Jakob Pöltl to Sit Out Last Two Games of the Season due to Finger Surgery: Reflects on Turbulent Year and Future Plans

After his finger operation, Jakob Pöltl will no longer play in the Toronto Raptors’ last two games of the season on Saturday night and Sunday evening in Miami.

The Viennese, who had previously been missing due to an ankle injury, last played on March 4th. The 28-year-old ends his eighth NBA season with 50 appearances (the fewest in his career to date), 11.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 65.6 percent field shooting percentage in 26.4 minutes. The center leads his team in the categories of rebounds and blocks, and his accuracy from the field is the second best in the entire league. The Canadians currently have 25 wins and 55 defeats and are now in twelfth place in the Eastern Conference.

Question: Jakob, how are you doing with the injury?

Pöltl: Basically good, but of course it’s a bit frustrating that I had to spend a long time on the bench this year and couldn’t play or train. When things aren’t going well for the team, it’s even more difficult to watch. The healing process itself is positive, it’s not yet 100 percent, but I can use my hand and finger more and more and my mobility is getting better and better.

Question: Was it your most turbulent season so far?

Pöltl: In any case! I wasn’t traded myself, but everything else was there this season. At the beginning a new head coach and a new staff with a completely new system, many new teammates. Then sometimes things went better, sometimes worse. The trades turned everything upside down and we had to rework everything with the group several times. There were a lot of injuries, including mine. So it really was a strange, turbulent season.

Question: For the Raptors, the goal shifted during the season, was it disappointing in terms of sport?

Pöltl: In terms of sport, it was of course a disappointing season. The old project has officially come to an end, now you can fully concentrate on the next goal: working your way up with a new generation of young Raptors players. The team will now be built around Scottie Barnes instead of Pascal Siakam and Co. before. This gives us a clear perspective that we were previously told did not exist so clearly. Growing with young players isn’t easy, but we have a lot of people who have already shown that they can play winning basketball, and if we do it right, things can go up relatively quickly.

Question: What are you taking with you personally?

Pöltl: For me personally, the season went well except for the injuries. There were ups and downs. When things didn’t go well, I felt like it was a little bit out of my control. I was able to gain a lot of new experiences with the coaching staff and teammates. All in all, it was a season that you can put behind you, but from which you can also take a lot with you as you look to the future.

Question: The league is exciting. Which teams surprised you, what is your tip for the championship?

Pöltl: The West is generally very interesting. It was a bit predictable that Oklahoma City would be strong, but the fact that they were at the top so quickly surprised me a bit. It’s similar with the Timberwolves. They are both very good teams that are fun to watch. The fact that the Lakers and Warriors have to go through the play-in shows that some younger teams have already moved past them. These young versus old duels will be interesting to watch in the playoffs. I can imagine that Boston and Denver will fight for the title, both teams have the most talent and experience. The Celtics were very dominant in the second half of the season and pulled away in the table, I would easily favor them.

Question: What are your plans for the next few weeks, when are you flying home?

Pöltl: After the season I will spend a few more weeks in Canada and the USA and come to Austria around mid-May.

Question: The third edition of the Jakob Pöltl Camp (May 30th to June 2nd) was almost fully booked within a few days, what do you think about that?

Pöltl: As always, it’s very cool that the camp is so popular, it’s been very well received in the past. I was very pleased that the feedback after the camps was so positive, and the current rush is once again confirmation. I am looking forward to!

2024-04-12 15:23:56
#NBA #giant #Pöltl #Boston #Denver #fight #titles


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