Bits from Practice, 11/4
** What do you want to see from the team on this road trip?
Well, focus. We gotta make sure we understand each and every game, the opponent. It’s four games in five nights. You know, for this young group, learning how to, we have to compete on the road to be effective. And for 48 minutes.
** Was the first half against Houston your best half so far?
Well, I thought that, you know, the first half against Houston was pretty good. We executed. We pushed the ball down the floor. I thought we took it to ‘em defensively. And then that third quarter, we came out and we didn’t have the same sense of urgency about ourselves. And you know, we talk about being young, talk about having a back-to-back, but you gotta, you know, you wanna get through these things as soon as you can and not keep kicking yourself in the butt about not doing the right things.
** On Kevin Garnett, and Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter
You have to play through [Garnett's trash talking and mind games], and they’re getting a lot of lessons. I mean, these two young guys are getting a full dose of it, man, every night. And that’s what this league is about for them, and that’s what, you know, we wanna make sure they getting their lessons now. Learning and getting better™ every night, going out there.
** Do you feel you like have a go-to guy at the end of games?
You know, I think right now, where we are in our development, we’re developing guys. And you have to grow into it, man. The guys think it’s easy and they think they’re ready for it, and then you see in games, and you see a guy like [James] Harden and [Kevin] Durant and those guys, and you see what those guys do in those moments, and it’s a difficult thing in this league. And right now, we have to do it by, with the team, more so than counting on one guy. There’s a lot of pressure on a guy that think he can carry the load, and we’re just not there.
** As an opposing coach, how do you defend Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko?
You know, you have to make sure, you know, especially on the pick and roll with D-Will, you know, you gotta make sure you giving him bodies. The guy on the ball has to make sure you taking something away from him. If he have choices, he, he’ll th–he’ll play with you. You have to go on both ways. You’ll have a big guy on the wrong side of the ball because he can set you up one way and go the other way, so you have to make sure you make him use the screen, as much as you can. With AK, you have to match his energy. He’s gonna be all over the floor. You have to know where he is on the defensive end. He make plays on defensive end from behind the plays to get him some more possessions. Open court, you gotta find him because he’s a smart cutter.
** Injury report
We need the bodies to get back, but right now I’m not sure. They’re able to do a little bit more everyday, but getting them on the floor, I’m not sure of the time frame just yet…Marvin [Williams] and Brandon [Rush] are getting closer, I think. Jeremy [Evans] still have, I think his date is the 11th. I’m not, 9th or 11th is his date to, for his time to be healed. Trey [Burke] still has couple of weeks and Andris [Biedrins] is still working on his ankle.
** How did you feel getting major minutes for the first time in awhile?
It was excitement. Sometimes it takes a little bit of rhythm and the one thing that I, fortunately, coach gave me the opportunity to keep playing on the floor to get that rhythm. And that’s what happened. That’s when, when you’re able to to get, you know, 20-plus minutes a night, you know even if your first five minutes aren’t smooth, you have confidence that he’s gonna come back to you. So, it’s easier to brush off a turnover. It’s easier to brush off two or three missed shots, because you know it’s a long game. And that’s something that comes with experience.
** Does it mean anything extra for you to go back and play the Nets?
Not anymore. It did, probably my rookie year and second year, but not anymore. I’m over it now.
** You previously said you felt you were given up on and that it fueled and motivated you.
It still do. You know, I got traded halfway through my rookie year, so I mean, it still does, but you know, I’m over the, you know, having hard feelings about it.
** Do you want to be the go-to guy at the end of games?
Yeah, I definitely want to be that guy, man. That’s what I’m working towards. I’m working on my offensive game, just working on everything. So fourth quarter come around, I’ll be one of them guys that coach can trust to be on the court.
Do you feel like yourself, Gordon [Hayward], Enes or Alec [Burks] can become the go-to guy?
Yeah, I think it can be either one of us. You know, either one of us, I mean, either one of us do different things. So you know, it’s just really just earning coach Corbin trust. (KALL)
Gordon Hayward on Jeff Hornacek
** From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Like Hornacek, Hayward called the prospect of seeing his former coach on the Suns’ bench “kind of weird, but only because he worked with me so much — and helped me so much — during my first three years” in the NBA.
“He has a high basketball IQ,” Hayward continued. “He understands the game. He’s able to see plays before they happen and knows how defenses are going to react to different things. He’s really good an anticipating things.”
** From the Deseret News:
Hayward, who’s spent the past few weeks wondering if he’d get that contract extension, anticipated playing against Hornacek’s team. The former Jazzman was a mentor to Utah’s shooting guard since the Butler star was selected ninth overall in 2010.
“I’ve talked to Coach several times. He’s a friend, just asked for advice,” Hayward said. “He’s played the same position that I am in this league. We had a great relationship when he was here in Utah.”