first game that things will ease a little bit and you can get into a rhythm. I'm excited for it, to start my twelfth year.
Q: What are your expectations of yourself and the team going into Tuesday?
SB: Just to play good, strong basketball. Get all the mistakes out here in training camp before we start really playing. Hopefully with this time on the court I can just start reacting, I'm still trying to learn the plays and wherever I'm supposed to be. But at some point it just becomes reactionary.
Q: The team was talking about improving its defense going into the season. Can you elaborate?
SB: Well, Coach Stotts has put us in positions to improve, teaching us where we have to be, the concepts and how we can communicate with each other and the more we do it, the better we get. It's just a lot of drills, and hopefully that will carry over into the season.