Today’s Opponent Game Thread host: Silver Screen and Roll.
Must win game!
by Shehzeb Imam on Oct 6, 2015 | 8:49 PM
we are doomed if we dont win this game!!
by smart_guy on Oct 6, 2015 | 8:53 PM
We’re gonna all be one step from death by the time they start.
by LadyAlannya on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:03 PM
by Lakerchariot on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:20 PM
I can’t watch the game atm. What Happened?!?!?!
by albert.55 on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:21 PM
Russell tried to contest a shot at the rim, but bumped Gobert and fell.
by LadyAlannya on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:21 PM
by lakerdynasty on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:21 PM
Oh my muther fuckin gawd!!!!
by The Lakers’ Future on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:21 PM
you gotta be kidding me
by Shehzeb Imam on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:21 PM
Oh fuck this.
by Arciel on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:22 PM
Fuck just let it be a twisted ankle for pete’s sake…
by Lakerchariot on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:22 PM
I just turned on the game.
by Avee on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:22 PM
I fucking quit
That’s it. 1
by John DoughDoe on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:22 PM
Fuck it, cancel the damn game
by sumo390 on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:25 PM
what the fuck
by imposibol on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:26 PM
bruised glute YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH
he is going to return.
by The Lakers’ Future on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:29 PM
lol bruised ass
by av1o3 on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:29 PM
by The Lakers’ Future on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:30 PM
HE BROKE HIS BUTTT!!!!
by Avee on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:29 PM
Bruised to the glutes YES
by Lakerchariot on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:29 PM
THANK GOD HE HAS A BIG ASS
by Avee on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:30 PM
Never been so happy in my life that someone got buthurt over something
by Lakerchariot on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:30 PM
God bless that ass
by CcarI24 on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:34 PM
I feel like Utah will be a borderline playoff team this year.
On that 9th/8th spot bubble. Lakers still one tier below. The goal, I think, is to get to Utah’s level by year’s end.
by LakerAce on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:38 PM
They will be #7
Gobert is elite
by Emperor_Earth on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:41 PM
This Neto kid is giving Exum a run for his money.
by Avee on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:49 PM
Neto looks really good, doesn’t he?
by Emperor_Earth on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:50 PM
Is Bass really that small
or is that dude just a giant
by av1o3 on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:57 PM
I think the guy’s just that big.
by LadyAlannya on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:58 PM
Pleiss? He’s 7-3, I believe.
by LakerAce on Oct 6, 2015 | 9:58 PM
“I’m sure their trainers are working vigorously to keep those glutes warm and loose.”
Sounds like D’angelo is having a blast lol.
by jmedley on Oct 6, 2015 | 10:09 PM
Millsap? that doesn’t look like Millsap?
by The Lakers’ Future on Oct 6, 2015 | 10:17 PM
Booker fucking dirty ass thug
by sumo390 on Oct 6, 2015 | 10:41 PM
Wow Booker is fucking dumb.
Good on Hibbert to keep a cool head there
by av1o3 on Oct 6, 2015 | 10:41 PM
Someone hit up the Laker fam in Hawaii
Booker doesn’t leave the island
by sumo390 on Oct 6, 2015 | 10:42 PM
by Shehzeb Imam on Oct 6, 2015 | 10:42 PM
Hibbert is gonna fuck that dude up
by av1o3 on Oct 6, 2015 | 10:43 PM
Did Booker get ejected?
Had to step away for a sec
by av1o3 on Oct 6, 2015 | 10:44 PM
by LadyAlannya on Oct 6, 2015 | 10:45 PM
Fuck that guy
by av1o3 on Oct 6, 2015 | 10:45 PM
First he tries to break Randles leg and now hes swinging at Hibbert
by sumo390 on Oct 6, 2015 | 10:45 PM
Whenever I see Whitey I always think of Xavier’s huge dunk
by sumo390 on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:00 PM
It appears I’m not the only one with selective dyslexia when it comes to “Withey.”
