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Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 1/16

January 18, 2015
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lindsey

On the roster and developing players
Frankly, I think there’s enough minutes. I think there’s enough shots. And going forward, I think there’s enough money with what we’ve done with the cap to take care of all of our obligations and keep ’em together if we see fit.

On Rudy Gobert
I think Rudy’s the popular new kid on the block, new kid at school that’s handsome and carrying a cool accent with him, and he’s very unique. And look, we said this all along when we took him: We had high hopes for his unique mobility at that height [and] the length.

Now that he’s getting to spots better and now that he’s stronger, now that he’s more professional in that he understands the competition that he’s playing against, there’s good returns. But we’re just ecstatic.

On Derrick Favors and Alec Burks living in Utah in the off-season
I’m really excited about our players, their love for the community, getting them back [to Utah] in the off-season.

We were able to get some of those contractual obligations that Derrick and Alec, ’cause we were able to extend them where, you know, they’re contractually obligated to come back. And they’ve wanted that to happen. They wanted to be accountable to come back to Salt Lake and train, and Derrick’s probably the most notable example of time very well spent.

On the physical maintenance of players
It’s Quin [Snyder] and Gary [Briggs] and Mark [McKown] and each player’s job to handle the load. And so, we’re doing some cool things with that.

We’re doing some RSI [Relative Strength Index] testing that tells us about fatigue, that doesn’t put players in jeopardy when we’re testing ’em during the season. It’s a pretty simple test…

We now are feeding our players on a daily basis. We know they’re, we’re, they’re getting a good breakfast and a good lunch. And I know that sounds rudimentary, but it’s really fundamental, especially with young guys…

A big thing, and we’re, Gary’s constantly on our players, is look, we’re at altitude, and all of us just sitting here are dehydrated. And so, we have hydres–hydration testing on a weekly basis…

All of that goes into rest and recovery, and we have, we’ve, we needed to practice harder to build our habits, and I think everybody’s seen the last three weeks the return, last month, roughly, the return on, our defensive habits are better.

But now we’re starting to get some wear and tear. So for example, today Quin did more offensive scripting than really grind ’em defensively like we do in a typical shootaround.

Do you have a developmental timetable?
I think we have to ignore it. I think if you get into when you need to win, you get into self-preservation…

Let’s just say we have the eighth pick [in next year’s draft], and there’s a player that’s going to take two or three years to develop. Well, that’s not necessarily best for a coaching timeline or our young vets’ timeline or even my own timeline.

But if it’s the right thing for the organization, you just have to do it. If you project them to hit a certain level on their contribution scale, then you just have to do the right thing.

There also could be a deal out there that, hey, maybe next season we feel like, with Gordon [Hayward] and Derrick leading us and one strategic vet, that we may wanna flip that lottery pick for someone that speeds it up. But I think it’s safe to say, look, we’ve, we haven’t skipped steps. We’ve taken our pain. We’ve grown slowly, organically.

We, we’ve, not that we’re batting 100 percent on every decision, but…I just wanna do, we wanna do the right thing for the organization and for the community, and here, that’s best done, to be frank, organically.

When is the right time to spend?
It’s just fundamentally when you line it up, it has to be the right player, with the right skill set, the right level of talent…

They have to be of right character. Look, we’ve passed on players in the draft and free agency and trade that are excellent players but they’re just the wrong fit for the community. And I’m proud of that. That’s an important filter.

And, not that we’re always going to get that right, but we’ve been very mindful of character and behavior and habits…So, when all of those objectives line up fundamentally, then we’ll know it’s time. It’s, it, I hate to say it, it’ll be a “duh” moment.

And those opportunities, they don’t come up often to speed it up, but they come up. And we’ll be there, and we’ll be poised and ready to have a cache of picks that we can flip for the veteran player that fits us right.

Or hey, let’s just grind this out long and slow, and know that Gordon and Derrick and Rudy and Alec and Dante [Exum] and Trey [Burke] will be more ready.*

Even if we didn’t add a young player to next year’s group, we’re in a developmental phase, and I think all those guys will get better.

* UDQM

On the Lakers game
Hopefully Iggy’s not in the building, so Swaggy doesn’t go off on us again. (1280)

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