Training Camp Practice Report – Day 1
Today was the first day of practice, marking the end of the offseason and the start of the preseason. There was certainly a buzz in the gym today as players went through their workouts at what Coach Bud called “world-class facilities” on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. And he’s right. With two full-length practice courts and a state-of-the-art training room between them, it’s safe to say UGA “hooked us up” this week.
It was all about defense from the get-go today, as Coach Bud and the staff worked through several team and individual defensive drills. Coach Bud stressed during Media Day yesterday that help defense would be an important part of the team’s identity, and they worked on that several times throughout the morning. The team of Dennis Schröder, Lou Williams, DeMarre Carroll and Elton Brand won most of the drills.
Williams went through most of the drills but wasn’t able to compete in 5-on-5. He hasn’t lost his shot though, as we saw several times, but there’s no timetable yet for his return.
Speaking of Brand, he was a monster in the opening practice, constantly using his big body to his advantage defensively and on the boards.
Rookie Pero Antić went through his first ever NBA practice and held his own, showing off that highly-regarded range several times. More importantly, he was talking a lot with Al Horford between drills. There’s probably no better person to get advice from than Al.
Horford, by the way, was very aggressive throughout practice and sent home a thunderous dunk at the end of the final scrimmage.
Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap joined Carroll and Horford on the first team for scrimmages. Non-roster invite James Johnson was part of the second team, and he filled in nicely with a few blocks and some good ball cuts.
Again, it’s only Day 1, but so far it appears Coach Bud is sticking to his promise of building a tough, defensive-minded team.