“Being on the same page is probably the No. 1 thing defensively. If you eliminate confusion and everyone knows what they’re supposed to do, it’s really simple. If everyone is on the same page, you’ll be a top-14 defensive team at least, and obviously you can get much higher. As a general rule in the NBA, if you overcomplicate things and players are thinking instead of reacting, it’s hard. But if you can keep it simple, you know exactly where you’re going to be every single time. You want to eliminate confusion and them thinking about ‘Should I be here or there?’ Just really try to keep it simple and play to their strengths.”
On guarding Carmelo Anthony:
“I just tried to contest everything he shoots. I knew he was going to get his attempts up, and I just wanted to make sure I had a hand up before he goes up instead of after he released it. With a guy like that it’s tough because he has so much to his game, so I just tried to keep a hand up at all times.’’
From Kelly Olynk:
“He just changes the pace of the game, especially on defense. He’s up on people, making plays on the defensive end, whether it’s steals, a couple of charges, or just making it tough, wearing guys down.”
“His defense. His tenacity. You can tell a lot of other guards don’t like going up against him, for the most part. Once they feel his strength and stuff, they look back and kind of say, ‘This kid’s for real.’”
“I eat and sleep basketball and it was taken away from me for a while and it felt good to finally be back with these guys and make an impact tonight.”
Talking trust, work and defense…
“Trust is work. That’s how you build trust. You gotta know what you’re doing. You have to be tied together. You have to work at it. Where you get trust is from the work. The magic is in the work. It’s working together. It’s timing. It’s being tied together. One guy being off is going to hurt. You need everyone working together. And it doesn’t end. You’re not going to have it figured out in three days. You’re trying to do something great. Nothing great was ever achieved without great work and great ethic. It’s really that simple.’’
“We’ve got to be hungry on defense. We’ve got to want to stop teams just as much as we want to score.”
“We were a top-five defense last year, and that’s why we were so successful. No matter how offensively talented we are and how many points we can produce, if we don’t put forth that effort on the other end, you’re just kind of wasting talent on the offensive end.”
Every little piece, every breath I take it is about that. It is the only way we will do anything of significance is if we just never let it go.
If I hold it dear they (team) will too. It is a massive word with a lot of pieces all under the one umbrella of accountability and pride. I have to do a good job coaching this team to defend.
We have a bunch of guys who don’t know the NBA. As athletic and energized as they are, that only counts for 60 percent. It is not just ‘play hard,’ and that is why sometimes I get upset.
They will play hard but there is a whole other thing going on that is sophisticated and studied that defines the great defensive teams. It is way more than being young, athletic and playing hard.