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The It's Almost Here Edition - The Downbeat - #1734

It was Jazz Media Training Camp today, which means Quin Snyder was available for interview.

(Side note: Can I just say what a pleasure it is to listen to Snyder talk so intelligently and coherently about basketball and Jazz players? Total hoop turn on.)

Here's what he had to say about a few things:

On if the team can run with Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert on the floor:

First of all, one of the challenges, I think, for our team and for me more specifically, is how to space your bigs. And the way we play offense, sometimes if you can just face a guy who’s a shooter, it’s easier. The floor is more open.

We have to space more with movement, with screens, to occupy people that way. So, that’s the first thing that we can be efficient doing.

Now, the second thing is, I think, that there’s opportunities depending on how your possession starts. If there is a made field goal, you’re inbounding the ball, there’s a certain, there’s certain opportunities you have offensively.

If there’s a mi–most obvious one is you steal the ball, right? You got numbers, you make, you know, you attack. For us, that middle ground, I think we can be better, where, you know we get the ball on a miss, and we can be more aggressive attacking. I think Alec [Burks] will help us with that, and we get our bigs running. And that’s kinda how I see it.

On whether Trey Burke can become the point guard he wants:

Well, I, you know, what I want is probably a bar that not, you know, that’s my job, is to want more for these guys. All of them, Trey included. The way that we’ve tried to play, is, takes time. I mean, it’ll, there’s some corporate knowledge that’s required, and for a point guard, it’s really hard, and particularly a guy who’s used to having the ball in his hands.

We’re asking him to play with the pass. Sometimes the tempo with which he’s played with his whole career at Michigan was, the best offensive team in the country, but they played with, they just played slow. They played with the slowest pace.

So you know, pushing the ball up the court and some of those things that we wanted at the beginning of the year, we found our team maybe was better, more efficient not doing that. So, there’s a lot of, kind of adjustments that everybody makes, and that I think Trey will continue to make.

The biggest thing for me is as the season progressed, he became much more defensively sound. And that, you know, the other stuff will just all grow together, but that’s, you know, that has to be there, and it was late.

We interrupt this Downbeat for breaking news:

Good day on the lake

A photo posted by @otag00 on

On his expectations for Gordon Hayward this year:

I think one of the biggest things with Gordon is just establishing trust, and you know, being able to, for him, when you tell him something, he’s gotta, he’s very bright. He knows the game, and I think the thing I try to do with him is tell him why. And once he understood why, you know, he embraced everything.

And that’s an ongoing process, and you know, we all learn from our players too. But what we’ve seen, I think the way we play really fits him as well, because he is a playmaker…

What I see him doing is being more vocal, and being more of a leader, which I, absolutely in my mind just comes with confidence and comfort level, and we’re gonna see a guy that continues to be more outward and hopefully more aggressive.

On what Alec Burks will bring to the team this year:

Well, he’s unique, and we talked about, you know, how we attack. And he’s a guy that, his ability to get to the free throw line, his ability to attack in the open floor…

And I think his ability, it’s gonna help Rodney [Hood] attack. It’s gonna help Gordon attack. And he does that better than any — in fact, sometimes we want to slow him down and help him read a little better. So, a few less circus shots and a few more easy layups.

But he clearly is a unique player. The thing that is gonna have to happen with Alec is that, we were all working on our habits defensively, and we hadn’t, that hadn’t become instinctive yet. And when he went out, that process was beginning to gel.

And I’ve been impressed with his understanding and commitment to that on the front end. And it’ll take him some time, but I think that’ll also be something that we see from him, maybe that we didn’t think about, is that maybe he can make us an even better defensive team.