Utah ball movement, sigh.
by VoR on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:15 PM
quin snyder is a good coach
by smart_guy on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:15 PM
Yes, when he isn’t scaring little kids.
by LadyAlannya on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:16 PM
I had a bit of a crush on him last year.
by VoR on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:16 PM
It’s a pity he wasn’t available…
Oh wait! That’s right. He was. And we chose Scott.
by Emperor_Earth on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:16 PM
by VoR on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:20 PM
Poor crowd, y’all aren’t getting Kobe again tonight sorry.
by LadyAlannya on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:20 PM
They would go to over time in THIS game jerks
by The Lakers’ Future on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:43 PM
We’re gonna cut to AC Green and Robert Horry sleeping on camera
by av1o3 on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:48 PM
by smart_guy on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:51 PM
Sacre’s entrance killed all momentum
by Shehzeb Imam on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:52 PM
Sacre is there to make sure we don’t make it to a 2nd OT
by sumo390 on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:52 PM
if they lose Im never watching another game
by The Lakers’ Future on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:58 PM
They lose we riot
by Shehzeb Imam on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:59 PM
fuckin Nick young
by The Lakers’ Future on Oct 6, 2015 | 11:59 PM
Today’s Opponent Game Thread host: Silver Screen and Roll.
I don’t care if it’s preseason or not. F Utah always and forever.
by BULLETS MAKE ME SEAU on Oct 4, 2015 | 9:06 PM
I hate them slightly less than the Celtics.
by LadyAlannya on Oct 4, 2015 | 9:07 PM
I hate team less, but the fans so so so much more.
by BULLETS MAKE ME SEAU on Oct 4, 2015 | 9:08 PM
I dunno the Sac Kings fans are up there.
I basically just pity Clippers fans.
by LadyAlannya on Oct 4, 2015 | 9:08 PM
This is worse
by BULLETS MAKE ME SEAU on Oct 4, 2015 | 9:09 PM
Eh. They are females in Utah. I think they’ve been punished enough.
by LadyAlannya on Oct 4, 2015 | 9:09 PM
Russell to Randle
pants are now off
by sumo390 on Oct 4, 2015 | 9:12 PM
by SoCalGal on Oct 4, 2015 | 9:13 PM
D’Lo and Randle, the next Malone and Stockton
by Lakerchariot on Oct 4, 2015 | 9:12 PM
Lou the only player on the court without a fresh haircut
by BULLETS MAKE ME SEAU on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:05 PM
I dunno what the hell swaggy did
by The Lakers’ Future on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:06 PM
Yeah. I expect better from Nicholas.
by Avee on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:07 PM
Hayward looks like he is straigt outta the 50’s
by The Lakers’ Future on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:28 PM
I’m a little confused by the score
Why do the Lakers have a higher number?
by VoR on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:29 PM
Pre-season. They’ll settle down once the season starts.
by SoCalGal on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:30 PM
Freaking Gobert so tall.
by LadyAlannya on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:43 PM
Screw you Booker
by Shehzeb Imam on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:50 PM
MWP needs to get in there and teach him a lesson
by BULLETS MAKE ME SEAU on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:51 PM
seriously wth is his problem
by Shehzeb Imam on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:51 PM
Send in Sacre
give Booker a taste of his own dirty medicine
by sumo390 on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:51 PM
Yep let’s use up Sacre’s fouls on Booker.
by LadyAlannya on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:52 PM
Hes wearing a mask too
by sumo390 on Oct 4, 2015 | 10:52 PM
what just happened in this game
by The Lakers’ Future on Oct 4, 2015 | 11:07 PM
The shit hit the fan line up I hope we’ll never see in the regular season.
