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Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 1/2

January 5, 2015
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With the Jazz’s injuries, is it confusing for Dante Exum to have to learn how to play both guard positions simultaneously?
The Dante question, luckily, he’s naturally bright. He, some guys are instinctive players, guys that can make the right play. They just have the right impulse, and he has that. But many times, the instinctive players, when you’re starting to draw up multiple sets and schemes, especially young players, they can get confused.

But luckily, Dante’s comprehension, not only the point guard but what the other positions are doing, is really good. There’s really no, up to this point, there hasn’t been any hesitation when Quin [Snyder] calls a verbal.

And I said this the other day, but Quin’s really, the expectations offensively and what we’re doing are really high. He’s not dumbing down the offense because we have a young group. He’s throwing a lot at ’em, and they need to remember a lot, and Dante’s been one of our better guys with that even though he’s by far our youngest guy.

How do you measure “championship attitude” in players?
Yeah, boy, it’s something that you witness every day. Habits, and we talk a lot about being professional. And really, you do as much intel work and behavior work, consistent behavior and what they a–the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, we believe. …

You want to be a champion in your day-to-day preparations. And not that our guys are perfect. You know, we’ll certainly sit down with ’em and give ’em counsel when they’re falling short of expectations.

And luckily Quin has a really sharp eye and mind, and he, not that there’s a confrontation every day, but he won’t avoid confrontation when it dictates that we gotta give instruction that, hey, you’re falling short of expectations. And to a reasonable degree, our guys have responded to all those challenges, and there’s so many, right, on how you eat and how you sleep and how you recover and how you cut and are you able to take the video instruction and all the critique and not be overly sensitive.

And there’s nights where matchups where you may get your minutes squeezed and how are you gonna come back to the bench and how are you gonna be the next day in practice? All those things are closely watched and monitored, and certainly noted and documented.

But at the end of the day, it’s a little bit of a “feel” equation in regards to habits and behaviors and all those things.

How good can Rudy Gobert be?
Well, we’re very proud of where he’s moved. There’re a couple things that Rudy does have to get better. There’s, documented last year, offensively he wouldn’t get to spots quick enough. It was just a count slow. It wasn’t anything malicious. It’s just, again, a 21-year-old kid moving to the best league in the world.

And this year, while he’s imperfect, he’s not graded out to be 100 percent at the, at being at the exact right spot at the exact right time, [but] he’s much better. So it allows him to play more. And the strength quotient that we’ve talked a lot about, and Rudy has great pride in his body, and he’s getting extra lifts and extra work when he can.

So, loo–if his work ethic were to match his tools, then we’ll all be grinning here in a couple of years. That’s a very significant statement. I just, for, as much as anything, I just want him to be very consistent and professional in his preparation. And 95 times out of 100, he is. But that’s not what we expect, and that’s what we tell Rudy.

On the Jazz ranking 27th out of 30 in defensive rating
Well, we, to be honest, we got, we were 30 for a while. And we came out of the preseason and open gym period with several good practices under our belt. And then the schedule dictated that we didn’t practice as much. We were facing stiffer competition, and we took a couple body blows and a couple right crosses and left hooks. And we got stunned for a while.

And I didn’t necessarily like our response initially, and since that point, we really got back to having really serious shootarounds when you can’t have a practice. And the few practices the schedule’s been able to dictate, where we’ve had more practices the last few weeks than the first few, and you can see the benefits of that.

And we, Quin and the staff goes at our guys really hard in the video, and they’ve gotta be able to accept that. And so, since they’ve accepted those critiques better, we’ve moved forward. And, but we’re a long way away from building those habits–and some of it is familiarity, absolutely. Some of it, frankly, is on personnel where we’re just not experienced enough.

Another thing in regards to personnel is we gotta get a bench that is more physical, and we gotta get a couple of guys that have more energy. And so, the good news is that I think we’re identifying all of our issues going forward.

But, for example, if you’re not the most physical player, then you better be great with the game plan and you better be highly energetic. And especially the last 10 games, our stunts, our helps, our recoveries, our dig-outs on the post, have been so much more active and forceful. That’s why, I think, we’ve been seeing a better return of late.

Dennis Lindsey: Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine (UDQM)
** Lindsey on Derrick Favors: I’m not sure two years ago, he would’ve been able to do that, you know, grind his way to having a good game even though the matchups or the schemes weren’t perfect for him getting off.
** Lindsey on doing intel on players: Certain players do mature, so we try to do a lot of work on the front end.
** Lindsey on expectations for Rudy Gobert: It’s those five times where maybe you’re not feeling your best, and you’re, you don’t put it out there to the degree that Quin wants, and you’re gonna hear about it, to be frank.
** Lindsey on players getting critiqued: Quin and The Staff goes at our guys really hard in the video, and they’ve gotta be able to accept that. (1280)

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