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The New Perspective on Defense Edition - The Downbeat - #1468

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importance of defense and communication, mysterious disappearance, size is relative

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Enes Kanter was lambasted six months ago after being quoted saying offense is more important than defense and that playoff games are won with offense (though the quote didn't come firsthand from him, but rather Richard Jefferson who told the media that Kanter had said that).

Fast forward six months, and Kanter has a completely new perspective on defense:

So last year, I didn’t have much knowledge on defense. But now, this year, that, with coach Quin’s, like, [you feel] that energy. It just coming, like, naturally, you know what I mean? You just wanna play defense, you know? … Defense is just becoming fun too for me, so.

And here's Quin Snyder responding to a question on whether he can build a defensive foundation in Enes:

Enes has to want that, and we have to help him want that, and we have to hold him accountable for that. And I think he’s embraced, you know, that part, just being a complete player playing on both ends. He’s certainly a talented offensive player, and he needs to hold himself to that standard as well…There’s gotta be a focus and there’s gotta be a discipline, and that’s something we have to train him into, but it starts with his willingness.

Good things ahead, I think, with the two of them working together on this front.

One of my favorite quotes from Media Day that I think has been underreported was this bit from Dennis Lindsey on the importance of communication:

Quin is, one of his natural gifts is communication. And he was just addressing the team this afternoon on just the bare essentials of communication, and the level of respect and consistency that you have to have, and communicating at just basic levels. …

[Quin] really works hard at using verbals. We’ve tried to use humor. For example, we were trying to think of some French words that we could use that our players, that Rudy [Gobert] can say, “Hey, they’re thinking about me.”

And I don’t know if we’ll get “Oi Oi Oi” and get some Aussie terms, but we were looking at some Turkish terms for Enes.

So, there’re a lotta cute things that you can do, but you want your verbals to be strong, have strong connotations. You want, sometimes you want a one-syllable word. Sometimes you want two-syllable words. You want the verbals to fit together, if you will. So, there’s a l–I could talk about this the whole show, frankly.

I love this new focus on communication, and that the thought even occurred to Quin Snyder and the coaching staff to do something that makes players feel included and adds to their comfort level, especially those that have bigger adjustments to make in the NBA.

Hey Jazz brass/media, if you're reading this, I'd love that podcast of Dennis Lindsey expounding on this topic for the whole show.

As noted by Basketball John, the Jazz canceled practice yesterday and all the Quin's horses and all the Quin's men fell silent on social media.*

What was the team doing?

* Except for this IG by Rudy Gobert, who showed us how not big six inches is. [insert own joke]

Hey! Not enough of you completed the "What I Did This Summer" homework assigned by Amar in yesterday's DB! I'm giving you a second chance. What did you do this summer while waiting for the season to start? Go!