Courtesy of Chris Vivlamore
Q: Is there a different feel to this training camp than last season considering all this team accomplished last season?
A: There is. We know that the expectations are high. Everybody is going to put a little pressure on us to come out and repeat what we did last year but for us it’s about getting better and trying to add to what we accomplished last year and get better from there.
Q: How do you deal with those expectations and pressures?
A: It’s tough. You have to have another year to capitalize on that one. But we are going to take it one game at a time. We know what we need to do to get better. We know what we failed at last year. We are trying to get better from that stuff.
Q: What are your thoughts about this group that was ultimately assembled?
A: It’s moving along. The additions that we added have looked strong. They are helping our team a lot. We are expecting them to help our team even more. We expect more from ourselves. We still have work to do. We have a few days to get it together. We’ll continue to get better throughout the season.
Q: You did lose DeMarre Carroll. How do you see the process of replacing him?
A: I’ve said it since day one, we are not looking to replace him. We’ve got not one guy to replace him. We’ve got multiple guys who are going to replace him and help our team. Just like DeMarre did. Kent (Bazemore) is going a great job. Thabo (Sefolosha) is going to do a great job. Justin (Holiday). Tim (Hardaway Jr.). We’ve got guys who are capable of coming in and contributing.
Q: They have experimented a little bit this preseason with you at small forward, even more than I thought they would. Is is more than you thought they would? And how is it going?
A: More than I thought. Not having talked to the coaches about it, I don’t think it has gone pretty good. I don’t know what the plus/minus is (laughs) but preseason is when you get out there and work on things. It’s something we are working on, trying to get bigger at the 3 position. We’ll probably keep working on it and trying to get better at it.
Q: How much do matchups play into it?
A: I don’t think there is going to be a situation where I come in and start at the 3. Maybe situational stuff if (the opponent) has bigger guards or bigger 3’s, or maybe smaller 3’s to try to take advantage of it.
Q: Defensive rebounding was a big point of emphasis for this team after being a weakness last season. How has the process of improving the rebounding gone this preseason?
A: This preseason, it has been an emphasis every game. I think we’ve gotten better at it during the preseason. Now, it’s carrying over those habits to the season.
Q: How fast did you put your offseason and the decision to re-sign here behind you and start moving forward?
A: Once I did it, it was easy. When you feel like you are already home and you re-sign to come back home it’s easy. It was simple to start getting back in the groove of things.
Q: How much did what they are building here influence your decision in the end?
A: A lot. A lot. I think guys want to win, guys want to be happy. These past two years being part of this made my decision even easier.