Bits of Off-Season Quotage
** Some bits from Jody Genessy’s fantastic article on Derrick Favors:
“I want to play more than what I played last year,” Favors admitted. “If it’s starting, cool. If it’s coming off the bench, cool. I don’t mind. I just want to play more. I don’t want to sit on the bench no more.”
Training against the likes of Kevin Love, Tyson Chandler, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and DeJuan Blair every day helped him learn what it will take to be a better pro on a day-in, day-out basis. Being around the Olympians showed him, he pointed out, that taking care of his body’s conditioning is critical.
“I learned that I could compete with those guys,” Favors said. “But at the same time, l learned that I’ve got a lot of work to do to be on their level consistently.”
For one thing, Favors said, scoring two or four points against such players as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams felt like scoring 20.
“Basically, it was that hard to score against them,” he said. “It was an eye-opener, let you know that you are good but there are people out there that are way better and you need to work more.”
“I’m just trying to steal people’s post moves right now. I’m trying to steal Al’s and Paul’s stuff right now,” Favors said with a laugh. He added, “I’m just trying to still learn all their stuff, watch their stuff, try to steal some of it — not all of it — but certain moves that I know that I can do. Just try to watch and learn how they do it.”
** Kevin O’Connor on making young guys hungry: It used to be in the old days…[high draft picks and young] guys would, guys would have to spend a year or two sitting on the bench before they got their opportunity. Hopefully that’s what’s happened to our young kids a little bit, that they, they’ve learned how to win, and they’ve learned how to sit on the bench and then they’re a little more hungry.
** Phil Johnson on how much Favors changes the team defensively: Well, he helps them because he can block shots and he’s very good defensively on the pick and roll. I think his defensive game is far ahead of his offensive game, which is unusual for a young player. But everybody wants certain guys to play more, but who are you not going to play? That’s the question. Are you gonna limit more time from some of the players that have been playing a lot? And so, those are decisions Ty’s going to have to make.
** Johnson on Mo Williams vs. Devin Harris: Well, Mo Williams is a very good defender. I think he has a chance of being a help with the offense. He’s not a true point guard, from the standpoint he’s a little bit like Devin Harris as far as that’s concerned. He’s not a pass-first point guard…he can score and he defends and he can also pass. But I think what’s going to help is his perimeter shooting. I think he’s very good at that. I think Harris, the last half of the year, helped the team with that. The first half of the year, he was either not in shape or not ready to go, because he had poor, before the All-Star break, did not play well, but played well after that.
** Johnson on whether Randy Foye can play the backup point: I think that’s what he is. I think he’s what you classify probably as a third guard that can play “two.” He’s a “one-two.” I mean, that’s what he is. He’s not a true “two” and he’s not a true “one.” He’s somewhere in between, and he’s got some toughness.
** Johnson on which coaches in the league are best at managing games: Well, I think [Gregg] Popovich is very good. I think he does a nice job. Other than that…I think Lionel Hollins does a nice job in Memphis. I think he doesn’t get credit where credit’s due. I think Ty does a good job of managing the game. [also mentions Rick Carlisle and Doc Rivers]
** On Tyrone Corbin’s communication skills:
Locke: Locker clearout may have revealed what a good job he did in [being positive and keeping the team together], ’cause a bunch of guys decided to gripe, and that–
Johnson: The only thing I think he will develop as time goes on is not be afraid to communicate directly with the player. Everybody always thought that Jerry [Sloan] was this staunch, tough dude that didn’t listen to his players, but I always felt like he did a good job of knowing when to talk to them, and I think Ty will learn that as time goes on. It just looked to me like at the end of the season, there was some miscommunication as far as directly addressing things…it appeared to me that he could probably alleviate some of that by just going directly to the player and make sure you’re on the same page. (1280)