Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 10/14
What have you learned about the team in the first four preseason games?
Well, I think we’ve learned that we had a very good outing in Hawaii, playing the Lakers, some tough games. I think it was very good for the team. I think they were up for it, and excited.
I think they’ve realized a little bit more, still being young and having a number of young players with our, still a young, younger core, that it is a, it’s a challenge to be traveling as much as you do, when all of a sudden you’re spending a lot of time in Hawaii, and then flying to Phoenix, and turning around and playing almost n–it’s not a back-to-back game, but with a lot of travel time involved in it.
And we, that was a challenge, and then you’re still on the road, and then you’re traveling next t–back home. And we were not mentally as prepared as we needed to be, and mentally as tough, and I think a young team realizes that, and hopefully it, that’s why we have a preseason, for it to have them have these experiences and learn, hopefully learn from it, and become stronger and tougher from it.
Who’s going to be starting at point guard?
Well, that’s still a work in progress. Right now, it’s still, I, it’s too early in the preseason for that.
We know that we have some ingredients that we really believe in, that, as we get a little later into the preseason, as we get, have some more playing time and practice time, Gordon [Hayward] didn’t have the best game in the second half of that game the other night. Gordon knows what he needs to do. He’s going to be just fine. That’s going to improve on.
We had some other players that, you know, Rodney Hood has been a little bit up and down. Rodney’s going to be just fine. As they get more seasoned,* as we get into the season, those things are gonna sharpen. They’re gonna improve, and it’s gonna make us a better team.
So, I think we’ll continue to see better scoring from our guard position, particularly our 2-guards. And I think we’ll see some improvement as well with things that are happening with our big men. Our shots were not falling the other night, and you can work through that, and you’re gonna play through that.
We’ve gotta also come with a better intensity. I thought at the end of the game, Quin Snyder said it very well to our players. And he says, “We had a younger team come in here” — ’cause they’r–Portland was in, to a certain degree, in a rebuilding mode because of some of the players have left their organization — “They came with more that hunger and with more that intensity.”
That’s where we’ve been, and that’s where we were last year. We didn’t have that intensity. We need to get that back, and we need to, so, let’s see how we respond this next game when we play Portland up there. And I, they’re working hard. I expect to see a much better outing.
* Players are ingredients that get seasoned. Lol.
** Burning question: Did Randy Rigby intentionally or unintentionally completely digress 15 seconds into his answer?
Tom Thibodeau has been making the rounds of NBA training camps. Talk about that dynamic of having him here.
Well, it’s always, you know, it’s a real compliment, I think, to Quin and our coaching staff.
But I think Tom has, he is, number one, a great coach. He loves the game, and I know, I’m sure it’s been eating him up to not be, at this time of year, with his own team or with a team. And so, he’s actually visited a number of locations, and a number of teams, and I think he’s a real student of the game of basketball.
So, he loves being around it. He loves watching and learning and seeing what coach–other coaches are incorporating.
And being — there’s a real respect and fraternity that goes on in the coaching area. And I think it’s an opportunity for him to observe some things, and in, hopefully sharpen his skills; at the same time, share some of the knowledge that he’s had with other coaches that he has respect for, and i–and share his ideas and thoughts, and it makes everyone better.
And I’m very impressed with that kind of mentality. Dennis [Lindsey] has that as it relates to the basketball side. A very open, transparent, not-being-afraid-to, you know, constantly-look-at, and learn, and sharing that information, particularly with those that he’s interacted with.
But we see that also with Quin, and that kind of sharing, and interaction, with other respected coaches that he has.
Then it comes down to really, for all of us, not on–it’s improving our skills and our knowledge that we can apply to help the athletes be as good as they can be. Then it comes down to putting it on the athletes, of them having the hunger, the desire, and the work ethic, then, to apply the things that they’re being taught, and the things that they’re learning.
Does the team have a timeline for the playoffs, or is it one step at a time?
No, our team has a goal of really, of wanting to make that next step…and that next improvement is really making the playoffs.
And — now. We’re smart enough to also realize that the playoffs don’t just all of a sudden show up.
It comes by 82 games, and paying the price each game, to be able to take each game one game at a time, to win it, so that you earn that right, to be able to be in the playoffs.
So, [the players] are very much focused in saying, “We want to improve and show that we are a team, that can compete and that is a legitimate team, that is a playoff-caliber team, and get where we wanna go.”
So, we sti–and we know, and the coaches keep reiterating to our players, we still got a long ways to go, guys, and things to prove to ourselves, and to get in–and to make ourselves better, to earn the right to be in the playoffs.
On the maturing of Alec Burks
I’ve seen a real maturing of Alec Burks, also, as an individual. He is much more open and friendly, and has matured.
He, every time I see him, he was almost bashful as a younger player. He now comes up and looks you in the eye and shakes your hand, and you have that smile of his that really warms your heart. (1280)