Bits from Practice and Interviews, 2/25
On what he misses about Jeff Hornacek
You know, he played my position, kinda went through the same things. Obviously, a really good shooter, and knows usually what was wrong with what I was doing or he would give me a little tip here or there. But a lot of times just working with me, working on the shot, everyday.
You and Brad Stevens both hate to lose. Who is suffering more this season?
I’d probably say it’s me. He seemed more happy at dinner than I did, when we talked about the losing, so. I’d probably say I’m suffering a little bit more.
Favorite and least favorite NBA cities (can’t pick Indianapolis)?
For obvious reasons, Miami and Phoenix; L.A. We go there a bunch. Places where in the wintertime, you kinda just want some warm weather, those places are nice. I mean, you just kinda feel better when you walk off the plane and it’s sunny. And you know, you get stuck in this cold weather and snow…
Least favorite, I would say, like, especially since I’ve been in the league, probably Cleveland. Cleveland to me is like Gotham City. It’s, like, so dreary, and just, I don’t know, and then ever since LeBron [James] left, I mean, the fans, they’re starting to pick up a little bit more, but I remember my rookie year, there was hardly anybody there.
So, that makes for a tough atmosphere when you have to go on the road, and you know, there’s absolutely no energy given to you, and there’s not even any energy in the building given to them, hardly either, so that’s a tough place to play.
Do you have any individual rivalries in the league?
I don’t know if there’s really individual rivalries yet…But then some of the other guys from my draft class, or guys that I get compared to, you know, I like going against and you know, trying to prove everyone wrong.*
* Translation: Paul George.
On Jeff Hornacek
Man, he worked with me a lot. I mean, he didn’t work with me as much as he did with Gordon [Hayward] and Jeremy [Evans], but you know, I used to always go over there to him when he got done working with Jeremy and Gordon, and you know, just ask him for little techniques or whatever.
What do you miss most about Jeff Hornacek?
He just brings that calmness. You know, going through a season, you know, you have up and down games. You know, he just bring that calmness, like, you know, you’ll be alright.
Is there anything in game film that sheds light on Gordon Hayward’s shooting woes?
His form is good…He just, you know, and I, he miss a couple layups, so it’s something that’s not, you know, the mechanics of it. He’s just rushing, or he, you know, it’s a little something that click, and you just gotta get the click back. That’s all.
Credit to you guys for recalibrating Marvin Williams as a stretch four*. How pleasant has Marvin been for you?
First of all, he’s a tremendous guy, and great teammate. Play to win the game. Play the right way to help his team get better. He work extremely hard to be as good as he can be individually, so he can help his team win. So I’m ecstatic to see the success that he’s having, the excess** we’re having when he play well. And when we have our full core, especially with Derrick [Favors] and him, and Gordon [Hayward] and Richard [Jefferson] and Trey [Burke] on the floor, we’re able to execute things very well.
* As Dennis Lindsey stated previously, Corbin had to be talked into playing Marvin at the four this past off-season and “bought in” “over time.”
** Not a typo.
Was there something you saw in the off-season or early this year that allowed you to recalibrate Marvin the way you did?
Well, it started, I think, last year,* you know, where we talked about, with the guys we had, and being able to open up the floor a little bit more. Then once the change happened and we weren’t gonna have the same roster, we decided to go young.**
What I, what would give us the best chance to be successful this year, and grow these guys together, and see some different things, and Marvin was one guy that we thought if we play Gordon at “three,” have Marvin on the “four” to create some more space as a four man being out and open the floor up some for us to give our p–guards and Trey, the young guy once we got him opportunities to get to the basket. Also, Derrick to be able to dive and have a one-on-one situation with his athletic ability going to the basket.
* According to Dennis Lindsey, the conversations the front office had convincing Corbin to play Marvin at the four took place this past off-season.
** Also according to Dennis Lindsey, Corbin was not overly enthused with the idea of going young when the front office made the decision.
How pleased are you with Alec Burks’ embracing of his bench role?
Well, he’s been super for us, first of all. And I’ve told him several times that he deserve to start, and on some other situations, he would be a starter. But, this, you know, don’t worry about start. You will finish games for us. You gonna play minutes for us. And we need you to play well. And I’m happy that he’s accepted the role. He understand the importance of him playing well for us to have a chance to be successful.
You’ve had such a unique challenge in the last two years. First, the delicate balance of keeping the locker room together with both veteran players and young players on the roster at the same time, and this year when wins are few and far between. You’ve done a great job. Talk about these unique challenges you’ve faced.
I, you know, I’ve had conversations with other coaches who’ve gone through processes, and you know, had to build teams. Nobody has ever been through a situation where they’ve had eight to nine free agents at one time.* And the veteran guys vying for minutes and guys who playing for contracts, and wanna show themself well. And how do you balance that thing. …
And it was a good group of guys, first of all, and they all understood, that, you know, winning would help everything for everybody. So we tried to be as good as we can be with the guys we had and played to win. And have guys understand some nights you’re not gonna get the minutes you want, but you know, you stay in the flow with it, it’ll work itself out through the course of the year.
This year, with the young guys, it’s trying to figure out how we can be as good as we can be now with this group.
* Flashback to the 2008-2009 Utah Jazz.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines (UDQM)
** Derrick Favors on extending his game: You gotta mix it up sometimes, man. You know, banging inside the whole game will wear you out, so sometime you gotta pull it out. (H/T @DJJazzyJody)
** Spencer Checketts trying to corner Gordon Hayward into playing FIFA with him: Stop dodging. I’m coming at you. (KALL, 1280)