In an extended interview after today's practice, Leandro Barbosa talks about spending his free time at the gym working out with his brother Arturo and two teenage nephews Eduardo and Ricardo. They work on shooting for Leandro and playing 2 on 2 and end their workout with a shooting contest with the loser having to do the dishes back at the Barbosa crib. Leandro seems to enjoy helping his younger nephews and is passing on some of the punishment he received from Arturo that helped toughen him up and prepared him to play at this level. Mostly though, having his family around is helping him deal with the loss of his mother.
Leandro's dedication certainly seems to be paying off as he is quickly fitting back in. He understands his need to improve his pick and roll offense along with his defense. It's hard not to root for a kid like this.
Alando Tucker reports that he's practicing with no pain in his knee and only needs to work on getting his wind back. He continues to show the maturity and poise he demonstrated in Vegas this summer and in the pre-season. This injury certainly was a set back but in the long run it won't matter. Before this season is over I am confident that Tucker will have a 20 point game and will establish himself as a legit NBA player.
There's a chance Tucker will suit up for Tuesday's game and he sounds ready to come in and contribute on either end. It will be difficult to get him floor time but he certainly brings a different dimension from Bell and Barbosa with his ability to play above the rim and in the paint. He talked most about the aggression and hunger he shares with Terry Porter (both coming from Wisconsin) and his desire to play hard.
In a separate interview, Coach Porter talks about both of his young two guards along with his discussions with Amare about taking his game to the next level by improving on the glass and on defense. Porter talked about the need for Amare to work extra hard since Amare doesn't have the "mass in the ass" (a point we made a few months back) that a lot of other big men have.
Here's a few short clips from Amare and Nash talking about Amare's rebounding and Grant talking about being back in the starting line up. He tried to get his body ready for coming off the bench but just wasn't able to get into a groove.
Audio provided by Sports 620 KTAR