Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 8/8
Does Paul George’s injury give you pause?
You’re always worried. You’re always trying to anticipate what could happen. So we, really, when we’re trying to do our jobs, we research courts and basketball stanchions and we have a partnership with some students that do, that does injury tracking for us.
And who gets injured, and what month, and what type of player, and at what age, and all those drill-downs to try to mitigate things. But a good dose of luck on your side is always a good thing.
What’s happening with players between now and training camp?
The French team actually plays the Australian team, so we’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone. We have Isaiah Wright, our assistant strength and conditioning coach, that will soon go over and join Dante [Exum] and Rudy [Gobert] on that segment of the trip, kinda the friendly games, if you will, before the World Cup actually starts.
And, so, we’re just anxious, really, to track all of our guys. …
We’ve had individual coaches go out and touch players.* Enes Kanter does a lot of his preparations in Chicago, so Brad Jones and Alex Jensen had separate trips out there to work with Enes, with where he’s at in his rehab and basketball. We have, Antonio Lang has been in the south, and so he touched Derrick Favors today and Rodney Hood a couple days previous to that.*
And then we’ll take, eventually take a trip to P3. A lot of our guys have gone out in small groups, or individually, out to P3. Usually our strength and conditioning staff accompanies those guys…
And then we’ll get, after Labor Day, we’ll hit, what we call an open gym phase, where we start to invite our players back and we’ll also invite some non-Jazz contract players to see if those guys we wanna invite to training camp or future mini-camps or now, with Boise, the Idaho franchise, maybe they’re invitees for our club in Boise.
So, we’re trying to have multiple objectives, but the main thing is [to] get ’em in shape, organize ’em a little bit, and allow the relationships–many times us in management wanna get out of the way so the player-to-player and coach-to-player relationships can affor–form appropriately.
Are you looking to make any more roster moves?
Yeah, so we’ll look to do quite a few things at the end of the roster, whether it’s to add a third point guard, and at what level of guarantee would we wanna add a third point guard, and we’ll, we’re talking about all those candidates and different contract structures that gives us some certainty at the third point guard position, but maybe is a team-friendly contract, if you will.
So, we want to be very aggressive looking at, again, open gym candidates that could make for good training camp invitees…
We’re just trying to put our eggs together and see where we can best use our resources, and if it, it may work out where we’ll play underneath the salary cap, and the advantage in that is, is that there’s, the roles, the trade roles are very advantageous to us, and we can be in a position to, whether it’s add a good young player or accumulate assets by taking on a contra–an unwanted contract and picking up a [draft] pick, we’re in position to do both of those things, really.
On playing “connected” basketball
Look, it’s what we learned, what our parents taught us in the sandbox. You know, share your toys and you’ll make good friends. And if you don’t share, you’ll live a lonely existence. And it’s much like that in basketball.
We really wanna share, and how you do that, how you connect a team offensively, is really through the pass. It’s something that Quin [Snyder] believes, that I believe. And the programs that we were at before, sharing’s a big part of making a great team.
And then defensively, I think w–through communication, through effort, through stance, through body position, we wanna connect our effort. And Quin and I were just on a walk today, and we were talking about screens and getting screened. And if you really are disciplined and have great energy, you can avoid getting screened [on the] pick and roll.
And if you, once you get hit, ’cause you’re always going to get hit in this sport, if you then compete after the screen, and fight, then that allows, again, a defense to connect its effort.
And you don’t wanna have efforts on an island. You want to, really, the way the defense expands and contracts, really looks like a heartbeat. And if you have a really good, connected effort, it can mean a lot of good things for a group.
On playing with the pass
Playing with the pass is really something that Quin, as he teaches that, sells that, makes that a non-negotiable for our group, he’ll be the one that leads us in that direction.
And I’ll say this: It’s a hard way, what we’re asking guys to do is not the easiest way to teach, to coach, to quickly hit the ground running, if you will. But we believe in it. It’s gonna be ugly.
There’s gonna be some ugly pre-season games where you wish you would’ve just taken the first open [shot], to, instead of passing two or three times and having someone shoot the gap on the wrong read and go lay it up. So, there will be ugly moments within our teaching, you know, our flow offense.
But I would think as things start to take hold, the product will be something in February that our fans can really see some tangible growth in a way that fans wanna see basketball be played.
If Derrick Favors is your understated leader-by-example, who do you see growing into the vocal leader on the team?
I think Gordon [Hayward], it’s something that we’ve talked a great deal about with him. I think, there’s, he’s gonna have to get himself uncomfortable in some areas and really work at being present and being a leader, but I think he has some natural attributes.
I think Trey [Burke] has the ambition to want to lead. He’s gotta channel it in the right directions, and look, as a 21-year-old, that’s tough.
I think Rodney Hood, Rodney Hood was the first ever Duke transfer, in his first year named team captain by coach [Mike] K[rzyzewski]. I wouldn’t take that lightly. I think it speaks to his character and the way he goes about his approach to basketball.
I think Dante, in time, has some natural qualities in how he was raised and his ability to find words. Now, will he find that he’s a good spokesman for the club and he needs to, you know, follow that up with actions? Absolutely. I think he’s got strong character, but those, with Dante, are many years away. He’s going to have to prove himself to a group first. (1280)