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Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 10/29 and 11/5

November 7, 2014
tags: ,


Jazz season is here…I am so excited. I’m pumped up. I think our coaches are ready. Our players are ready. I think our fans are ready. Let’s get this season cranked up.

Do the Jazz benefit from their geographical location?
I think no question that, I think it comes into play, that you’re playing at a higher altitudes, and there’s a, you know what, these players’ bodies are very well-honed machines. And you know, I, any th–any minor things, be it altitude or length of time they’ve been playing in other game, has an impact on their bodies and they actually feel it.

So, I think there are some factors that come into play, and us playing and conditioning and practicing at these altitudes, I think is an advantage to us and to our players.

When do you expect to have a good gauge on where this team is?
Well, I think it does take, you know, the early part of this season to really start seeing how we’re jelling, how we’re starting to incorporate in th–our offense. Giving our players, it, you know, they’ve worked hard, but it still, there’s a lot of nuances to this new offense that is gonna take time from being a player starting to, knowing what he needs to do, and where it’s becomes actually natural.

I, you know, I learned Italian, and there was a point that I would have to think what they, hear what they were saying, translate it in my mind, translate back and put it back into English, then translate it back into Italian, and then speak it. And then finally there came a time that it just came natural, that you were thinking, feeling, hearing.

I think it’s the same application for what our players are now doing with this new offense, and defense…These players are gonna need a little time to still adapt into this very dynamic new offense and defense, and I think that may be closer towards Dec–late December, early part of January.

Who do you think will lead the Jazz in scoring this year?
It’s been fun for me to watch the development of Gordon Hayward…I have confidence now as he shoots his 3-point shots. I used to wince a little bit, worrying, you know, about it, and not having a confidence. I see a confidence coming from a Gordon Hayward on our team. I see him role, taking more of a leadership role, and so I think Gordon is gonna be a natural leader, in, also, in his scoring on it.

I think Alec Burks continues to rise to adding a dimension to our team. I think we’re gonna have some good balance though…

You watch, as well. If you’re taking a shot and you’ve got two players on you, which means that you have opted to be a little selfish instead of passing it to the open person, you see immediately Quin just quinci–he just is just wincing with a little bit of anger that we’re not, that’s, we’re taking that selfish approach instead of a team approach. …

No question, I think Gordon Hayward is gonna be one of the leaders in it. But I, again, I think you’re gonna see Enes [Kanter] having some shots, Alex* having some shots, Trey [Burke]’s gonna be a key part in breaking down the defense as well in that slashing, and if the opening’s coming, to being able to take the shots. It’s gonna be fun to see how this does evolve.

* People calling Alec Burks “Alex”: Randy Rigby

Is the “wait and see” stance on the rotation a factor in why Enes Kanter’s contract negotiations were pushed back?
No, I don’t think, those have s–totally separate issues, and you know what, those are simply decisions that are happening between, jointly, between our discussions, and Enes and his camp, Alec and his camp, of literally, I feel very comfortable of the approach that we’re taking with discussions with the agents, for, from their perspective as well and ours. And the natural evolution of it will be, take its place, and come to the right solution for both of us, as we come to those decisions.

On point differential
I think we’ll see, with the disciplines that we’re having, as, sometimes last year I felt like our discrepancy between wins and losses, in the scoring, was quite wide. And when we were all of a sudden out of it, we were out of it.

I think we’ll see that gap narrowing this season, just my sense. And this is coming from, again, Randy Rigby’s perspective. I think we’re gonna see a narrowing of that gap that’s going to help us, then, I think give us a better chance of being in some of these games that we can, then, hopefully see W’s instead of losses.

Who are some of the rookies that you’ve seen that were the most ready to play right away?
Well, it, you know, as I look at it, I would have to say Karl [Malone] was one of the more ready, and even then, and that’s the thing I think we need to, as fans, realize, the difference in, when Karl came into this league, in what, 198…5? 86? And, but Karl Malone was also four years in college.* John Stockton, four years in college.

I think we’re seeing as well, as we’re looking at things, Rodney Hood is a little more mature than Dante Exum. His body’s more mature. It’s older. And I think we may see initially some things from Rodney that we may not see from, out of Dante, a–simply because of a maturing factor that may help, that’s helps maybe his game.

And so, but even still, Karl, John, spent their time on the bench watching some other veteran players,** earning their right to come in and start playing this game. And so, I, even Karl, it took him some serious time before he was really a major factor in the NBA and even for our team.**

And so, I’d say Karl had it, a real good impact, and did well, but again, it took him, and he was, again, more mature than a lot of our players in age, and so we need to, again, have some patience in giving these players some time, to keep a, get older.

* Karl attended college for four years, but played three and came out as a junior.

** Karl played 31 minutes a game in his rookie season, averaging 15 points and nine rebounds per contest. He was the 13th leading rebounder in the league as a rookie. In his second season, Karl averaged 22 points (20th leading scorer) and 10 rebounds (12th leading rebounder) and was one of only four players in the NBA to average 20 and 10. In his second season. He was also the Jazz’s minutes leader by his second season.

For comparison purposes (and I say this not as a reflection on Derrick Favors individually, but rather in question of what is considered “a major factor in the NBA” or for a team), Derrick Favors in his fourth season (last year) averaged 13 points and nine rebounds in 30 minutes a game. So far this season, 18 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes.

Does Quin Snyder have the right demeanor to handle the challenges of the NBA?
He does. I’ve been very inco–impressed with Quin. I’ve been impressed as he has been talking to our players, and you’ll notice there’s an attention to, for example, officiating, of saying, “Hey, these officials have a tough job to do. Guys, don’t worry. You focus on what you can control. You can’t control the officiating. They’re trying to do their best. You focus on you doing your best, and what we’re about.”

And I’m still taking my occasion to yell at the officials, even though I did tell Joey Crawford the other night I appreciated the job that they are, they’re trying to do. The NBA has really improved the officiating system, of really critiquing them, of judging them, of grading them.

And so, their jobs are on the line, of getting the calls right…I think there’s some really good things that are making this game even better and making sure that the right calls, and so that the up, right outcome based on people’s talent and abilities.

What can you confidently say about your team after four games?
Well, I feel one thing is that we’ve got a group of players that are enjoying playing together. I think we’ve identified that there is a very good chemistry from this team.

I think, earlier on, we were also finding out, this is a system that is right for this time in the NBA, and that Quin and Dennis [Lindsey] have done a very job working together in identifying the right system, offensively and defensively, that matches our talent level and our style, that is right for us. And now we’ve gotta continue to refine it, improve it, and develop so it becomes a natural flow for us. But I think we’re on the track.

We’ve also identified that we are well along on our plan of w–building a team that can, has the ingredients for getting to be a championship-caliber team. We still got some maturing and development to go, and that’s, I think, some of the challenge that we’re dealing with as, we’re also recognizing, hey, they are still young.

There’re certain things that you’ve gotta just, unfortunately, we’re gonna hafta give some years of development of their bodies, and aging of their bodies, but we’re doing everything as well. We’ve identified that we’re doing things that are helping us move that process along as fast as possible. So, I think we’re in a very good pace. (1280)

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 8, 2014 12:46 am

    Some white night should do a post about how there’s a lot of groupthink in the Jazz front office . . . or something : )


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