Bits from 10/30 — Last day of the preseason!
** Have you been surprised by what your new teammates can do? I pretty much knew who most of the guys were, but I didn’t know Big Turkey [Enes Kanter] could play like that. I knew he was a little bigger last year, and a little heavier, but I didn’t know he could move like that,* score like that. I didn’t know D-Fave [Derrick Favors] could block shots like that. So those were the two guys that probably jumped on me the most this preseason.
* Sing along with me: “He’s got the moves like Kanter, he’s got the moves like Kanter, he’s got the moo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooves like Kanter…”
** On starting the season with a road trip: You know, me personally, I like road games more than home games. It’ll be a challenge for us, but I think that we’ll be prepared for it and we just gotta be focused. Each game counts, we don’t wanna get in a hole like we did last year and have to fight our way into the Playoffs.
** What changes have you seen in Tyrone Corbin since he became head coach? Pretty much he been the same. Like I said, even when he was assistant coach, he always been, like I said, a straightforward guy. He more demanding, you know, expect a lot out of his players, which all head coach do. So to me, been pretty much the same.
** Do you have plans to watch opening night with teammates? Mo [Williams] gon come over.
Mo’s coming over? Are we going to get a picture of a 900-inch TV?
[Al starts responding as soon as he wears the word "picture"]: No. He gotta, no. No. He gotta leave his camera, his phone and stuff, in the car. No, none of that. I got a 12-inch…TV.*
* A special thanks and shout-out to all you lovely, lovely people that brought “I got a 12-inch” to my attention.
** Is there more pressure on you in your third season? It’s pressure. It’s a pressure business. I mean, you put pressure on, we put pressure on ourselves. I put pressure on myself to, to be good. To be better than you were the night before, the game before, the season before. So that’s part of the business. If you can’t handle that, then you’re in the wrong place.
** Can you set a tone for the season with the first game? Wanna set a tone for the first game. You know, it’s gonna be a, it’s a long season, man, so you wanna make sure that you come out and set the tone from the beginning of the game as to how that game is gonna go for you, and if we don’t get the tone that we want in the first quarter, we need to get it in the second quarter. If we don’t get it in the second quarter, we want to get it in the third. So it’s a process that’s gonna take awhile.
** Will there be some guys that played heavy minutes in the past that might get fewer minutes this year? [noncommittal sound] [noncommittal sound again] [third noncommittal sound] You know, you never know. You never know. We need guys, we need everybody to be ready to play…This is a deep team. We got a lot of guys feel great about putting in the game, and we want to keep as many guys fresh as we can.
** On things learned during the preseason: Well, the first thing is, we’re a deep ball club. We have a lot of different combinations we can play on any given night. We should be able to make adjustments if teams go big. And if teams go small against us, we should be able to handle those situations pretty, pretty well. Also, we want to try and grow to a point that regardless of what another team is doing, we wanna make sure we try and force our will on guys if we decide to go big before they decide to go small, then we make them go back to go big, or stay with a bigger lineup more before they go to a smaller lineup, or if we decide to go small with their big lineup and forcing them to change to a smaller lineup because it’s better for us to be smaller at that point. So we wanna make sure that we try and force our will on guys.
** On Enes Kanter’s Twitter: We have to hone some of that in, and [he needs to] understand that, you know, he’s coming to work everyday and everything that he does is not just him doing it with a couple friends, it’s him doing it with the whole NBA family, with people watching and paying attention to what he’s doing and what he’s saying, so you know, it’s a young man that’s gonna make some mistakes in that area, and with the social media and all the coverage that he get, or we get as an organization, we gotta be careful about what we’re doing. And I think he’s learned some lessons from that.
** On who’s first in line as backup point guard: It depends. It’ll change, some nights. You know, Jamaal is certainly a point guard by nature, and that’s what he’ll play more. So right now, he’ll be the guy coming off first. And then Randy can play some point. He’s a 2-man that plays some point also. And then Alec Burke,* in situations, we’ll play Randy and Alec together, and either one of those two guys can initiate the offense.
* Maybe it is like calculus.
** The Jazz are having a costume contest on opening night. Will you be in costume? Yeah, I’ll have my Halloween suit on, on the sideline.
Cool that Coach Tyrone Corbin will be in costume, but that doesn’t explain why he wears Halloween suits all year round…