Locker Room Cleanout Part 4: Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward
** Where is your excitement level with where the team is going?
I’m very excited. You know, it’s a, almost like a different culture, basically. You know, we playing a lot faster than we have in the past. We playing, we moving the ball a lot more. You know, hopefully next season we can, you know, put up s–a little bit more points so we won’t be at the bottom of the league in points per game, but you know, overall, I’m very excited.
** How big of a change was it for you to move from center with Enes Kanter to power forward with Rudy Gobert?
It wasn’t difficult at all. It was just, you know, playing the center position, you know, every night I’m going against 7-footers, basically, and you know, it was kinda tough on my body a little bit. But it wasn’t nothing I couldn’t handle.
And playing with Enes, you know, he was a guy that could space the floor a little bit more, out to the 3-point line. And you know, everybody know he was good offensively on the post.
But you know, when Rudy, when the trade happened or whatever and Rudy came into the starting lineup, it kinda helped me out a little bit more ’cause it gave me a different-type role. Instead of being the second option on the post, I w–I just became the main option on the post. So, it helped me develop my offensive game. It helped me develop a lot of confidence, of being that guy.
And you know, when Gordon went down with the injury, you know, that kinda helped me mentally, with becoming, like, the number one guy on the team, and just figuring out different ways to score the ball and help my team win…
Overall, you know, playing with Rudy’s, is a lot different defensively. Obviously, you know, he can block shots, rebound, help out on the weak side. And offensively, you know, he’s a guy down there that’s gon offensive rebound, set good screens, and you know, get guys open.
** Is there one thing you want to improve on this summer the way you did with your face-up jumper?
You know, my face-up jumper was just something I worked on because guys was basically giving it to me…Now that I showed I can make that jumper, now I gotta find a counter to that. You know, guys playing me different ways now, teams playing me differently. They starting to double-team me now, starting to play me with a guy in the paint so I don’t have nowhere to go. So now I just gotta figure out different ways to score the ball in the post, and you know, hopefully extend my range to the 3-point line.
** Did team chemistry change with the Kanter trade?
Nah, it wasn’t no change to chemistry. It was just, I think it was bound to happen either way, if the trade didn’t happen or if the trade happened, we was gonna get better defensively anyway, ’cause of how we worked in practice. How, you know, Quin [Snyder] kept pushing us in practice on the defensive end of the ball, and you know, I think it was just bound to happen anyway.
** On Quin Snyder’s attention to technique and detail
It’s new to me, basically. You know, I didn’t know this much about basketball until I met Quin. I thought basketball was, basically, you know, going out there, use your athletic ability to be doing this, doing that. But this year, Quin really, he really challenged me mentally this year. You know, just showing me new stuff, telling me new stuff. I–just mentally, it was just unbelievable…Mentally, it was hard at first, but then you learn how to deal with it, and then in the games, it’s just like second nature.
** On Rudy Gobert stealing his rebounds
I told Rudy, “Man, Rudy, if I’m on this side of the ball, let me get it, man. You gon get 20 anyways ’cause I gotta guard this ‘four.’ You gon get 20. Let me get the rebound, man.” At first, I understood it, ’cause you know, he wanted to get all the rebounds, but as the season went on, you know, he started to let me get one or two of ’em, so I appreciate that…I told Rudy, I said, “Rudy, man, if you let me get one or two rebounds, I promise I will pass you the ball.”…I was like, “Rudy, I can’t keep having five-, six-rebound games, man. I need at least eight of ’em.”
** What are your expectations for next year?
I think I expect us to play the way we’ve played at the end of this year, and I think if we just focus on our absolutes, focus on doing our job each and every night, the results will take care of themselves. So, I don’t think it’s good for us necessarily to put, you know, huge expectations on us. I think the expectation is just to do our job every night, to come in and play the way we’ve been playing after All-Star break, so.
** How did Quin Snyder help you this year?
Coach Quin helped us out a lot this year. I think he showed us the details of the game that we were missing. You know, we’ve all gotten better individually…He helped me with my mid-range game, as far as reading pick and rolls and staying in the pocket and learning how to read defenses, ’cause that’s a huge part of the NBA right now. And he slows down the game for you and shows you exactly what you need to do and how you can do it…As far as defensively, I think we just had a renewed focus and he really put in place a system that, once we executed it, we were pretty good at.
** How many video games will you be playing in the next month?
My wife actually said this morning, “Just ’cause you’re done with the season doesn’t mean you can play video games now,” so.
** On the moment he knew this season would be different
It was in Santa Barbara. It was September, and you know, [Quin Snyder] walked into the meeting, and I think — I don’t remember who was standing up, and he was like, he walked into the meeting and was like, “Sit the ‘beep’ down.” Like, you know, “Let’s go.” And it was right then that you knew that it was gonna be a little different season for us. It was gonna be intense, and we love that about coach. He’s passionate, and he’s a competitor. He’s fiery, and at times when you’re in film, on the road, when you get there and you’ve been for an hour, you’re ready to get out of there but when we win the next game because of some of the things that we saw, because of things, some of the things we learned, you definitely appreciate it.
** People calling Gordon Hayward” Dad”: David Locke