Thursday, September 25, 2008

Catching up with Joel Przybilla

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.

11 comments:

Philski said...

Hey Casey,
Joel's always been a favorite Blazer of mine, and the comment of his that caught my eye is something that I've said before as well.

"Winning cures everything"

When people talk with concern about there not being enough minutes or shots for everyone to be happy, I think back to the winning streak last year. There wasn't one word spoken about anything other than how much fun it was to win.

Phil

cogley said...

i've got to say, with the work joel puts in, how hard he plays, how much he stands up for the rest of the team... joel's got to be one of my all time favorite blazers. i love the guy. i'd love to see him play side by side w/ greg this year... it'd be like... the bash brothers. lol

Charlie said...

I think it's wierd that evertime I read Joel's comments, or hear them, he too often has a sentiment like he's still the starter and Greg is not. It's almost as if he doesn't want to believe it. His comment "(I could become) the starter at the end." Give me a break the only way that happens is if Greg gets injured; which ain't going to happen, for all you skeptics.
Greg is a complete upgrade on a poor night, let alone a great one. Joel is either trying to instill some fight in Oden or he needs to wake up and open his eyes to what is reality, you're not the starter and you won't be.

Charlie said...

I think it's wierd that evertime I read Joel's comments, or hear them, he too often has a sentiment like he's still the starter and Greg is not. It's almost as if he doesn't want to believe it. His comment "(I could become) the starter at the end." Give me a break the only way that happens is if Greg gets injured; which ain't going to happen, for all you skeptics.
Greg is a complete upgrade on a poor night, let alone a great one. Joel is either trying to instill some fight in Oden or he needs to wake up and open his eyes to what is reality, you're not the starter and you won't be.

gowithashley said...

Joel has played pretty smart for the Blazers for some time now and just because you are big strong and hyped doesn't mean you walk in and earn to be a starter (Oden). Earn it in practice, which Joel takes pretty seriously... people want to come at Oden. Lebron, Kobe and the like will challenge the rim and I hope that our starting center is in the right position (good foot work) to block the shot and not just collect fouls. We didn't run plays for Joel last year other than occasional pick and roll but his defense around the rim when perimeter defense was lacking was pretty darn good. Get up Joel, Get up Oden let the competition begin.

William said...

r u kidding me oden was the starter as soon as gr... came out of cooissioner sterns mouth LOL!!!!

Casey Holdahl said...

If Przybilla outplays Oden, shouldn't Przybilla be the starter? And if you were in Przybilla's shoes, would you just roll over and cede the starting job to a rookie, or to anyone for that matter? Would you want him to? What kind of player or person would just give up? Not a player who would be in the league for very long.

CosmoPlavix said...

Joel is a classy guy with a tremendous work ethic, incredible rebounding stats, and mental toughness. I'd like to see him get some quality minutes and continue to be the important part of this team that he was last year. He and Greg on the floor together would be a fantastic and scary combo.

Colton said...

Well said Casey.

Eric said...

Great interview! Joel is an outstanding representative for the team. Great attitude toward the coming season. My tickets came in the mail yesterday, so I can't wait for the season to begin.

danjaross said...

I think Joel is hoping Greg reads this interview and accepts the offer to compete for the job like the stud he supposed to be. All I've read so far is "Greg can dunk from 8 feet out on a lob", big deal! Joel has come too far, improved and sacrificed too much to be over-looked to just have a kid be given the spot to start when Joel ACTUALLY earned it in the first place. They need to put on there balla shoes and duke it out. Go Joel, Go Blazers!