by LadyAlannya on Oct 4, 2015 | 11:08 PM
this line up reminds me too much of last season
by The Lakers’ Future on Oct 4, 2015 | 11:09 PM
byron isn’t making the fact that he’s mailing it in any less obvious at this point
by Lakerchariot on Oct 4, 2015 | 11:07 PM
Anthony Brown looks long
almost like Wesley Johnson.
by av1o3 on Oct 4, 2015 | 11:12 PM
Don’t doom him man….
by Lakerchariot on Oct 4, 2015 | 11:12 PM
Well, at least I can understand the score now… :disappointed:
by VoR on Oct 4, 2015 | 11:16 PM
Terrible lineups byron
You started out so good lol
by JunkiePrince24 on Oct 4, 2015 | 11:18 PM
I declare Raul Neto the dance champ of the rookies. And no one wins on the singing front.
** People calling Raul Neto “Wolfie” and “Wolf” (ostensibly because “Raul” sounds like “Howl”): Gordon Hayward
** Trey Burke on what he’s seen from Raul Neto and their relationship
Well, you know, he’s been playing well. You know, he can pass it really well. You know, he’s quiet, so you know, guys like that, you know, your relationship, you know, it comes along. You know, you don’t force anything. You know, but me, I’ve always been a good teammate. You know, he seems like he’d be a good teammate as well. So you know, we’re all, we all bring, you know, the new faces in and make them feel comfortable so everything could be good.
** Derrick Favors on if he feels like the team will be able to pick up defensively where it left off last season
No, we still got a lot of work to do. You know, [Quin Snyder] put in a new defensive, a lit–kinda tweaking the defensive system a little bit. You know, plus we got new players. So, we still got a lot of work to do before we can get back to how we was the second half of the year last year.
What kind of tweaks?
Just different, you know, different communications. Different places where people should be. Just a lot of different stuff.
** Favors on this season
I’ve been in the league six years. I’ve been working on my game, improving every year, and this is the year that I want to come out and really dominate.
** Favors on Jeff Withey
Jeff’s kinda surprised me…I didn’t know he could shoot the ball that well like he’s shooting in the drills, and you know, he got pretty good coordination in the post. Pretty good passer. So you know, he’s impressed me a lot.
** Favors on Quin Snyder
I think he a lot more relaxed this year. I think for, last year by that being his first year, he was kinda, little uptight a little bit, trying to get his point across. But I think this year, he’s more relaxed, more having fun. He used to everybody, we used to him, so I mean, this is, it’s fun.
** Tibor Pleiss on Raul Neto
We always played against each other the last three years in Spain, and he’s a great guy, and I hang out with him sometimes. Go for dinner. Yeah, it’s great to have him here…Europeans together.
** Pleiss on working with Alex Jensen on the German national team
I teached him some bad words [in German]. Don’t ask about it, please.
Did Alex teach you any bad words [in English]?
No. I knew them already.
** Quin Snyder on Derrick Favors playing the stretch four
I don’t know that I would use the word “stretch four” because that, it implies more of a, in my mind at least, a three — I like the idea of him being able to be more, a better playmaking four, where he’s, his ball skills are better. His passing, his ballhandling. And what that means is he’s probably gonna be more aggressive offensively out on the floor. And obviously, you know, he’s worked hard on his shooting, and I think, you know, there’s, it’s interesting, sometimes guys that don’t have 3-point range is, they’re not as consistent. You know, they’re constantly wanting to back up…So, I’m not concerned about Pa–Fav being, you know, a 3-point guy, a stretch where — I just, I want him to be consistent and aggressive, you know, when he’s in his range.
** Snyder on Kevin Pelton’s claim that Elijah Millsap has lost the trust of the coaching staff and is a long shot to make the roster
It’s totally false. Elijah’s played really well…I talked to Elijah, like, once a week all summer…That’s [Pelton’s] opinion. I’m not even gonna, I don’t even know what to — like, ask Elijah how he feels about me.
