From the players' perspective the first practice of training camp was a good one, and the team's focus and objective is to WIN. Point blank. According to NBA TV Canada's Akil Augustine, there was a team meeting last night, and expectations were laid out by Coach Casey. Realistically it was just reinforcing the team objectives and continuing to galvanize the team.
A reoccurring question among fans, the blogospehere, and even some traditonal media outlets since late last season has been this notion of tanking, losing games once the playoffs are out of the picture to position themselves better for the NBA Draft Lottery. I've always thought this mentality was absurd at best, mainly because the NBA Draft Lottery is just that….a LOTTERY. There are no guarantees…not to mention players' pride and integrity of the game.
Rudy Gay for one wants nothing to do with the 'T' word:
"I'm a professional, I'm honestly a professional. Everytime I'mma go out there I'm gonna give it my all, and to even hear 'tank' makes me sick to my stomach to be honest with you. No team I'm gonna be on is gonna tank. We're gonna try and win every game and go out there to play."
Kyle Lowry echoes similar sentiments:
Rest assured, the Raptors' focus this season is WINNING.