By: Cole Shelton
Juan Pattillo had a dramatic offseason, to say the least.
The veteran NBLC player was traded numerous times but finally after being sent to the Windsor Express for the rights of Grandy Glaze, he felt at home.
"I played in Windsor the first time in the league. It feels good to be back in Windsor," Pattillo said.
Ultimately, the big man was coming off of a successful season with the Moncton Magic in which he helped lead them to the playoffs. Now with Windsor, Pattillo is looking to do the same.
"It has been an adjustment that takes time, but hasn't been too drastic," he said. "Weather is better, but I have played here before so I knew what to expect. It has been great. I was happy to be traded back over here, and I'm pleased."
Since being acquired, Pattillo has been a force to be reckoned with. He has been dominant on the glass and in the post. That has helped space the floor and when the shot clock is running down, the Express feed him the ball down low where more times than not he scores.
Currently, Pattillo is averaging 20.9 points, nine rebound, and 1.5 assists while shooting 50.3% from the field. He has been playing his role to perfection, and that is because he understands what he needs to do.
"I am blessed to be in the position that I am," Pattillo said. "Just help the team score and get rebounds. The role that I took on, was something that the coach wanted me to do. It was already established that I would be a key piece in the offence. This is what I have been doing for a long time."
Meanwhile, not only is he a force on offence, but his defence has been tremendous this season. The big man is blocking shots, getting in the way of passing lanes and just making it difficult for opponents to shoot the ball. That along with his spark on offence has been a huge difference maker for the Express.
"I think it is important. At the same time, the way we play, it isn't really that big of a deal, because we like to run and score," Pattillo said. "I'm just fortunate to be able to do what I do. I think it helps. We all feed of each other, as far as me helping the defence get its spark or edge, it takes us to another level."
While Pattillo has been having tremendous success, a big reason why is the amount of minutes he plays. He is averaging 36.3 minutes per game, and having success during the entire game. However, he knows the wear and tear on his body is there but for now, the focus is on winning.
"Normally, I don't think about it, we just try to compete and win," he explained. "It is tough, though. As the season progresses and wears on it takes a toll on your body. I just want to compete and win so whatever I have to do I do it."
Although Pattillo has been a huge part of Windsor's success, it is also the entire team chipping in. The team has bought into the system and Pattillo has noticed that. They are a tight-knit group as Pattillo says, and that will only help them in the second half of the season and into the playoffs.
"Started off slow, took a lot of L's but we have turned the corner," he concluded. "We have made some progress and really started to win some games. We are doing the little things of getting better and that is our main focus."