After yesterday's workout, Raptors' shooting consultant Dave Hopla spent about an hour practising what he preaches. Hopla, who was hired this season to help the team with its free-throw shooting, calmly drained 550 consecutive foul shots before he had to relinquish the floor to a photo shoot.
When the cameras came out, happiest guy in the room was assistant coach Jim Todd, whose eyes had begun to glaze over as he tossed the ball back to Hopla after each basket. Hopla normally shoots until he misses and had the floor been available, he might still be shooting. He says his personal record is 1,234 straight baskets without a miss.
"This is supposed to be a light day and here I am out here rebounding for this knucklehead," said Todd, rolling his eyes. Lest you get the wrong impression, Todd and Hopla have been friends and occasional business partners since the 1980s.
With flawless form, Hopla got into a rhythm, a human metronome, averaging one shot every six seconds.
Once into the flow it looks as if he is in some sort of Zen-like state.
"I don't know what state he's in," said Todd. "He says he's from New Jersey."
WHAT'S IN THE CASE?
Chris Bosh and T.J. Ford taped a TV bit that will be shown on one of the episodes of the Canadian edition of the popular game show Deal, Or No Deal. The show organizers had originally hoped to have Bosh and Ford appear on the show to surprise a contestant who is a big Raptors' fan but the night of the taping next week is also a game night.
BARGNANI NO. 1, AGAIN
Andrea Bargnani has jumped into first place in the NBA's rookie rankings, leaping past teammate Jorge Garbajosa and Charlotte sharpshooter Adam Morrison. Bargnani scored only five points in Philadelphia Monday but had been in double figures in seven straight before that. Morrison remains in second place and Garbajosa dropped from first to third.
NO KNIFE FOR CHARLIE V
Former Raptor Charlie Villanueva may be back in the Milwaukee lineup within a couple of weeks after consulting with orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Andrews. Villanueva, suffering from rotator cuff problems, will try to rehab the shoulder instead of undergoing immediate surgery.