** Snyder on Derrick Favors
Derrick’s prosti–practiced maybe harder than anyone. I mean, he’s given so much effort and he’s been so precise. There’s clearly a level of concentration that he’s had.
** Snyder on whether the Hawaii trip will be strictly business
I want our guys to, you know, to enjoy s–aspects of the trip, and I think some of it can help us as a team too. You know, I’m not saying Gordon and Fav have to go for a long swim together, you know, to bond, but you know, I would like to see Alec, you know, like, hula.
** Gordon Hayward on Colin Cowherd
He basically was saying that, you know, professional e-sports guys, professional gamers, are all dorks and nerds. So I posted a picture of him looking like a big dork, so…He kinda backed down. He didn’t say anything on Twitter either, so.
** Trey Lyles on his rookie
Yeah, I got a purse too. Mine had a dog in it, though. So, I was hoping for a backpack, but it’s all good…Yeah, I got a little purse.
** Lyles on his NBA Live picture
Yeah, I saw it. I was flattered, actually. Nah, it was terrible. You know, I was like, wow. I’m not bald and I’m not 40 years old, so. But it’s all right. They’ll fix it.
** Alec Burks on playing his first game since December
I don’t get nervous. I haven’t been nervous since fifth grade. Tsh.
Both Quin Snyder and Dennis Lindsey have compared the Jazz to a running team in football, with a defensive front line that makes it somewhat of an anomaly in the NBA. Would you agree with that assessment?
Yeah, I would. I, you know, I really feel that the team is, and, what I’m, I think this team as well, is a team that can run well, but also play well together, and really be a team that is not gonna beat you individually, but it’s gonna beat you collectively.
And as I’m watching us play, I’m very impressed by the efforts of — Quin has done a masterful job of really building an offense, that maximizes the talents of the team collectively and not individually.
With the different options that can come out of there, with our offense, I, we’re making some adjustments that really — Quin is focusing on more offensive efficiency for us this coming year, and continued improvement that we showed that we had defensively.
And the players have bought into that, and I think if we can continue to step up our game, I really feel like, you know, you talked about this running at teams, I think we can run at them and com–at them both offensively and defensively, that’s gonna make us continue to be better.
Can you see the Jazz playing with a point guard-less lineup this year?
Well, I know that Quin came over to me last week and we were both commenting and looking at the improvements that we’ve seen from Alec Burks, and him continuing to be a year older, and going through what he went through with his injury, and coming out, strong as he is.
And watching, also, Rodney Hood, and both commenting, hey, I think there’s gonna be times that we see them both on the floor together. And I could see that happening.
So I think based on lineups that we see in the NBA, if there’s a taller guard lineup, I think we could very easily see Alec and Rodney on the floor together. I think if there’s a sma–those smaller lineups, there may be times that we see our smaller guards out there as well.
Tibor Pleiss is very tall. What are the possibilities for him?
Well, you, to take Tibor, I mean, right on the bubble of making this team as well is Jeff Witty,* and the, I mean, you’ve got some tall timber there between, well, now you’re looking at Rudy, Tibor, and you know, Jeff Witty.*
There’s some impressive heights there, and I’ve been very impressed with Tibor as he’s come into the season. We’ve gotta continue to get him stronger, and I’ll tell you. Rudy has done that very thing. I’ve been very impressed with the conditioning that he’s added.
Rudy has added 2 inches to his reach because he’s added 2 inches of stren–of definition to his upper body, and his shoulders, and it’s given him, actually, 2 more inches of hi–of reach because of that. So, that’s what really conditioning and strengthening your body can do for these players.
So, we’re, I’m excited about what that can mean. I’m excited what it can mean for us o–both on the offensive glass as well as on the defensive, of presence, and shot-blocking, for this team.
* Is this how “Withey” is pronounced? *shrug*
The NBA announced changes to its replay rules today. Will there be any more rule changes this year?
