Locker Room Cleanout Part 5: Quin Snyder and Dennis Lindsey
How would you define the successes that you had this season?
I think the thing that’s most encouraging to me is the perfe–perseverance that our team found throughout that process; their ability to stay committed to a process that, you know, in a, at any given point was not giving them the feedback that ultimately you want.
You know, I think that the success of the group, as reflected by the wins, the loss, the record the playoffs, is gonna continue to be volatile. You know, obviously our expectations are high, but there’s also a realism that we know is always present.
But through that, it’s gonna require our guys and Dennis and myself to continue to persevere. And I think with that attitude, that, you know, we’ll be able to stay committed to a process and hopefully over time, we’ll continue to see results.
What will you be asking Rudy Gobert to work on this summer?
It’s exciting to me to have the opportunity to, you know, after the fact, join an organization and a team that has someone like Rudy…
I think more specifically on the skill front, you know, Rudy’s skill, I think you see that manifest itself right now primarily in his passing.
He’s erratic at times, which I’m OK with, you know, under certain parameters because I think there’re plays that you want your players to make that, even though they’re not successful in the short-term, they’ll eventually produce growth. So, we can focus a lot on his offense.
His defense seems, and is, so impactful, but I think additionally, he can continue to have the impact that he has around the rim in different facets of our defense, particularly as a leader.
You know, I liken him a little bit to a middle linebacker that’s got the court in front of him, and the more communicative he can be, I think the better that he’ll become, and will become.
And that said, you know, back to the offensive end, I think it’s a matter of time before he’s able to, you know, continue to develop, whether it be finishing around the rim or, you know, making a mid-range jump shot, which hopefully he’ll continue to — I don’t know what the timeline is on that, but I know that it’s something that we want and will encourage, and that effort will hopefully produce results for him there.
Did you consciously talk no basketball with Gordon Hayward the first time you met him, and a lot of basketball with Derrick Favors the first time you met him?
No. No. I just was getting to know ’em, and it struck me that — for Gordon, the feel that I had, I didn’t — I must’ve, there must’ve been so–on some level, it was conscious.
But I do, I don’t specifically remember — you know, Gordon was going through a contract negotiation for a while, so our ability to communicate on a deeper level, I won’t say it was stalled, but there was that elephant in the room.
So I think it made sense for us to not talk basketball, because that wasn’t, you know, that was something that was being taken care of outside of the relationship that he and I were gonna form, and were forming.
In Derrick’s case, I thought that there was a lot of uncertainty, probably, that he had about what his role was gonna be, where it was going.
And I planned on using him, in my mind, very differently from the way that he had been used previously in his career — not just the year before — and felt like there had to be a commitment from him to grow in that regard, so we got into that more specifically.
What is your favorite characteristic of Rudy Gobert?
I think his intelligence is something that I value, because I think it allows me to have an impact even more so on helping him improve. And then, but the quality, I think, would be his competitiveness. He just wants to win. He wants to be good, and he wants to win. The two are, kind of, for him, one and the same.
When did the shift from offense carrying the team to defense carrying the team occur?
For me, you know, we spent a lot of the preseason trying to groom, you know, timing and spacing and things offensively, which I’m glad we did.
The plan defensively, when, you know, Rudy was coming off the bench, Dante [Exum] was coming off the bench, there was a, at some point, there was a conscious choice on my part when we made a few of those moves, that really, defense was gonna be what we could do right now to be successful, and that was gonna be the identity that we needed to start developing. …
In order to be a really good team, you gotta have both, right? So you know, I think one of the challenges for our group is when you’re not playing good offense, meaning — sometimes you’re playing good offense and you’re not scoring; you’re not making shots.
You know, that’s when our defense has to carry us, and I don’t think we were capable of having our offense carry us. We are not a team that was gonna outscore people right now. Maybe in a given game, but not consistently. We just don’t shoot it well enough.
Thoughts on the season
Even though you’re in the beginning stages of a rebuilding process, you always have to deal with the postmortems of not getting in the NBA playoffs. And that’s where we’re at, and we have to own it…
We really had three or four seasons within a season. And that’s typical. Many times in the NBA, it’s a, in my opinion, a series of short stories on how your team changes due to injury, and play, and trades. And this was, you know, a series of short stories, in my opinion, that were extreme.
Extreme youth, and what we did with the team. A preseason that got started off really well. We were organized well, and then we took a couple body blows during the early portion of the season just due to the fact that we weren’t able to have practices. The group was new to each other. The group was extremely young.
And then after Christmas, we started showing signs of a lotta hard work, over a period of time where we weren’t seeing results maybe from a win-loss record standpoint. And so, that turned, and we became more competitive after Christmas, and into January.
And then obviously after the All-Star break and trade deadline, the nature of our group and how we defended changed. And our hopes are, real simply, that that’s something that we can build on.
On Joe Ingles’ exit interview
I think Joe’s always relied on his ability to see the game well, his natural inclination to make the right play and his size. So, his fitness level and his strength aren’t at the levels that they need to be.
So, we gave Joe that kind of feedback. He of course agreed.
I think one thing that Joe saw — we were able to mention — but back-to-backs are heavy-load portions of the season. Joe became fatigued, and as soon as he became fatigued, he was much more mistake-oriented — which we all are. It was just Joe to a greater degree.
And luckily with Joe, he’s very mature and able to look at himself, laugh at himself. And so, I think going forward, that will be good for him, you know, ’cause he c–again, he can look at himself and improve.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines (UDQM)
** Dennis Lindsey on him and Quin Snyder critiquing each other: We do that all the time, in private moments.
** David Locke to Quin Snyder on the day: It’s a long one, isn’t it, coach?
Snyder: Yeah, a good one. I mean, good in its own way.
** Snyder on running drills over and over and over again: That’s why you grind, and it gets harder, and harder.
** Lindsey on Joe Ingles’ exit interview: We talked about his body. (H/T @HipMrBully)
** Snyder on what he’s most proud of this season: The fact that we were all pulling the same rope. You know, whether it be Dennis, myself, Gordon, you know, Gary Briggs.