Bits from Practice, 10/17
** What will you be doing in the next couple days before the road trip?
Well, we gotta continue to grow. We gotta work on some things on the defensive end. Have to get better™ at execution on the offensive end, especially in tight and important situations…Communication has gotten better on the defensive end, but we gotta continue to grow, there.
** How important is a road trip to see where the team is at?
Well, it’s, you know, one of the areas that we talked about getting better™ at from last year, playing better on the road. And we have the last four games here on the road, and we wanna make sure we come out and try and understand how we have to play on the road, especially moreso than the mistakes you make at home, they can be compounded because you’re on the road and everything’s against you. So we wanna learn some of those lessons now.
** Rudy Gobert hasn’t seen any action for a couple of games…
He’s still working. He’s getting big. I mean, he’s still, hook, still working hard to get in better shape. To use his size. He’s shown signs in pra–he fixing a lot of things down low. One of the things with him right now, I wanna make sure matchups are right for him. I thought about it last night with [Robin] Lopez a little bit, bigger body, but Lopez is a big, big body. So I wanted some more experience on that…But Rudy’s working. He’s continuing to get better™.
** How is the team coming together?
I think we getting better™ everyday. With guys being in and out of the lineup, it’s kind of hindered it a little bit. But I think the guys’s playing. The guys’s working in practice with each other everyday. They’re pushing each other to get better™ and pushing each other to communicate…But it’s a strain on you having guys in and out of the lineups.
** On his relationship with Derrick Favors
It’s been good. It’s player-coach relationship. He’s a young man that has getting more and more, has, have gotten more and more comfortable here as he, he’s been here. His first couple weeks here after the trade, he was a mess. I mean, he’s a young guy that was shocked that he got traded, first of all, and didn’t know what to expect and what was this all about and why he got traded, any of that. And he’s kinda found his rhythm. I think he’s comfortable here now, and we, he know that he’s wanted here. We plan on having him being here for a long term. So he’s feeling ho–at home here, and he’s feeling a big part of what we’re doing here because he is a big part of what we doing here.
John Lucas III
** How would you assess your game yesterday?
I let the game come to me. You know, I hit open shots, got the offense flowing, everybody involved. Got the big men going early. I was just out there being a solid PG.
** On Lester Hudson
He knows how to play the game. And you know, he just have that ability to put the ball in the hole, especially hit open shots. And in this league, as a [point guard], it’s all about hitting open shots. … We played against each other overseas in China. So you know, we familiar with each other. But it makes you hungry. You know, when you get the opportunity come, you know, that’s when you have to step up.
** Does “I don’t want to go back to China” drive you?
Absolutely, every time I step on the court. Every time I step on the court, “I don’t want to go back to Italy. I don’t want to go back to Spain. I don’t want to go back to China, D-League,” you know? I feel like I’m at home, and I just have that in the back of my head all the time.
** Do you remember playing against John Lucas III in China?
Oh yeah, of course. Of course. I remember all the time playing against John, ’cause we both scorers, so we used to go at it all the time.
** On where he fits in the NBA
You always want to be best at your position. So I think I’m a point guard. It just me, and I can play some of the “two.” You know, so I just want to come out everyday in practiiiiiiiice, scrimaaages, real games, you know, and go out and show that I can play at point guard.
** What were you doing when the Jazz called you?
I was back home, visiting some friends and things like that, and I kept working out. You know, I thought it was over, but they called me at the last minute. Now I’m here. I’m grateful. I’m thankful, and I just go out and play as hard as I can. (KALL)