Orlando Magic head coach Scott Skiles:
“We have a defensive system that we’re teaching and we work on, every day. It’s got to be something that you do every single day. You have to stay with it. I’ve mentioned it several times, but it can be tedious to have to do the drill work every day and stay with it. So far, for the most part, the guys have.”
“It sounds simple, but he expects you to work. Coach is real defensive-minded. He makes it clear right away that to get minutes, you’ve got to buy in to what we’re doing. If you’re not playing in a way that helps the team, he’s going to pull you and put someone else in that can get the job done.”
“It’s to the point where we’ve got to be professionals at all times. We’ve just got to play basketball the right way.”
“That’s why we have to take care of business game by game. Obviously, our goal is just to reach the playoffs, but in order to reach there, we have to win the games. And to win the games, we have to play the right way. I think we know what is the right way, but sometimes, we kind of get away from it.”
After the Detroit Pistons held a team meeting and players spoke up; mainly two vets: Ersan Ilyasova and Marcus Morris, the oldest starters at 28 and 26, respectively.
“I think that’s to be expected that the two oldest guys had the most to say about playing the right way, and playing together, and sacrificing individual goals for the team, that type of thing.”
“A lot of times I’m not going to have a ton of rebounds or a ton of blocks or a ton of scoring every night. But if we got a win, it was a good game for us.”
From Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra:
“He’s starting to understand how much of an impact he can make. Sometimes it’s not the statistics everybody notices. But you felt his presence in this game. That was the most important thing.”
From teammate Goran Dragic:
“He’s our anchor in the paint. Every time somebody penetrates he’s going to be there. When he does that, we can pressure more. When you pressure, then the guys can go by you sometimes and then you have big fella behind your back who is going to protect you. That’s that trust I was talking about before. If everybody is on the same page, then we’re tough to beat.”
From teammate Chris Bosh:
“Just because you don’t show up in the stat sheet doesn’t mean you weren’t an important piece for wins. We all have to remember that, and if it’s not our night, we just keep doing what we’re doing, keep playing defense, keep getting second chances and live with it. He can’t lose sight of that. As long as we get the win, that’s what’s most important.”
“It takes a lot of effort to win in this business. It’s not easy. You can’t play when you want to play. You’ve got to play every night, every minute.”
We always like to say, “effort affects outcome.”
During yesterday’s Golden State Warriors-Cleveland Cavaliers game televised on ESPN, former Bishop Loughlin high school point guard Mark Jackson was working the telecast with Jeff Van Gundy. Both men made it a point to talk about Steph Curry’s game. This exchange was interesting.
“Understand what I’m saying when I say this. He’s hurting the game. And what I mean by that is that I go into these high school gyms, I watch these kids, and the first thing they do is they run to the 3-point line. You are not Steph Curry. Work on the other aspects of the game.”
Which led to Van Gundy mentioning the shots Curry attempts:
“If some high school joker takes that, and it’s allowed by their coach, shame on them.”
I think I know what the two former point guards out of New York State were trying to say.
My take is work on your game. Start in close when you begin working on your shooting. Don’t grab a ball and head straight to the three-point line the second you step on the court.
One little fact; Steph has put thousands of hours into his improvement.