Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview (12/27) and Randy Rigby Interview (12/20)
Both yourself and Kevin O’Connor, and pretty much anyone we talked to about Tyrone Corbin, said the judgment would be made by how the team improved defensively. And you were very transparent when I* asked you directly if you thought you put Ty in a tough situation. You said, “Yes, absolutely I have,” and I appreciated that honesty. But based on those conversations, have you seen the type of defensive improvement you were hoping for in the first 31 games of the season?
I’ve seen adjustments. Clearly, our overall defensive efficiency rating isn’t where we wanna be. You know, currently we’re 30th in that. We have made some tactical adjustments, you know, here the last five games that I’ve really liked to see…
Look, you know, it was, again, a very difficult position that ownership, myself, Kevin, Bob Hyde, Randy Rigby put Ty in with a very, young team; without defined roles; with the trade that we did, with the eye towards the future, in the Golden State deal.
So you know, you couple that with injuries; to date, the toughest schedule played in the NBA, one that’s been road heavy; you know, Trey [Burke] being out; Marvin [Williams] being out. I think as much as anything, there’s an incomplete grade, to where we’re at. There’s an incomplete component, I should say.
* “I” = Spencer Checketts
Are you concerned about Enes Kanter?
Not really. And look, you know, I know there’s a little angst publicly at, that, at where Enes is at. And let me give you a couple of things. One, it just, it’s not always formula that Enes has a good rookie year and then he improves on some things and then his sophomore year was even more significant, with his body and his activity.
You have to remember a couple things with Enes Kanter. One, he lost a couple of seasons, years past, before he joined the Jazz organization, because of ineligibility.
He also, this past off-season, you know, was rehabbing his shoulder, instead of just playing basketball like our other players. So he really lost a good six months of just basketball, you know, ’cause he had to focus on the shoulder. So literally, the first time he had contact was our last day or two of open gym.
And you know, the team’s in flux. You know, he’s with a bunch of other young players…He’s still a 21-year-old player. You know, he and Trey would be juniors this year, you know, age-wise, at Kentucky and Michigan if they were still playing. So you know, we’ve gotta be very patient.
You know, we’re still defining a position for him, and I think there are gonna be times when he’s best as a five. There are gonna be times when he, you know, he’s in a Mehmet Okur role as a four who can step out and you know, make the slot long two, and hopefully, eventually, the three.
On the decision to draft Trey Burke and no one propping up Tyrone Corbin
I think what we tried to do is have a very balanced approach to the draft. We had our scouts working in conjunction with our coaches, and in conjunction with, you know, the analytical people that we’ve hired the last two years.
And the nice thing with Trey [as our draft pick] was, is, not that it was a unanimous decision, but when I touched every area of our medical services, our athletic testing, and our coaches, our scouts, our analytical people, his name kept coming back to us to study more, and potentially move up for.
And you know, I think many people, you know, when I mention Ty’s involvement in the decision, to move up, you know, thought that, you know, I was trying to prop up Ty here locally, to make everybody feel better.
But you know, the truth is, is Trey Burke wouldn’t be a member of the Utah Jazz today if there wasn’t a strong endorsement by Ty, that, “Hey, I think I can use this guy. I think he’s good.”
On balancing eye test/gut/feel with advanced metrics/empirical data
[Because of the impossibility of scouting every international, college and NBA game], you need that data to tell you what happens. And luckily, we’ve been able to add significantly to [the scouting staff] the last few years…
You know, I’m not an analyst, you know, by trade. You know, I know how to work with numbers. I know how to work with spreadsheets. But that’s not what I do. You know, I come from a playing, coaching, scouting standpoint.
My main job is to make sure that our traditional basketball people, the people with the trained eye, are communicating effectively with our analytical people, and vice versa, and take away the angst of, you know, “Hey, the numbers say you should be doing that.” “Well, the numbers say duh duh duh that, I don’t have the personnel to do that.” …
There are a lot of things that Kevin O’Connor and Bob Hyde and Scott Layden have, and Randy Rigby, have done well, and to say that they weren’t analytical, you know, ten years ago–there’s some work that Bob has done that I’m still digesting, that’s terrific. They just don’t need to write a book or have an article about it.
And I want to tell that story. I’m not going to get into the specific work that Bob does, because it’s very good and I don’t want to give away our trade secrets, but you know, this organization’s been analytical for a lot of different ways.
Who would play Dennis Lindsey in the Utah Jazz version of “Moneyball”?
Oh gosh, some ugly sucker.
* Spencer Checketts then says he would be played by Justin Timberlake.
On joining Twitter
You know, I’ve been told by media experts that maybe I should consider that, and you know, typical me, I’m deliberate in making decisions. So it has been something that has been under consideration for awhile, to reach out and make it more personable…
I think you have to [consider it] in today’s age. I don’t think you ever want to look where you’re not technology-savvy or, you know, in some cases, old-school, and not hip. But you know, I, there, it, you know, there are certain parts of the Twitter that obviously would worry, you know, someone in my position…
But you know, like I said, it will be slow in coming.
There are some good players in the upcoming draft…
We put a coach in place, and he has his reputation. He has his own career that he’s looking at. And we expect them to do, to use the tools that we’ve given them, and to compete and give us their very best. And we expect them to go out, and do everything they can, to try to win every game.
And we will not allow our coaches to compromise our values and our standards in this community. So their job is to use the resources that we’ve given, to help us, then, to compete, and to play their very best.
Would the team trade some veterans to up the odds of getting a transcendent player in the upcoming draft?
You know what? We’ll follow the rules, because I’ll tell you what. When we win an NBA championship, I don’t want to have any excuses and people knowing, you know what, we did it the right way. We did it with class.
On playing young players
We’re in the process of following [our] plan. Our fan base has also embraced it. Have they realized, we’ve got some young players. They wanted us to play those players.
You’ve got to play those players to get them the development that they need, and to learn in this league what it takes to win. What it takes to deal with obstacles and challenges so that we can become a quality team. And we’re in the process of actually going through that, to really build a quality team. (1280)