Bits from Practice 10/26
** On sticking with the Jefferson-and-Millsap / Favors-and-Kanter combos: [Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors] are learning how to work with each other very well. They give us a great, great advantage against most second teams, and, you know, what they can do on both ends of the floor, offensive and defensive, with their size and their agility is, is a great thing for us. And what Al [Jefferson] and Paul [Millsap] can do against veteran guys starting the game, or at different times during the course of the game, with their experience, to, to with the veteran guys, even if we have a size differential sometimes, give, that experience gives us an advantage.
** Focus for the rest of the preseason: The improvements that we have to have on some things we’re not really satisfied with on the defensive end, especially, and then work to the offensive end from there. We have to get better defensively, which is one of the focuses coming into training camp. [What do you want to improve on defensively?] Well, defensive communication first of all. We gotta make sure we talk and communicate, the commitment and the trust to rotate when we have to rotate, the commitment to staying between your man and the basket, taking the responsibility to play your guy first and when help come, to continue to play the rotation out there.
** On how he’ll handle players’ expectations for minutes: We all have to continue to work and help each other, and stay together, and understand that it’s for the best, for the betterment of the team and individually just to, to give us a chance to win, and, and stay together as a team, and win big at the end.
** More outside shooting? Well, y–you know, if you, you look at how it’s helped our inside game, because we’re so dominant inside, and if we can make perimeter shots and especially three-point shots consistently, it’ll give us more opportunities at the post with our, our big guys to be one-on-one. If you get Al, and Enes and Paul and Derrick, I think in one-on-one situations with most guys on the post, we feel good about our chances there.
** On personnel decisions: It’s tough. It’s a tough job for me…it’s a tough thing to do, because, you know, sometimes you have to weigh some talent against personality and, and, and, you know, the ability to make a team better and win and, or not win, because you’ve taken a lesser talented guy and, and, you know, the fit, so it’s a, it’s a, it’s a process that you have to go through, and with a lot of due dili–due diligence of making, make sure you making the right decision.
** On team chemistry: I thought last year was a great team. Everybody got along on and off the court, but this year tops it…Guys just been knowing each other for awhile, you know, the vets. And then you got the young guys, who just got great personalities, and just wanna learn and wanna get better, and listen to the vets. You got a group like that, it’s kinda hard not to get along…Everybody’s hanging in one crew.
** On Kanter’s ability to pass out of the double team: I think Big Turkey just have it. Sometimes you just got it. You just have that, you have a eye for that. And I just think he one of them guys. You know, me, it took me about two or three years, and I still don’t think I’m exactly where I need to be, but I got a lot better. I just think Big Turkey one of them guys, just, you know, kinda like Kevin Love when he was a rookie…I think he just got that talent.
** Best part of all of today’s practice audio:
Just trying to stretch this out–who was your favorite elementary school teacher?
Al: I had a couple. Couple of them I had a crush on.
What were their names?
Al: No. No, I ain’t doing that. No. But my favorite, I have to say, was my first grade teacher, Miss McGee, ’cause me and her had the same birthday. So we bonded.
Is that M-C-G-E-E?
Al: Don’t ask me, I ain’t gonna….
She one of the two?
Al: That I had a crush on?
Al: No, no, she was like a grandmother, no. She like my grandmother. Y’all crazy. Y’all trying to start sump’n.
** With all the new faces, is it helpful that Al had a relationship with Randy Foye, Marvin Williams, and Mo Williams already? Well, Al has a relationship with everybody, so you ain’t gotta worry about that.