Bits from Randy Rigby (12/26) and Dennis Lindsey (12/21, 12/28) Interviews
** On Deron Williams’ recent comments on Avery Johnson and Jerry Sloan: I can’t comment on Deron. I mean, Deron’s a friend of mine, and I think he’s, he’s growing hopefully. And, but I was happy to hear him say he liked our system, and he liked the Jerry Sloan system, which was interesting. But sometimes you wish [he] woulda woulda maybe shared that with Jerry.
** On the state of the team: You know what, to be where we are right now, at this point when we look at November and December, I’m very happy with where we’ve been able to hold, like you said, treading water, but I think also with this team getting, you know, continuing to get to know one another better, and, and playing a tough road schedule like we’ve had in November and December, I think we’re pacing very well as an organization.
And what I like as well is, when you talk to people around the community: This is a fun team to watch. There is some great talent on here, they’re enjoying playing together, and it makes for some really exciting basketball.
** The Jazz had an identical record at this point last year. Is progress being made? Well, I think progress is being made. You know, we had a major, a lot of changes in our lineup. And it, anytime you look, historically, it takes some players awhile to come into your system and start working together and playing together as a team. And so, that I think that was to be expected that we knew we’d have a lot of, a big learning curve with a lot of new players on the roster this year. So I think that comes into play on it.
And again, our players still stepping up injuries come into play on this. Course, everyone has to deal with that, but I think we’ve worked through those things, and then we had, this year is a different lineup, schedule, than last year. And so I think it isn’t exactly the same because we’ve had a lot more road games. And so I think that will come into play as well.
** What is the best way for Tyrone Corbin to use the team’s depth as an advantage? Well, I think Ty is doing a lot of that. And that is, is it’s taken some time to also see who works out best with the other players on the floor at a certain time. And that also varies. Sometimes by who you’re playing; your opponent.
And I think it’s learning those things and being patient with, as we’ve been learning those things, and then still you’re dealing with some of this, with the injuries as well that you also, then it changes also the lineups again, then you now have to work through. And I think we’ve been growing through that, and I think Ty has had the patience, yet he’s had the discipline, and he’s pushing us.
We’ve said we need to be tougher defensively. I’ve been impressed with how we are working defensively on improving…I think we’re seeing that progress, and we’re seeing those improvements. And I’m very happy with what, the growth we’re having.
** On the Jazz going 2-2 on its 4-game road trip: I think it was a good split for us to be, you know, I, I was very happy to see us come out with some real energy, and, ’cause we’d been on a little bit of a slide as we left here, and so to come back strong with the game in, in Brooklyn, and, and to beat Deron [Williams] and, and the Nets, I thought, was a good way to start out. And I think it’s always good to win that first game on the road, ’cause I, you know, unfortunately, like we all, you guys were just saying, I think we forgot we had a game the next day.
And, and then you’re playing the Heat, but then we came out strong and I think finished the, finished the road trip really well in Orlando. And so I was very happy to see, and you know, there’s a lot of ways you can get distracted on a road trip a week before Christmas, and I think our team really rallied, and, and came through, and, and won a good game there in Orlando. So I’m really encouraged by what we’re doing.
** On how Jazz fans love their team: My mother is in an assisted living center, bless her heart. And I, on Christmas Day, took around Jazz schedules to a lot of the ladies and men there, who have been bugging me and fiercely saying, “Where’s my schedule?” ‘Cause they are so passionate about following this team. They can’t come down anymore, but boy I’ll tell ya, they watch and want to know every game that we’re playing. So from young and old, we have a great fan base here. And I’ll tell ya, it’s, it’s greatly appreciated.
** The Jazz’s loss to the Pacers can be attributed to…
1) The Pacers are a top defensive team;
2) The Pacers were motivated having just lost their previous game;
3) It was a bad matchup with Roy Hibbert on the Pacers and the Jazz being post-up oriented.
“If you’re in Ty’s seat, you know, and you, and you see this matchup that could become difficult for us relative to, to how we play, do you scrap the whole system, you know, for, for one game? Or do you, you know, just demand the players to do what they do, and do it better, and you know, post deeper, and get them in foul trouble? So there’s, you know, a lot of philosophical thought around that.”
** On what the Jazz can do when opponents try to take away Al Jefferson’s low-post game: Clearly, Al is an efficient low-post scorer, and you know, we can help him with good entry passes that you can get the ball deep…So our post passing, our cuts, you know, to, once we deliver the ball to Al, hard, sharp cuts that allows us to get to our cut and fill spacing, that if they do bring a second man to him, that Al can see, you know, the, the outlet, you know, clearly, you know.
Many times we won’t fill over appropriately and Al may have a turnover, but you know, it’s ’cause it’s a bad pass, bad angle out of the post. So our cut and fill can help us. Really, our approach to running down the court and posting him hard, and, and being just very disciplined to not only giving him a first look, but a second look in the post, can, can help as well. So there are multiple things. Some of ‘em are strategy. Some of ‘em are mindset-oriented. And you know, those are habits that, you know, Ty constantly tries to build.
** On Chris Paul, UDQM: Chris has great hips. You know, you, you stand on, next to Chris, and he’s not imposing, you know, certainly in street clothes. But you know, you, you get him in shorts, a little bit like Stockton, where he’s got great legs, great hips…
** What’s wrong with the Jazz? You know, we are what we are, from a record standpoint. We can’t hide from the results. And so, really across the board, you know, we need to, to, to do better. And that’s our goal.
I’ll say this, you know, you don’t ever want to make an injury an excuse, but coming out of a Christmas break, and having Mo [Williams] available, you know, two games ago, and then you really, our first game without Mo, there’s clearly a, a point guard adjustment on what Mo does relative to what, you know, what our other point guards do.
So you know, that’s a challenge to Ty that he’s gonna have to adjust the team appropriately now that Jamaal [Tinsley] and Earl [Watson] are going to be the primary point guards.
** When the Jazz struggle against the zone in one game, does word get out to other teams who might then use zones more against the Jazz? Many times, coaches use 5-game segments as trends…how they’re defending, how, how they’re running their offense, what are they doing, who are they playing through, what injuries are going to take hold, who’s, who may have a cold or illness where either they’re diminished or out.
And believe it or not, even the most tried and true systems can have significant adjustments upon how they do things and what, who they’re playing through, how they’re running, you know, how you get Karl Malone to the post. You know, Coach Sloan has five or six different ways, and based upon what was going well was what you’re going to face that night.
And so, you know, I think it’s safe to say that, you know, people see that Mo is out. And Mo’s a superior shooter, and you know, while Earl and Jamaal have very positive qualities, pure point qualities, they’re not the shooters. So I think we’re going to have to adjust to, you know, the other teams’ adjustment.