Bits from Training Camp, 10/7
** Have you figured out who’ll be starting tomorrow night?
We’ll continue to look at it. You know, we gonna look at some different things here to start, so it doesn’t really matter who start. We wanna look at everybody play, as many combinations as we can.
** How much do you rely on Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush to tell the young guys how it is?
Well, they are, they have the experience, you know? And Richard, and Andris, and with [John] Lucas coming over also, and, so, with Brandon being out, but you know, they are the experienced guys. So we’re gonna have to rely on them a little bit earlier to make sure they help our, help this young group grow.
Are these guys unfairly viewed as a trade dump?
Whatever that is. We want ’em. That’s why we got ’em. So whatever they think about the other thing, we wanna make sure they feel welcome here. And whatever else that is, they’ve been tremendous with us. We look forward to them continuing to grow with this group of guys, and be as good of players as they can possibly be.
** How do you get Trey Burke to do what he does in practice, in games?
He have to relax. And we gotta get him to relax. He has a lot of pressure on him, and you know, that’s from, wherever the pressure come. But he has to just go out and relax and just be the player he is everyday in practice. And he’s shown improvement. He pressed a little bit the other night, because of whatever, but we gotta get him to relax and just play his game.
** Defense seems to be a priority. How’s that going?
Well, it have to be a priority for where we finished last year. You know, although we won 43 games, we didn’t feel good about where we were defensively. The personnel now will dictate that we can do a few more things. But we have to be better, at individually defensively, and then as a team, we have to get better™, to make sure we making the right rotations, [and] we continue to make the effort after adverse things happen, so we can have a chance to get stops.
** There’s a huge burden on the training and conditioning staff to have guys ready during training camp. What are the things that go into keeping players healthy and ready as well as you guys have?
Where is it?
Yeah, like, what is it that they do so well?
Understanding the guys. Understanding the body. Understanding the work load that’s ahead of ’em. I mean, you have to axe them more about what they do.
We’re not allowed to.
Maybe you’re not allowed to axe me either.
** On having 20 guys (18 dressing) in training camp
It’ll be difficult to get all 18 guys in [games], unless something, you know, the game get way out of whack.
Do you feel obligated to get every guy in training camp playing time?
I do. I, you know, it’s a little different this year because we have so many young guys that we need to get experience and get us ready for the regular season, but when you bring a guy into camp, I always thought it was fair. And I been through training camps trying to make a team myself. It was, if you go through all the work of training camp, you want to have an opportunity to play in the game.
** When you found out you’d been traded, were you upset or happy about getting a new start?
I felt it right away when I get traded, you know? Obviously, you know, it was not going my way [in Golden State], and the trade was, it works out, you know, it was the only way how to go, and so, I’m glad. I’m glad I’m here, and I’m looking forward to the season.
** Are the last three years in Golden State and the trade motivation for you?
It’s not even, it’s not only them, you know? I want to show myself that, you know, I prove, still prove myself that I still got it, and I think it’s more for myself and just to see that, prove myself that I still got it.
How’s it going in practice?
It’s getting there. I mean, it’s not happening, you know, through one week or like that. But it’s getting there. It’ll take time, but I can feel, it’s, you know, I feel much more better, like I did in the past.
** What was it like walking into the gym and seeing Karl Malone? Was it strange?
It was really strange. I was little, I was watching him. So it was a great honor to just be part of it. When he was here, I was learning a lot and listening. And he was just a fun guy to be around with. (Utah Jazz)
And bits from other training camps around the league…
Jeff Hornacek is impressing his players at his first training camp:
“Jeff’s awesome,” Suns forward P.J. Tucker said. “I can easily say he’s one of my favorite coaches already and I haven’t even played for him in a game.” …
Point guard Goran Dragic likes the way Hornacek has treated the many youngsters on the team.
“He teaches. He’s a teaching coach,” Dragic said, “especially with this group. We have young guys and I think he can teach a lot to them. He’s got a lot of experience and even if you make a mistake, he just tells you the right way to do it and after that he just lets you play. He doesn’t you that you have to do this, this and this and be like a robot.” (Yahoo! Sports)
Glad to see Horny in a good place. Then again, John Stockton always knew Horny would make a great coach.
Meanwhile, Paul Millsap is happy with his new surroundings:
“We’re a smart team,” Millsap said. “We’re going to know what to do. Our brains are our best asset right now. During the course of the season, we’ll figure everything out. With smart guys around, I’m sure [the rookies] will catch on pretty fast. Also, we have a coach who is going to teach and break things down for everyone. Because we have smart and intelligent guys, hopefully it won’t take that long [for the group to jell]. We’ve already been going through some things and we’re getting a feel for what we’re going to do. It’s been working out.” …
“I haven’t played pick-and-pop for awhile,” Millsap said with a laugh. “It’s been awhile, but I feel like I’m pretty strong in that area. I know Al [Horford] is really strong in that area and we’ve got the point guards and guards to do it. We’ll make it happen.” (Hoops World)