No, I think we just experienced, that’s gonna be the last change that we’ll see coming into this season, and that we’ll have during the season. Traditionally, we’ve tried to vote on those things even much sooner than, as we have this one, within literally, the last week we did that, the vote on that one.
That’s gonna be a good move, though, I think. It’s really going to, we are very much in favor of it. It’s gonna help speed up the game. Tho–with the new cameras that we have in place, with that central control that we have with the NBA, they can immediately look at those and determine those calls much quicker than waiting for the officials to come over, bring the TV up, and have the T–the officials on site make those calls.
So, I, we really feel that’s good for our fans, to speed up the play, but make, get the accurate call so that the game is being accurately assessed on what’s truly happened there. So, we’re very much in favor of it, but I don’t think, we will not see any other moves.
If we do, I’ll be shocked. Traditionally, that’s, at this point, we’re now ready to now get them in play and make sure that we then can get the officials and the coaches and players knowing exactly what the rules are going into the season. (1280)
** David Locke on Rudy Gobert (pictured above): Do I have something looming behind me?
** Locke to Bryce Cotton: Do you feel different today coming into this than you did a year ago?
** Locke to Cotton: There are times when being 6 inches shorter than somebody else hurts you. (H/T @5kl)
**Media to Elijah Millsap: Do you think that you’ll feel comfortable if coach [Quin] Snyder wants to use you in a bigger variety of ways?
** Millsap on keeping the NBA dream alive: I always just looked at the adversity and just tell myself, you know, if I just get up one more time, you know, no matter what happens, you never know how close it can be.
** Locke to Millsap: Two visuals that jumped into my mind. One was in Chicago…You got in on Derrick, I think, Derrick Rose, in kind of a level that was, “I don’t give a crap who you are.” And then the other was [Kevin] Durant, that you got in on. What is their reaction when you’re into them in a way that maybe no other players in the NBA would?
** Ron Boone on defense: All you can do there is just make it hard for them.
** Joe Ingles on being the team’s go-to inbounder: I think some people get a bit more nervous than I do in that kind of situation, and it’s one of those things that you have to get it in.
** Ingles on Dante Exum: I think his mom actually got me printed out on his bedspread, so you know, he actually slept on top — uh…
** Media to Tibor Pleiss: How, like, your size. Where does it come from?
** Locke on himself talking: Derrick [Favors] is heading over this direction, so I probably won’t finish.
** Locke to Gordon Hayward: You got big again.
** Locke to Alec Burks on his rim and 3-point shooting percentage: Put that together in an Alec Burks stew, and I’ve got a big-time stud going on.
** Locke to Burks: I’ve got a deep one for you. (H/T @5kl)
** Locke to Trevor Booker on his broken nose and mask: Do the kids go and bang you in the face to see if it hurts?
** Booker on the integration of playing with the ball in his hands into his game: Slowly. I’m not gonna try to, you know, just jump right into it. You gotta slowly get there, you know? I mean, I am getting up there in age, so I can’t take too much time, but you know, I’m working my way in.
** Boone to Dennis Lindsey: You got 20 guys in camp. Obviously, you wanted to plug the holes.
** Lindsey, responding to Boone: Yes, sir. So, some of the holes, I think, will be plugged with players that are returning, most notably Alec Burks…Some of the holes will be plugged with the players that we had last year. Like, you could, with what Gordon and Derrick are working on in particular, I could see their roles expanding even more. Certainly, Rudy’s unique development, there’s gonna be some things that we wanna capitalize, with his size and length and presence. But with the newcomers, specifically we like Raul [Neto]’s head and imagination…And Tibor is big, right? He’s really big, and he’s really youn–long…We pinch ourselves and count our blessings every day that we have two 7-foot-plus guys with these extraordinary dimensions.
** Lindsey on offensive rebounding: Bigs gotta come over and help. They get off Rudy and Derrick and Trevor’s body. Then they can go in and clean it up.
