Bits from Practice, 10/10
** On Trey Burke’s transition from scorer to distributor
He’s getting better™. He’s getting better™. He, and that’s gonna be a balance for him. It’ll take him awhile. He’s been such a guy who’s been such a dynamic scorer in his career. That’s what he’s used to doing. That’s his first instinct. But he’s trying to understand the importance of finding his teammates, finding his teammates early, and how to free him up more as the game go on.
** On the Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors combo
That’s one of the things, the last two years, we talked about growing those two guys together so we wanted them to get used to being on the floor at the same time. And that time is now, so you know, they are continuing their growth in more of an expanded role.
** Are you going to stay with the same starting lineup?
Maybe. We want to change, and look at a couple different things here. Maybe, tomorrow may not be the best time to do it. Tomorrow may be the best. Let’s go through practice today and we’ll see, because we want to get more guys in. Maybe a way to start a couple other guys, and then right now the guys off the bench. We’ll see how it goes.
** Do you like playing exhibition games in non-NBA cities?
It’s different. You know, you don’t get the [comfort] of the NBA stuff. You know the arena. I haven’t been to this arena [in Boise] yet…It’s an experience. It’s different. … I think there’s advantages and disadvantages to it. You know, getting in and out of places…It can be difficult because we have so many guys. Getting guys over early to get work in. We’re still in training camp, so you go to some cities and some towns that don’t have the facilities or you can’t get in the arena early enough [for] guys get their shots up and you have so many guys in training camp that you need to spread the time out with them getting in the arena. So that can be a little troubling.
John Lucas III
** Can we expect that kind of firepower from you every night?
Yeah, absolutely. You know, I come to play. I come in with a lot of energy. That’s my thing. When I step on that court, I make sure I give it everything I have. You know, every possession. I’m taking no possessions off, and that’s the way I been playing my whole life, and that’s how Imma continue to play.
** What’s it like playing with Alec Burks in the backcourt?
Playing with Alec, I mean, you know, we’re like a one-two punch, ’cause you can’t play off us. And he can bring the ball up and I can go to the off-guard, with the offense, you know, with our offensive sets, you know, it fits our game perfectly, you know? It’s no limitations. We go out there and we just play…Him being here for a couple years now and me being my first year, but I feel so comfortable out there, that you know, I feel like, you know, sky’s the limits for us.
** What’s it like being a part of a team this young?
I feel like I’m still young. I’m, you know, 30, and the years I played in the league, I played, like, the last three years where I played a lot of minutes, with the, other than now, it was more like, learning and playing behind Rafer Alston, and Derrick Rose, and players like that. Just con–Tony Parker, and stuff like that. Just watching the game, and seeing it on a different side of the scale, so to me, I’m enjoying it. Because, you know, it’s young, it keeps me young. And going against guys that’s 19, 20, 21 years old, you know, it keeps your mobility great, you know? … I want to play until the wheels fall off, until I know I can’t go out there and compete at that high level and give that energy I come in with, to give night in and night out.
** On Trey Burke
He listens to everybody. Not just me. Coaching staff, and everybody else. Even [Richard Jefferson]. You know, we’re vets, RJ and myself, so you know, he listens. He’s like a sponge. He’s soaking everything up. But at the end of the day, when he, when you have a player like him who just, you know, he just watch. And he’ll come to you with questions about the offense and questions about the defense…You know, most guys come in at a high draft pick, think they know everything. Think they can play. He’s coming in like, “Look, I want to be better. I want to be the best PG in the NBA.” And that was his mentality. That’s exactly what he told me the first day I met him. He want to be the best point guard in the NBA. And you know, everybody comes in and say that, but when you see somebody’s facial expressions, it tells the truth that they really mean that.
