Twenty young NBA stars and USA hopefuls convened in Las Vegas yesterday for the first day of this week’s USA Basketball minicamp. Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com shot some video of the practice session. Holdahl’s camera is almost always focused on Greg Oden, but he gets some great footage of the various drills run by assistant coach Jay Triano. The highlight of the clip comes when Triano stops a defensive drill and instructs the defense to apply more pressure. Triano continues: “That’s why the United States was effective at the Olympics. The equalizer was the aggressiveness. They didn’t let teams come out, and go side to side and run their [sets]. They got in their faces, and that’s what this drill is about.” The intensity level goes up about three notches from that point forward.
Oden looks great, especially on defense. He blitzes ball-screens, gets low, and slides two or three steps to contain opposing guards before recovering back to his man. He also forces several missed shots around the rim.