Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 7/18
Takeaways from the summer league?
We’ve had some positives with ball movement, connectivity. I think our players have, especially the young ones, have been able to absorb a little bit more what Brad [Jones] and Quin [Snyder] and our coaches want than maybe we originally realized and gave them credit for.
I think last night, we had a good initial defensive effort, but the officials started calling the game close, especially in the third, and I thought we lost our discipline with body position and reaching and fouling, and so the Spurs were able to get us late basically because of the free throw differentials. …
There’s good, there’s bad and there’s ugly, but I think we’re getting a lot accomplished this past week.
“Playing with the pass” is a great way to play basketball, but you have to be able to take advantage of the open shot.
It’s really why you need to have shooters at every position, and, so they have shot confidence to take an open shot. Not taking an open shot in basketball, in our opinion, is basically the equivalent of not getting back on defense, ’cause that’s really what happens.
You don’t take the open shot, NBA athletes on a short clock recover, you lose your advantage, you force up something poor d–without defensive balance, long rebound, long outlet, numbers going back at you. So, one way to, and really the first way to play good defense is to be very well organized on offense. Don’t turn it over, take the open shot, don’t take bad shots, go back with good balance defensively, and then be able to set your defense…
Specifically with the ball movement, that’s, we’re gonna have non-negotiables. And we feel like with our personnel, with our team, the ball cannot stick. And the great thing about that is, is the Utah Jazz fan base has been used to seeing the ball move.
Now, it may be in a point guard-dominant system like John [Stockton] or like when Deron [Williams] was at the height of his career, but really, we wanna play with the pass. We want five guys who are all either weapons to create situations, or threats to shoot it, and we think it’s a good way to play basketball, a great way to watch it, but [in] many ways with our personnel, the only way we can play.
Who will you be counting on to be knock-down shooters next year?
We’ll find that out. I think Enes [Kanter] certainly, and, in particular spots, the four spots, we will try to increase his range at least to corner threes, but there’s the high-quadrant three that we’ll find out if that’s within his capabilities. And in a short time frame, we’ll let practice and scrimmages dictate whether Quin and the coaches will allow that. But Qu–Enes has already showed the ability to have great touch in many areas, most areas on the court, but, and certainly from long two in the high quadrant, we’ll set some things up for him.
Derrick [Favors] has really showed and improved proficiency from the high-low area in the short corners. When we put him on the roll last year, he, his finishing was excellent, and I think he winded up shooting 53 percent from the field.
Trey [Burke] really has to take a step forward with his open shooting. I think, to be fair to Trey, rookie year, broken finger, he, I think his natural touch is much, at a much higher level than what he showed, especially with his open shooting. Clearly, his mid-paint finishing, we’re working on some things, and he’s shown some progression, but that’s something that we wanna move forward.
Certainly Gordon [Hayward]’s open shooting, we have to get back to that, in past standards. Year before last, I think he shot 41 percent, and there’s no reason why, given good balance that Gordon can’t shoot it.
Rodney Hood can shoot the ball, but look, he’s a rookie.
Steve Novak, I think, will provide a big shooting quotient. It’s nice to have one guy on the floor that all the guys are looking towards, the “Hey, let’s get him a shot,” kinda the Kyle Korver effect, if you will. To, it, what it does is, is not only does the ball go in when great shooters shoot it, but there’s a little bit of a psychological component, I think, that goes along with greater shooters and teams, that everybody else is able to take the collective deep breath with a great shooter on the floor, even if it’s a role player like Steve.
What is the practical implementation of earning playing time at the defensive end?
So, that standard for Derrick is going to be slightly different than Rudy [Gobert], even though both of ‘em have great defensive capabilities. Derrick’s strength and experience and so, we, maybe the non-negotiables and the standards for Derrick will be altered slightly.
W–but with Rudy, clearly, there’s some unique lengths and mobility at his size, and just a willingness to put his body and arms in the way of the opposing offense, and so we quickly need to capitalize that, on that.
And so, in, I don’t know what the time period–four months, eight months, twelve months–is, are his standards going to be as high as our standards for, as they are for Derrick? Certainly.
How do you ensure that competition brings players closer together rather than making them worried about who’s going to take their time away?
Boy, it’s real hard…It’s like raising a family, where every member has their natural spot, inclination and there’s birth order, right, and then there’s those that provide the intelligent quotient and the humor quotient and the energy quotient and I’m leaving out all the negative descriptions at, that we all have in our family as well.
But, and then, so what y–the, we’re all human being, right? So, the, you have those natural tendencies that humans haves, whether it be not to communicate, or to be selfish, or to think about yourself first before you think about the group.
And so you, just really, like raising a young family, you have to address those, and you can’t give your young kids or your young players everything that they want exactly when they want it, or you raised a spoiled and entitled child, or in our case, player. So there’s real art to that.
I think you have to be willing to have confrontation, but respectul, respectful confrontation, where you say, “Hey, look. This is unacceptable inside of the culture that we’re trying to build and bring in.” And that’s, again, one of the reasons why we want to communicate well. …
If you got a team that really passes the ball, you, things can improve exponentially, in our opinion. And that’s one of the things that we really want to teach our young group, is how to communicate with each other, help each other on defense, and how to play with the pass.
And if we think, if we’re able to accomplish those two things [and] nothing else, those two things, I think we’ll be able to surprise even ourselves with some of the results.
On Spencer Checketts’ advice not to hit Justin Zanik in the head with a croquet ball as Gordon Monson once did to his sister
With as much grease as he uses in the hair, we may have to throw away the ball.
“It seems like Dennis is saying ‘Enough of that. That is not gonna happen. The youngsters are gonna get their shot.'”
Gordon Chiesa was on 1280 before Lindsey. The above comment is in reference to the comments from Chiesa below:
They’re doing the right thing [with the youth movement]. They should’ve done that last year…It made no sense to play Richard Jefferson-type people last year. The team won 25 games, so it didn’t work. They were the worst record in the NBA, as far as in the West. …
I’m sitting here, and I’m saying to myself, “Why are we playing–” I, “we” meaning, ’cause you know, I worked for the Jazz for 16 years. It was absolutely great…and so, I want what’s best for the Jazz. And I’m saying to myself, from a basketball standpoint, from a coaching standpoint, “It makes no sense.”
Let’s just fast-forward it right now. If Steve Novak, who we all like, he’s a, you know, he’s a one-dimensional shooter, which is good. But if Rodney Hood is equal to Steve Novak, you gotta play the young guy over Novak. …
If someone’s dramatically younger and is almost in the same range, you gotta play the young guy then. So it made no sense last year of playing “x” amount of these guys. I mean, John Lucas or Diante Garrett, it made no sense business-wise. …
So now, with that said, with a new coach in Quin Snyder–oh, by the way, he’s a very good coach, and he will do a good job–they’re gonna play different. No more inside-outside. They’re gonna play outside-outside and try to take you off the dribble. So Gordon Hayward will flourish in this system, and so will Trey Burke and Dante Exum.
And so, anybody that can shoot and has a handle is gonna play that…I want to see right now how Derrick Favors takes to all this, and Enes Kanter, ’cause they’re gonna be, instead of posting up all the time and begging for the ball, they’re gonna be in short corner spacing, and they’re gonna try to get interior passes for angle dunks.
Dennis Lindsey, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine
** On fouls: If you reach down, there’s a good chance that the official’s going to blow his whistle.
** On keeping spacing: We don’t wanna creep, where we creep into each other’s areas and the lane becomes clogged.
** Defensive advice to Dante Exum: If you make a mistake, make it going really hard with great intensity. (1280)