Utah Jazz Media Day 2016, Part 2
** Derrick Favors on his expectations for the upcoming season: My expectations are, you know, hopefully we can improve off last year. We had a lotta injuries, including myself, last year that kinda hurt us a little bit. So you know, hopefully we can just improve off of last year, and, with the additions of Joe [Johnson], George [Hill] and Boris [Diaw], and with Dante [Exum] coming back, with Alec [Burks] coming back, those guys, and you know, just hopefully improve and you know, reach our goal.
And for me individually, just to continue to get better. Continue to be a presence on the court offensively, defensively. Keep adding stuff to my game. You know, just hopefully, you know, help the team, you know, reach our goal [of winning games and making the playoffs].
** Favors on working with Mehmet Okur this off-season: You know, Memo, he’s one of the greatest big-men shooters ever. You know, and we kind of reached out to each other, and you know, he came in for a couple of days. and mostly we were just working on balance. Just getting in position, being ready to shoot the ball.
Working on the arc, because I’ve noticed in the past I had a, kind of a flat shot, so I wanted to really work on the arc. Getting the legs into it. So, just a lot of fundamental stuff with the shooting…I just wanted to pick his brain and just see how I can become a eve–a better shooter myself.
** Favors on what Quin Snyder and Dennis Lindsey asked him to do during the summer: Couple of things. You know, becoming a better leader, for the team. And on the court…They still wanted me to work on, you know, becoming a better passer out of the post, out of, off the elbow, free-throw line area, high-low area, whatever. Becoming a better passer, becoming a better low-post scorer. You know, just keep working on that. Just keep working on the little things that I’m good at to become better at it, and also expanding my range out to the 3-point line.
** Favors on Boris Diaw: Boris, you know, he’s faster than the way he looks. You know, he’s quicker, too.
** Quincy Ford on what he has to have to make an NBA roster apart from his NBA-ready body: I believe just the little things. Understanding your role; being basically perfect in that role. Making guys better each and every day. And just being a 100 percent team player, on and off the court; an everyday guy.
** Gordon Hayward on what Quin Snyder and Dennis Lindsey asked him to do during the summer: Well, I think they asked me to be uncomfortable in my off-season workouts, to try to take it up another notch, which I felt like I did this summer…[Snyder] challenged me with [taking over games], and I’ve learned a lot this summer from him, from a lot of the assistants, from some, from older veteran guys in the league, of, you know, that sense and that feel and how to accomplish that.
** Hayward on what he finds more annoying, questions about playing video games or his hair: Those are both annoying for me to have to deal with, honestly. I would say it’s more, I would say probably the video games more, because I get that more from, like, my wife or my other family members [asking me to stop], or why are you playing so much-type deals…
I kind of figured it out this summer is, if I sign deals with video game companies, then I have to play video games. Just like I have to play basketball, right? Like, that’s my job. So, I’ve, I did a deal [with a] headphone company and they make other computer equipment too, and so, I was, I [have it] in my contract that I have to stream a certain amount of time. So, it’s like, “Sorry babe, I have to go play. Like, somebody has to pay the bills.”
** Hayward on having his second child: You know, when you go from one to two, that’s a big step. I actually have to start doing some things around, or, with the babies.
** Marcus Paige on the possibility of playing in the D-League but getting to stay in Salt Lake City: I think regardless of where I end up throughout this process, being in Salt Lake City is a great thing. You know, I don’t have to go out to a different state or a completely different area. I can work with the coaches and connect with them, talk to the players. And you know, it’s gonna be a good thing for me ’cause it’s easier to learn that way, and being close to the program is only gonna help me learn faster.
** Paige on George Hill and the Jazz being stacked at point guard: The vets like George have been great, helping me and working with me and stuff, which is a good thing coming in. You know, having somebody that’s willing to take time to talk to a rookie, helping him with pick and roll stuff, or teaching him how to get through screens…It’s been good competition. It’s also given me confidence when I’ve had success against them.
** Dennis Lindsey on the team’s cap space situation: A lot of what we are now doing in going forward over the next couple years will be more about player retention than it will be additions.
** Lindsey on his expectations for Dante Exum this year: One, to reintegrate him into the team. The, he’s healthy now, but maintaining that health. And then…we have to develop Dante. We’re not going to know who Dante is until he’s 28, 29 years old…You just start imagining in your head, or at least I do, because I have to context of [seeing George Hill’s development], what Dante could look like in five or six years…
We certainly don’t want to skip steps with Dante, ’cause his arc of improvement could be the last finishing touches on what our team looks like, you know, three or four years from now.
** Lindsey on not making any big moves in response to the injuries last year: We were able to get the 12th pick, which I don’t, eff–the painful part of the season manifested itself with the 12th pick, and if we had the 18th pick, let’s say, I don’t think we have George Hill today. So, a lot of the time when you’re evaluating that is, would you rather getting smacked in the first round or have George Hill now? And so, it’s not that we wouldn’t have wanted both, right, but if you had your choice, what would you rather have your choice right now sitting here today?
** Quin Snyder on Derrick Favors as a leader: I think there’s, you know, there’s people that, you know, are just naturally, you know, more outward, but sometimes maybe they’re not noticing, aware of, or sensitive to things, where there’s — I guess I would characterize, there’s good leadership, and then there’s vocal leadership. You’d rather have someone that’s quiet, but they’re leading you the right direction than someone that’s kind of a dominating personality but isn’t as, isn’t, doesn’t have as much wisdom. You know, I think that’s crucial. So, it comes in all varieties.
You know, usually communication is a component of that because in order to lead, you can lead by example but oftentimes you don’t have the opportunity to, you know, to show that example…[Favors] is not one of the, you know, he’s not Boris Diaw, for instance, where Boris is just a very outward person. But what Fav is is incredibly thoughtful, and I think he’s got a lot of wisdom, and he’s observant. So, when he does offer something, it’s usually pretty important.
** Snyder on the next step for Rudy Gobert: As he matures physically and his balance and those things improve, that his hands will improve. Just, his ability to kinda play the game efficiently around the basket will get better.
You know, I think his free throw shooting’s a big one. It’s gotten better. I think he’s more confident, but he’s gotta continue to do that in a game to really have that peace of mind at the line. You know, I don’t think he’s nervous at the line, but he’s just, he hasn’t been there enough over the course of his career to really have that part of his game, I think, solidified.
And you know, one of the, probably the biggest thing for him offensively is just being more efficient with the ball. You know, it’s, if you look at our turnover numbers from last year, if there’s a few guys you take out that weren’t as, you know, secure with the ball, then those turnover numbers go to, like, sixth, seventh in the league.
So you know, that, ultimately that’s gonna become something that differentiates, you know? He’s gotta take care of the ball, and that doesn’t mean, you know, being overly safe. I want him to make plays. So, that, really what that adds up to is being a better passer, being more precise with his footwork and all those things, but I think he can do those things. He’s just gotta really focus and continue to work on the right stuff.