View Full Version : New Tools in Camp? Triano running it his way

Mile High Champ
10-05-2009, 12:39 PM
In his last weekend off before starting his first training camp as an NBA head coach, Jay Triano went home to visit his parents in Niagara Falls, Ont. His father, Howie, a long-time high-school coach in the area had plans, however.

“There was a girl's tournament at the high school and he wanted to go,” Triano said Friday, during a break between Toronto Raptors practices at Carleton University. “So off we went.”

Triano's passion for the game at any level is long-standing and shines through.

“He loves basketball. You can tell that,” four-time NBA all-star Chris Bosh said.

“Even when he was an assistant [coach] he'd be staying late, watching film. He was just into it.”

Triano believes the key to coaching isn't imposing your will on the group, but recognizing that, for the most part, players in the NBA are like people anywhere else: getting better is a reward on its own.

It's an approach Triano has taken to his first training camp. For the first time, not only are the Raptors videotaping practice sessions, Triano and his assistants are going over the film with the players in a classroom setting before they step on the floor.

“There's a lot of teaching, because we're trying to change the culture and what we've done in the past,” the coach said.

The classroom sessions are a technique Triano picked up from Duke University and Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski during the summers Triano has spent assisting the U.S. national team program. “This way, when we get on the floor, it gives us more time to execute because we're not stopping to talk,” the Raptors coach said.

Other subtle changes include banning cellphones and computers for team staff during practice. The lesson: For these two hours, they are to focus on basketball.

It's early but Triano seems to be getting his message across to a new and diverse group – to whom one of the biggest names in Canadian basketball was just a little-known NBA assistant who got a promotion.

Antoine Wright had to look up Triano – a three-time Olympian – on google.com when he found out he'd been traded to the Raptors from the Dallas Mavericks.

“I did a little research,” Wright said. “I found out he was the Michael Jordan of Canada, before Steve Nash. I was like, wow. I didn't know he was that good a player.”

But his appreciation for his new coach has grown.

“I like his approach,” Wright said. “Everything is new and fresh and I think that's the best way to teach guys because they're not confusing terms with terms that other teams use. Defensively, the way we guard the pick and roll, we call it Raptor, so it's unique to us.”

Triano is preaching a conservative approach on defence, based on defending the paint first and containing dribble penetration. Offensively, he wants the team to run more. Big men who get a defensive rebound are encouraged to take a big dribble to escape traffic and turn up the floor before advancing the ball to perimeter players who have already started the break.

With the benefit of training camp and the exhibition season, Triano is hoping he can have the team playing in his image come time for the regular season.

But perhaps his most important relationship is the one Triano has with Bosh. While Triano was an assistant, Bosh trusted him with helping the 6-foot-10 forward alter the form on his jump shot, and they developed a pregame routine where Bosh would come out last for his warm-up and Triano would work with him 1-on-1. Their relationship has only deepened since Triano took over as head coach.

During the summer, Bosh told Triano he wanted honest feedback on how to improve and get better. Triano didn't hold back.

“He was always honest with me whether I wanted to hear it or not,” said Bosh, who is expected to be sidelined for the Raptors' first exhibition game Tuesday, as he recovers from a strained hamstring. Also expected to remain out of action is off-season free-agent signing Hedo Turkoglu, who has tendinitis in his quadriceps.

“I hit him [with a message], ‘What do I need to work on?' and five minutes later [Triano sent back] this list. He named about 15 things. I'm like, all right, I'll hit you next week.”

For Triano, it's not being honest, it's coaching – no different than his dad did on the Niagara Peninsula five decades ago.

“I tell them: ‘Listen guys, it could be anybody, it just happens to be you,'” Triano said of when he points out his players' flaws. “But we're trying to get better as a team.”


Love the use of video from the practices now, Triano seems to really be bringing the prep together for games this year.

10-05-2009, 03:25 PM
Great article, thanks for posting it.

I love everything I hear from Triano. I really haven't had anything bad to say about him in his tenure with the organization. What matters though will be results, and I'd love to see his troops deliver. If not, I expect people will forget all of the things he does very quickly and begin bashing him again.

10-05-2009, 03:35 PM
good post.

10-05-2009, 05:03 PM

10-05-2009, 05:06 PM
Triansos a commited coach, good post

10-05-2009, 05:31 PM
The more and more i read these articles, the more i get excited for this season. I can't wait to see the new look Raptors!!!

10-05-2009, 06:42 PM
damn only 11 players are playing tommomow , demar and belinelli are gonna play a lot, 1 of them are gonna start, and one of them are gonna play the 3, if amir isnt the back up 3.

10-06-2009, 12:48 AM
I've been a Triano fan since the late 90's when I got to work with him. I hope all this stuff sinks in and translates onto the court.

10-06-2009, 03:50 AM
looks like him coaching the US training camp, was a benefit to him. i dont want to get to excited though.

10-06-2009, 05:07 AM
I'm equally impressed with Bosh's willingness to want & accept criticism. :clap:

10-06-2009, 10:38 PM
looks like him coaching the US training camp, was a benefit to him. i dont want to get to excited though.

No doubt it didn't hurt, but he GOT that job because of what he could already do. He has been the same coach for at least 10 years. In fact, he says that a lot of what he learned about coaching came from working with Jack Donahue (longtime Canadian Olympic team coach).

I was trying to tell you guys last year that he was an excellent coach. He was just in a terrible situation, inheriting a dysfunctional roster full of holes after they had all been messed up by Sam Mitchell for a few years. Also, the big one was that the team had no time to practice and he had no time to teach and break the team of its bad habits. But I'm happy to see the pre-season going well. He's the same coach. He's using a lot of the same coaching techniques he used when he led the Canadian Olympic team in Sydney 2000.

10-06-2009, 10:45 PM
I'm equally impressed with Bosh's willingness to want & accept criticism. :clap: