Bits from Practice and Other Odds and Ends, 12/10
** On having a young team and how it can cost you ball games
You know, with young teams, it’s, you know, guys always think when they’re watching, and we have a few guys that’s playing more minutes for us now, played different roles for us last year and the last couple years, that thought that, you know, they were ready to be out there more and how easy it would be. Well, now, they’re learning that it is a transition to being on the floor from the start of the game to try and finish games to try and finish quarters. The importance of the little things you talk about, defensive posture, being ready to go instead of having to get ready. So those little things cost you games. And we’ve found times during this stretch here that we’ve either won or lost games because we paid attention, did the right things or we made a little mistake and it cost us the ball game. So those are the things you learn with young teams.
** How are the players handling this season?
With all the struggles we’ve had, and winning ball games, or not, the lack thereof, of winning the games, the guys are coming in and work…They continue to come in and work everyday to get better™, and they understand it’s gonna be a process, and we’re getting better™ in some areas. And there’s some areas that we have to continue to get better™ at to have a chance to win games.
** On the upcoming pre-Christmas road trip
Just the way it is, far as I’m concerned. I don’t, you know, the schedule is what the schedule is…It is what it is, man. … It’s a chance for us to get out there and grow a little bit as a group…It’s gon be some distractions, because of holidays, guys worrying about shopping and things. So, how do you get yourself through that? So, the sooner you get those lessons learned, you gotta learn and grow through it.
** On why Brandon Rush isn’t playing
Just, you know, the way the games have been going of late, I just couldn’t, I didn’t feel good about putting him in with the, how the games are going. But he’s ready to go.
** On why Rudy Gobert isn’t playing
The matchups. You know, matchups, I, last night, a little bit, I thought about with [Robin] Lopez a little bit, his size, but the times I could’ve put him in, they took him out. So the matchups didn’t, wasn’t in his favor…It’s just where we are right now, I felt better with Andris [Biedrins] in out there because of the rebounding, and he knowing a little bit more about the flow of the game, but now, and we had a rhythm going, I kinda wanted to keep that going.
** People calling Alec Burks “Enes”: Tyrone Corbin
** On criticism of Tyrone Corbin
I think that’s stupid, you know? And just flat-out dumb. I, and I’m not, by no means am I disrespecting our fans. Everybody’s entitled to opinion. When you pay your money, whether you’re a fan of our team or the other team, you’re spending your hard-earned dollar to support the NBA and I respect that. Now, as far as lashing out and putting pressure on a coach, that’s unfair…I can tell you, from being in this league and being, having multiple Hall of Fame coaches, that Ty is doing a very good job. He’s in a very difficult situation with a lot of young guys, and a lot of injuries, and he’s doing a very, very good job. And I say that, you know, with the utmost confidence.
** On the state of the team
We’re getting better. I know the win and losses aren’t what people want to see on a consistent basis, but you know, in the locker room, we get better. We’re staying together. Like I said, there’s no player-only meetings.* There’s no, you know, there’s no lashing out by the coaches. There’s no doghouses out there. It’s just guys working to get better. A lot of young guys, a lot of guys trying to gain experience. And so, when you get these road trips, you know, sometimes you gotta go in the fire. Sometimes, you gotta go in the fire to get better.
* It was reported last month that the team had a players-only meeting.
** On playing shooting guard vs. point guard
You know, point guard, you got the whole team to run, you know? I ain’t really used to it. You know, I just be, I been thrown into the situation, you know, just trying to help the team win. But you know, shooting guard is my natural position, so that’s why I feel like I’m playing better.
** On whether he’s still trying to prove to Corbin that he can be on the floor at the end of games
Nah, I been on the court at the end of games lotta games, you know? Just wasn’t that game [last] night. I trust in coach Ty, and everybody else does.
** On where he needs to improve
Just everything. I feel like if I don’t improve at nothing, you know, I don’t get better. So I feel like just everything I need to get better at.
Matt Harpring’s evaluation of Tyrone Corbin’s performance as coach
Well, I mean, I don’t know if you really can. I mean, he’s, I mean, I’ve said this on the air. There’s not much, you can, I mean, he’s doing a good job of what he’s been dealt with. And there’s been a lot of adversity, a lot of young players and a lot of injuries that have happened this year that was out of his control.
I guess what you judge a coach on, if I would, would be is the team giving you effort? You know, do they play for you? And that’s the biggest thing. I think this team does. I think this team still comes out and they play hard. They compete. They might lose, but they’re still, you know, they’re still trying. And Ty’s been there.
And you know, on different ni–game nights, I can see little adjustments. That’s the other thing that, you know, I kinda look for…And he has. I mean, just one example would be the Enes [Kanter] and [Derrick] Favors. You know, he noticed that wasn’t working, so he tried something else. And I think, you know, losing, you gotta keep trying other things, and figure out what adjustments to make. It’s his job, is to win. I mean, I know a lot of Jazz fans want the first pick of the draft, and they want all the young guys to play. But Ty, that’s not Ty’s job. Ty’s job is to win games. (KALL, 1280)
Tyrone Corbin, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine (UDQM)
** On Enes Kanter’s rebounding: Positioning. He’s rotating a little bit, and then the finish part is getting into guys’ body, where he’s not a very athletic vertical jumping guy. And he’s always used his position and width and strength to get guys off.
** On Alec Burks driving into traffic: Usually when you get in the paint, there gonna be more than one body there. Some of it, you know, some of it’s a little untimely, but he’s a guy that can get small and get into small gaps.
** On Brandon Rush: I didn’t feel good about putting him in.
Need a pick-me-up? Watch this and grin your face off (or maybe even let the room get a little dusty) at the heartwarmingness. Seriously, watch this.
Starring Karl Malone and Brian Grant; via the Portland Trail Blazers’ Youtube; H/T @allthatamar: