With training camp just a few days away, players have already started to filter into the practice facility in preparation for the coming season. Joel Przybilla, who averaged averaged 4.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks during the 2007-2008 season, is just one of those players who have returned from their offseason break to get in a little extra run before camp officially begins.
Casey Holdahl of trailblazers.com spoke with Przybilla after a recent pickup game about his offseason, the new players on the team, and how he fits in with Greg Oden.
CH: What have you been doing in the offseason?
JP: Working out and spending time with the family. Nothing exciting. Pretty boring in Milwaukee, WI.
CH: So you have been working out?
JP: Oh yeah. I’ve got a personal trainer, the same guy I worked out with last summer. I work out with him four days a week, a couple hours in the morning.
Then I’ve got a guy I go with about three nights a week to get up shots at a local gym. Playing here and there at Marquette, University of Wisconsin, places like that. Just stuff to stay in shape and get ready for the season. Nothing major, nothing strenuous, just stuff I did last year. Aside from my broken hand I thought I had a good year, so I tried to do the same things this summer as I did last summer.
CH: How is the hand?
JP: It’s fine. Not a problem.
CH: How have you felt during these pickup games?
JP: Guys look good. The thing that impressed me is that guys look like they’re in shape which is a big plus because you don’t have to worry about getting guys in shape during camp. It allows you to worry less about conditioning. You have such a short time before games start that you can focus on plays and schemes, things like that.
CH: I assume this is your first time playing with Bayless. How do you think he looks?
JP: Jerryd looks great. I was telling Mike Rice, his demeanor reminds me a lot of how Brandon (Roy) was when he first came in as a rookie. I think he’s only 19 years old (ed. note: Bayless turned 20 on August 20), but he doesn’t seem that young. It’s the way he handles himself, not only on the court, but off the court as well. I don’t really know him that well, but you can get a feel from people. He’s very calm with the ball, he doesn’t rush anything. His shot ... he may have one of the best shots on the team.
CH: A lot of people are talking about Greg Oden being the starter at center, but you played well last season in the starting role. What are your expectations for yourself this season?
JP: That’s a good question. I don’t know. I know it’s a long year, a long season. Greg could start at the beginning of the year -- and I’ve had that happen before -- then maybe I come at start at the end.
All I know is it’s going to make us better as a team because we’re going to be stronger, not only in the first unit but in the second unit because we have so many guys at every position that can play. Practices are going to be very competitive because guys are going to want those minutes. It’s going to make us better in the long run. It’s going to be an interesting year.
The thing with this team, guys aren’t that selfish, guys are going to sacrifice things because we want to win. Winning cures everything. I’ve been here -- this is my fifth year being here -- and when I first started here, losing sucked. Last year we were .500 and even though we had a good year it still feels like we have a lot to prove. As long as we keep on getting better throughout the year we’ll be in a good situation.