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Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 8/20

August 21, 2014


How do you think Raul Neto played against the U.S. team?
Raul’s really put a lot of time into his body. It came through from the TV, if you hadn’t seen Raul since last year, he’s moved from a young man to a man with just his physical maturation, and really pointed work, so we were really pleased.

Raul came in, prior to the draft, came into Salt Lake for a few weeks to work out with our coaches and work in altitude to prep for trying out for the Brazilian national team. He played well in several friendlies before the Brazilian starting point guard was back, and so he’ll back up [Marcelo] Huertas, who’s the starter.

And against Team USA, he did very well. He got beat off the dribble a couple times, and he was able to beat some of the USA players off the dribble a few times. And I thought that he played very unselfishly, and I know it’s something that this market appreciates, and we’re really excited about his development, about his character and about the future prospects of him being on the Jazz.

As it worked out this year with Trey [Burke] just being 21 and us drafting Dante [Exum], it, from a contract and a stage-of-their-career standpoint, it didn’t make a lotta sense to line three young point guards up all on top of each other. So we wanna stagger that, but it’s safe to say we’re, our future planning has Raul in it, and we’re really excited about his development.

He and Johnnie Bryant really, besides the conditioning element, really worked on his 3-point shooting, his range shooting, and they made quite a bit of gains during his time here. And so we were glad to see that, not only in the USA game, but other games, he’s been able to knock down some shots.

Tell us about Dee Bost and Jack Cooley.
Yeah, so, guys that, again, will compete for those last few roster spots. We’ll have, I think, a very interesting training camp in a lotta different ways. And we’ll try to hold at least one roster spot open for competition, and will someone grab that or will we keep it open, or we, will we do it with a partial guarantee?

Again, the relationship of moving players back and forth to Boise, Idaho logistically, since it’s a single flight, and from a system standpoint, with Dean [Cooper] running what Quin [Snyder] wants to run with the Jazz, and then developmentally, it’s just going to be much more seamless.

So, I don’t know how much we’ll use Boise this year in regards to that and roster players because many of our roster players are currently at least rotation players if not more. But we can foresee in the future that there be, there’ll be a very aggressive platform for us to sign players and move players back and forth.

What are you hearing about the off-season development of your players?
Well, so, I’m, we’re working hard. Now, time will tell if we’re working smart, and directed, and are we going to be able to connect all the individual work? That’s something that Quin and I have talked about a great deal, actually yesterday when we were walking in the gym together, at our practice facility, is making sure that what we’re working on on an individual basis connects to what Quin wants from a scheme and tactic standpoint.

So, all of that is very dynamic. It has to be very well planned, communicated. There’s a lotta things in player development that you would think would be good. “More is better.” That’s not necessarily so. There’s things where–expanding a player’s game. Well, if you expand it outside of the scope of what you’re doing, that may not be a great thing and sometimes a player trying to expand his game can lead to some entitlement and it puts the head coach in a very difficult position. So because of that, coming from the programs that we’ve come from before, we wanna make sure the development is very specific, very well communicated.

And specifically, look, Derrick [Favors] has had a great summer. P3, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, plugging in with our coaches, plugging in in summer league training camp, going to Salt Lake, or excuse me, to Las Vegas for the first couple games of summer league, video sessions. He’s really made a concerted effort.

We think Gordon [Hayward]’s had a great summer, just in a much different way. He got married, his diet’s better, he was working out three days–three times a day in Indianapolis. He’s gained 10 pounds of good weight. He’s plugged in with USA Basketball.

So Rudy Gorbert*, same thing, French national team. We think with Dante, the national team effort, playing against men on an everyday basis, whether he plays a bunch with Team Australia or has the ball, all those interactions just in practice and shootaround hopefully will expedite his transition to playing in the NBA, and, versus men.

So, Alec Burks has just had a continuance of finding him in the gym on an everyday basis. Our coaching staff has really plugged in individually and connected with guys. Enes [Kanter] has had a very good summer. It’s just been a little more rehab and here, recently, basketball. But we’ve had at least three coaches touch him this summer.**

So, we’re planning on a big trip out to P3 and then we’ll hit our open gym phase in September. And so from my standpoint, everything’s been very well coordinated. Now we just gotta piece it all together.

* People calling Rudy Gobert “Rudy Gorbert”: Dennis Lindsey.
** UDQM.

What can Gordon Hayward take away from his experience with the Team USA coaching staff?
Yeah, so, so many things. Tom Thibodeau’s individual greatness, as far as creating a defensive accountability and identity, and being around him. And coach [Mike] K[rzyzewski] and his presence [and] leadership.

There’s one thing that we wanted Gordon to do, is to plug in with the [Stephen] Currys and the [Kyle] Korvers of the world in pre- and post-practice shooting routines. And so, Gordon’s done that.

He, Gordon’s played a lotta practice minutes and some scrimmage minutes at the “four,” so he’s, their schemes are a big man with four smalls, with Gordon being the biggest of the small perimeter players to play fast and more skilled basketball. We’ll see how that take hold, takes hold with us, and if that’s a good alternative and lineup choice for us…There’s, I could go on and on.

What rule change would you like to see implemented?
Let me just, I would say this. And it’s already an NBA rule in place, that Euroleague’s adopted, and youth leagues in Europe. But I think for the health and continuity of basketball, if everybody could move to a 24-second shot clock, in, the, when there’s a longer shot clock, it becomes more of a coach’s game. And to help young players dribble, pass, shoot, on, immediately and make good decisions on a short clock, it’s just really, really key.

And it makes a more watchable game for the average basketball fan, so you won’t get the high school games where it’s, a team’s facing a superior team and they let the air out of the clock. I’m not sure that’s what competition is meant to be, but if you’re a coach in that situation, look, there’s always selfish strategy. What may be bad for fans to watch and players to play in may be best for you to win that particular game.

So, I think to have rules where young players on a shot clock have to be able to dribble, pass, shoot, read quickly is a good thing, and it would be a neat thing for high school basketball, college basketball to mirror Euroleague and NBA basketball.

And the thing that I would say is, don’t underestimate the players…I’ve been to Serbia before, and before a, the l–the game that I’m watching or the practice that I’m watching, there’s a youth league that’s going on, and these young kids are playing on a 24-second shot clock, and it’s such a, it’s a more dynamic game, in it, that actually increases the basketball players’ IQ, ’cause they have to do everything with more urgency, and skill level has been raised because of that. (1280)

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