On his body
I was tipping the scales way too much, way too high at the end of last year…I’ve dropped about 20 [pounds] here. I’ve moved — back to football vernacular, I’ve moved from an inside linebacker to an outside linebacker. I’m moving towards a strong safety. I don’t think I’ll ever get back to a cornerback.
On Tibor Pleiss’ body
He’s 25, but really if you look at his body, it’s more 21, 22.
On Derrick Favors’ body
Derrick’s body is, you know, literally, he’s been touched by the hand of God, with his physical dimensions.
On the Jazz’s point guard rotation
We have three young point guards. Four, but Dante [Exum]’s out. The production has to get better, but Trey [Burke]’s 22 and has significant experience in the league. P3, Mark McKown has named him our most improved player in the off-season. Not only is he more athletic, he’s a safer athlete…
Bryce Cotton has very unique speed and explosive scoring ability that we hope to capitalize on…He was here all summer.
Raul Neto, again, is heady. He’s strong. He’s very good laterally. He plays with very good imagination. First thing that he said to me in summer league when he was watching Rodney Hood play, he’s like, “Hey Dennis, I can get him the ball in areas that he can really score.” And that’s a little bit different mentality than Trey has. And certainly, Bryce is more of a scoring option. So to have that mindset, all very complementary…
We have $7 million under the cap. We’ve built up an asset base. If the point guard position or frankly any of the other positions can’t handle — if the internal improvement isn’t fast enough relative to the team, then we’ll go look outside. But we think that’s premature at this stage.
Does Rudy Gobert need to be bigger to reach his potential?
I think everybody has their natural physique, and with athletes, they’re, literally, they’re race cars. Their bodies are finely tuned…You want to optimize athleticism, right? That’s a big poin–part of what you do, but by and large, these guys are the best of the best.
If we did nothing else and we just made our guys safer, safer athletes when they land and stop, I think that’s a huge win because this, the league is not about winning any one game. It’s about being the last team standing. …
There’s a natural design that not only optimizes [Gobert’s] movement and his strength, but his safety, and we have to think about that.
So, there’re many things that, components of being a center in the NBA. Not only do you want to be a shot-blocker…but you want to create a physical perimeter around the rim. So, that strength factor, I think we can continue to help Rudy and Tibor [Pleiss] on, moving forward. And, but does that necessarily mean we have to bulk him up? Absolutely not…
The Spurs clearly have looked at what they wanted to do relative to perenially being a contender and being the last team standing concept, instead of winning any one game. And you’ve seen how they’ve managed Tim Duncan. Tim, in many ways, probably should’ve been done years ago.
And again, really, Coach [Jerry] Sloan started it all. I’m sure there was, without reading about it, a bunch of angst about “You’re taking John [Stockton] out when? You know, right when we’re rolling?” And “Hey, can you extend him a little bit?” And, but Coach had a bigger vision in mind.
Now, I’m not sure Coach knew that [Stockton] was gonna get to 41, 42 years old and be in, still playing at 90 percent of his highest peak value, but really, in many ways, Coach Sloan ushered in the management of players with how he treated John and Karl [Malone].
On his snazzy suit
A little Euro look.
What one aspect of the game did you think the most about this off-season?
Switching defenses. It’s become very–tea–because teams are starting to play more and more small, they’re capable of switching one through four. People don’t really switch with their five. But you see it — we do it some with [Derrick] Fav[ors], because even though he’s big, he’s so long and he’s, you know, he’s athletic and quick.
But we don’t have a team offensively that just spaces the floor and attacks. We’re motion, actions, movement, screening. So I think there’s some things that we’ve thought about to try to help us attack that.
The other thing, frankly, is just defensively, what along this process of putting a recipe together, you know, trying to be very acutely aware of how much of which thing, and where the emphasis lie, because the process of building a defense, you know, y–it’s not like you start over. But where is the emphasis and where is it most important? …
It’s a little bit, like, you know, a recipe where you’re, you know, you’re cooking and you’re not writing everything down, but you write as much as you can down along the way.
