The Portland Trail Blazers met at the practice facility in Tualatin for their second day of training camp on Wednesday. Players were once again competitive in drills, but none of the non-contract players have emerged as the front-runner for the one remaining roster spot. Here is a quick rundown of the important points to take note of amidst business as usual.
- As expected, Festus Ezeli (knee) and Noah Vonleh (thigh) did not participate in drills.
- Meyers Leonard (shoulder) continued to do 3-on-3 work, but was held out of 5-on-5 action.
- Ed Davis (general soreness) was a full participant after pulling himself early in Day 1.
- Jake Layman (undisclosed) did not participate. Head coach Terry Stotts declined to comment on his status.
Evan Turner is still adjusting to the faster pace, as are many players, but he knows exactly why the Trail Blazers brought him on board this summer.
“I just know [Lillard] can play an all-around type of game. I think sometimes guys that know how to play the game, they appreciate others that can complement them. I’m no fool. I think I know who to get the ball to. He does a great job of getting open, cutting, and playing at a higher pace, and makes it easy.”
Ed Davis can be scratched from the injury list after making his return to action in Day 2.
“I’m still young, my body still feels great. Just the first day was a long practice and things just got a little aggravated, but I’m good to go.”
Terry Stotts knows that he is running players pretty hard, particularly because they do not have the numbers to make substitutions, but he believes that conditioning is not an issue right now.
“We have high intensity. The fact that we’re down on numbers because of injuries means that the guys are getting a lot of reps. I think that’s good, but I don’t see anybody out of shape by any means.”
It is still very early. One cannot yet watch the players and ascertain that improvements have or have not been made. That said, Moe Harkless, who made shooting a focal point for improvement, appears able to knock down shots in drills, while Mason Plumlee was comfortable taking mid-range jumpers. The team as a whole is focused on playing a fast-paced game with a lot of movement.