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Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 9/19

September 21, 2014
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What are the goals for this season?
Things like, from a team standpoint, connecting our defensive effort. You’ll hear that as a common theme. Communicating very effectively on the court, especially defensively. That will help us connect our effort. Playing with the pass.

And then for some of our players, like Dante [Exum], for example, you have individual goals, where really the highest goal that we have for Dante is just to build a foundation from which he can work from next year. So, that could be the speed of the game of the 24-second shot clock with men. That could be a strength component. That could be working to clean up his jump shot.

So again, we wanna have some individual team goals, or some individual goals that fit inside the team scope as well. And I think if we handle all those things well, we’ll surprise even ourselves with the results of the year.

How can Mehmet Okur help Enes Kanter?
Look, they’re both big men that can step out and shoot, and they’re both from Turkey, and so there’s a lotta common threads there. But Enes is not the sole reason why Memo will do a little consulting work for us. There’s, he’s such a popular figure around town.

There’s many things with our community relations, our corporate sponsorships, doing media with you guys, sitting face-to-face with our coaches, with Randy [Rigby] and Justin [Zanik] and the management staff and myself.

And then if there’s those interactions that will happen organically, it would, look, it may be Memo and Derrick [Favors], for that matter, but I can understand why the question is Memo and Enes. And certainly they’re gonna have those conversations, and to have those common bonds for Enes to see that someone from Turkey and internationally was successful and happy in our organization, in our community is very important.

So, I think by extension, there will be a lotta things that will happen between those two, but it’s not limited to Memo and Enes.

Is there a message you send to your players in the off-season about minimizing the risk of unavoidable injuries while playing basketball?
There’re constant messages that–from a conditioning standpoint, look. We don’t want you out playing a bunch unless you’re in tip-top shape. The surface that you play on is very important to us. The leagues have to be, if you are playing in a league, has to be NBA-approved leagues.

And it’s one of the things we started–we had an open gym in Houston. It was a little bit more loose because we had several NBA players or overseas players that just lived in Houston. In San Antonio, we had to create the gym because we, just from a population standpoint and how many NBA players lived there outside of the Spurs. And it’s very similar to, with that dynamic in Salt Lake.

So, some of the invitees, the open gym invitees, to make good, safe runs, are very important to us just for our players to make good runs, but also to evaluate them in the context of the D-League, and training camp, and our other off-season programs.

So it’s really, we treat it as a season to itself. We try to be mindful of the rules. We can only do so many things, but there’s constant guidance with our guys that we wanna make sure they’re in safe harbor when they’re going out playing and working out.

How will Quin Snyder’s experience with great coaches shape what fans will see on the court this year?
Quin really changed a bunch as a coach, really, when he moved from Missouri and moved to the, moved to professional basketball. By definition, just the rules and the way things are set up. You quickly have to adapt from being a college coach, and two games a week, and five practices, and many times, flip that ratio, right? So how you manage a team, how you pace a team, how you organize a team is completely different because of the power structure, the way the schedule is set up…

One of the most unique experiences that Quin had was really with Ettore Messina in CSKA Moscow and the Euroleague. And you’re talking about beautiful basketball and basketball being played a different way. And so, that experience really, just visiting with Quin through the interview process all the way ’til now, has really branded him. And I think we’ll, he’ll bring some unique ideas and perspectives to what we’re doing, especially with our young team.

And the, again, h–Quin going back to a San Antonio branch with Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta, they ran beautiful offense last year and the ball really moved…That’s really a real higher goal for us.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, it will take awhile for our, what we call our “flow offense,” it will take awhile for that to take hold, and we, it, there will be some ugly moments the first quarter of the year, but, ’cause we’re teaching guys how to play a little bit differently than the typical NBA team, and so the ball’s going to move, and there’s a lot of coordination that comes along with that, and teaching the concepts, but I’m very confident once that process takes hold, the community will really relate to how we’re playing.

Dennis Lindsey: Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine
** On Quin Snyder: Quin and Staff gets to, they get to touch the players.
(H/T @5kl; capital “S” on “Staff” brought to you by @philip_bagley)
** On coaching: Coaches coach everything, but it’s what you emphasize is really what the players grab on to.
** On working for the Spurs: I got five years of it, and as good as it looks on the outside, it’s better on the inside.
** On the Spurs: When you get within those walls, there’s nothing sacred.
** On Gregg Popovich: It doesn’t matter if it’s a video guy, or an intern, or a first-year guy, or a 30-year coaching veteran. If there’s a good idea, he’ll try it even if it’s against some of his general inclinations. (1280)

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