And we watch film. And you start seeing what your guys are doing, and you go back to the communication system. And I think the most important thing is just the general emphasis on the identity and taking pride in being a team that does play that way. And then within that, our players gotta embrace the habits.
It’s different — it’s a little different for everybody. Rodney Hood is unbelievable off the ball. You know, our point guards this year need to be better on the ball, to f–have that be a little bit more of a weapon.
So, there’s a lot of things that — but we’ll try to be systematic in how we approach it so that it’s clear. It’s w–it’s not habitual yet…It’s still new, so we gotta make sure that we stay committed to it, and we keep working on it.
What are this year’s catchphrases?
Disruptive. You know, disciplined disruption. I think I’d like to see that for our team defensively.
You know, offensively, it’s more complicated, but I think force. I’d like to see more aggression towards the basket, whether it be cutting, driving the ball — you know, but that, the forcefulness of our team with which, the way we play offense, even if it’s in the half court, I think that will help us not make as many mistakes on offense.
Saying “don’t turn it over” sometimes isn’t enough…No one wants to turn the ball over, so you try to figure out, you know, how can we play that will help us be more efficient and not do that. And I think force is a big part of it. I think screening, cutting, kinda old-school-grind-it-out, it’s who we are.
On his coaching staff
I think we really saw an impact this summer, where we, you know, we invested as an organization in a couple additional people. Jeff Watkinson, who’s an assistant coach, worked a lot with Johnnie Bryant this summer in integrating our entire player development program. And it was very well done, very well organized, very efficient. Planned, but not over-planned, where I think the players were working on the right things, and they’ve embraced it.
Igor Kokoskov — and Alex Jensen, as well — but Igor coached the Georgian national team this summer…We’ve got some good people. The guys that are already here are very good, and have gotten to know me. I’ve gotten to know them, so I think there’s a real synergy on our staff…
You know, the command that some of the assistants have for our defense is, helps me, the level of teaching that they’re capable of doing.
How’s the hip?
Could be better.
Why is this team the right fit for you?
It’s a team that believes in me. You know, everybody has their right fit in the NBA. You know, it’s a great organization. The city is great; family-oriented. It’s great for my family. It’s just a perfect fit for me.
What were your thoughts watching Draymond Green play in the Finals?
My honest thought? That could be me. You know, he’s a good player. He’s very diverse. He can, you know, guard multiple positions. He can shoot the 3-ball, which is something I’m trying to do. He rebounds the ball. And he got paid. A lot.
There’s only one area where he’s statistically significantly superior to you. Do you know what it is?
Assists. Would you be able to get assists in the same way?
If I was given the opportunity, I think so. You know, Steph Curry, you know, he doesn’t need much time to shoot the ball, so if you pass it to him with somebody in his face, that might be an assist right there. Klay Thompson the same way. So, he’s a pretty lucky guy.
Who is your favorite superhero?
I like the Hulk, ’cause he smashes everything.
How are you approaching the new season?
I’m approaching it mus–much more serious now. You know, I’m starting to, you know, feel more like a professional now. You know, I think when I came in, you know, I felt like, you know, I could just, you know, play basketball like I always played basketball. You know, but now I’m learning the ins and outs — or not learning; I’ve learned the ins and outs.
You know, eating right, s–it’s funny because I’m getting to bed, like, around 11, 11:30 now, and I’ve never, ever done that. But I feel so much better in the morning. Like to–like right now, I have so much energy. It’s incredible. So I think those little things go a long way, especially in a 82-game season. You know, they play a big part, you know, in how you play and you know, how your body holds up.
On staying professional when he’s been asked to change roles
For me, I wanted to, you know, be the guy who, you know, had the energy still, you know, even when coach axed me, you know, to come off the bench.