** On his dad, Jerry Sloan and past coaches
[My dad] just tell me, you know, pick and choose when to attack, ’cause I always been a scoring point guard…I feel like this offense fit me perfect. And then we talked about it, ’cause my dad being a coach, playing against Jerry Sloan* for all the, like, playing against him but also coaching against him, he knows the offense, and what’s the, what’s to look for, and stuff like that. …
A lot of coaches, growing up, was like, “You’re a 2-guard! You’re a 2-guard!” I’m like, “No, I’m a point. I just a point who has the ability to put the ball in the hole, when I need to.” And my dad was like, “Don’t ever let nobody tell you what you are. You know who you are. And you know, eventually, you gonna have one coach that’s gonna see that in you. And from there on, you gon just take off.”
And you know, for, I played for Coach [Tom] Thibodeau who saw that in me, and he let me play my game, and the rest was history, you know?…I felt like if I ever had that opportunity to show what I really capable of doing in this league, that the rest of the league would see what I’m able to do, and you know, Thibs did that, and now Ty’s letting me do that. And Coach [Dwane] Casey let me do that. So now everybody knows what I can bring to the table. And I, you know, I always thank those guys throughout the year, even Ty today, you know, taking the opportunity on me coming here with a young team and mentoring Trey and also coming in with a big role.
* John Lucas and Jerry Sloan never actually played against each other. Lucas’ rookie year was the year after Jerry retired. Lucas did coach 19 regular season and four playoff games against Sloan.
** Has the transition from scorer to distributor been difficult?
Not as much. It, just going from one system to another system and having to learn a whole new system, it’s tougher than, you know, what it looks. And I been doing better at, you know, learning the plays everyday, learning where everybody else has to be. But I think, you know, college, you know, it, there’s more, there’s a little bit more, you know, freedom out there, you know, where I was coming from. Now I have to learn how to get guys involved more and just try to, you know, get my teammates going. And I think that’ll make us all better, as one.
** Guys with great college pedigrees sometimes come in thinking they know everything, but you’ve been trying to absorb and learn as much as possible.
Absolutely. You know, I’m not gonna come in here and act like I know everything. You know, the advice that they give, I try to soak it all in and apply it out there. I think that’s the most important thing. You know, just going out to Spokane with [John] Stockton, you know, the main thing that I was learning from everybody is just, you have to listen. You have to listen. You don’t know, it’s your first couple years, and the earlier you know it, the better you will be, so.
** What will it be like facing Earl Watson and Mo Williams?
You know, I played with Earl, like, last two years, and you know, he was my really good friend. And Mo also, you know? It’s gonna be real fun…[but] for me on the court, it don’t matter if I’m be a friends or whatever. You know, we just gonna try to beat them.
** On working on his mid-range game
I worked on it a lot, you know? I’ve been working on my shot, and you know, my face-up game. And you know, I’m just, I have that confident. You know, my teammates give me that confident to just take the shot…Even in the practice, I’ve been working on the shot, you know? 18-foot, 15-foot. So, I have that confident now. (KALL, Utah Jazz)
Randy Rigby (10/9)
** On playing the young guys
We’ve set up this lineup now so that these young players can get playing time. [But] they have to also discipline themselves and do those things that will allow them and not do the stupid fouls, a–so that it’ll allow them to have the time, then, to be on the court and actually have time to play.
** How would you describe the new Jazz game day experience?
I would describe it as remarkable. I had a lot of fans, in fact, who have commented, “This is just unbelievable!” “This”–that was one comment. “This is amazing!” “This is beautiful!” We’ve had a number of fans, everywhere I turn, people were very impressed.
** Mark Jackson really didn’t get out of his chair. Golden State really didn’t give great effort. Your team played hard and Ty was coaching hard. How important is that?
I think with a young team, we’re looking at not only those 82-season games, but also our eight pre-season games as opportunities to have these teams, and these players–you’re playing in the NBA. This is the best of the best of basketball. And for players to have the privilege of wearing that Jazz uniform, or another team’s uniform, and stepping out on the floor, to have the right to really play this game, even in pre-season, is a real privilege. And we’re looking at it is an opportunity for us to really teach and grow and build these players so that they, we have a championship-caliber team. (1280)