You know, I still wanted to, you know, be that guy who was like a leader, who was like a, you know, a strong piece for the team rather than, you know, the team looking at me as, you know, well, he’s a selfish guy because, you know, we could tell he’s mad he’s not starting. You know, and that’s just how I wanted to handle myself. And coach, you know, thanked me for that, you know, for handling myself that way. …
The way I was raised, I was already naturally able to handle, you know, being axed that. But it was me as well. It was the things that I was doing off the court holding me back as well. And then I, you know, I just had to sit back and realize, or sit back and make decisions on, you know, what type of player I wanted to be and then ask myself what sacrifices do I want to make.
And you know, a lot of those things had to be, like, food. Had to be, you know, certain activities. You know, certain, you know, just all type of things…Just the small things, and the ins and outs of the NBA game.
Do you go into training camp expecting to start at point guard?
I’m not going to go into it just know–thinking that I’m gonna start at point guard. You know, I know it’s a battle, you know, a competition, so that’s how Imma go into it. You know, but I’m a competitor, so you know, that’s just, you know, second nature to me and you know, I look forward to, you know, competing, you know, with the team tomorrow — or going into training camp practicing with the team.
And then when we get to competing, look forward to competing, you know, with the team. You know, not just competing, you know, with Raul [Neto] or Bryce [Cotton], but you know, competing, you know, with whoever’s on the other team, you know, in training camp.
Is there any way to remedy the shooting lapses you had last year?
I think some of that comes with, you know, sometimes last year — I felt like I lost confidence a little bit last year. You know, I think now where I am, you know, I know you can’t lose confidence in this league. You know, you can’t allow that to affect you — or one night to affect you at all…
Preparation is something that I’m, you know, getting much better at right now. So I think that’s the biggest thing, is just making sure I’m getting my reps in before and after practice, and you know, just going from there.
On playing for Quin Snyder
He’s honest and real with you, you know? You gotta, you can take that or not, you know, and I respect that for him, ’cause, you know, he’s a great guy, you know, on and off the court.
Does it matter to you whether you start or Rodney Hood starts?
You know, at the end of the day, you know, everybody wanna be a starter, you know, that comes in this league. But you know, it’s up to coach Q. You know, we all gon fight hard. Me, Rodney, Gordon [Hayward], Elijah [Millsap], all the wings. Joe [Ingles]. We all gon fight hard no matter who start, who finish, all that. You know, we gon play hard ’til the game’s over.
On his shoulder
I got hit on the first day by my, by Trey [Burke? Lyles? Graham?]. You know, he hit me. It was in Santa Barbara, and I thought it was over. But you know, I bounced back up. The shoulder’s good. So, that showed me I was good…It was more mental thing than physical thing at that time.
Where are you now compared to where you were before the surgery?
I think I’m better than I was, you know, [before] the injury ’cause you know, I couldn’t lift my shoulder…I couldn’t lift my left arm, so I feel like I’m…a better player, you know, better person, you know, from the injury. So you know, I can’t wait to gel back with my teammates.
Who is your favorite superhero?
Man, I ain’t really into that.
** Was cleared for contact two weeks ago
What did you work on this summer?
Right now, I feel 100 percent healthy. You know, ready to get going. This summer, I add a lot to my game. You know, I got, I’m handling the ball better. It’s some little things in my shot that I kinda tweaked a little bit to make it more, not necessarily [more] consistent, but more fluid shot.
And then, you know, just working on pick-and-roll passing. Just my overall game. I even added a little bit of post game and you know, it’ll progress throughout the season.
On competing with Alec Burks for minutes
I mean, I think it’s enough minutes for everybody. You know, and it’s just, you just competing against each other, it’ll make each other better…When I was playing and Alec was hurt, you know, he was helping me along the whole time, and giving me confidence and the same thing vice versa.
You know, I, and it’s a good problem to have. The better I am, the better he is, the better Gordon [Hayward] — whoever, you know, the better the Jazz are. So it’s, I like it, you know, to be honest.