Utah Jazz (6-6)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Jerry Sloan's Doghouse
Re: The off-season
Excerpts of interviews with the Utah Jazz's Al Jefferson, Deron Williams, Raja Bell and Jerry Sloan conducted Tuesday following a morning workout at the team's practice facility.
Jefferson on fitting in with the Jazz's offensive system:
The thing with me, I don't want to make mistakes. I'm trying to be perfect. And you can't be perfect, you know what I'm saying. D Williams, the coaches, the first thing they told me was, 'It's OK to make mistakes. It's new for you.'
The thing is, I've been going against this offense for so long, it should be easy for me.
How the offense works:
It's more reading to me. I could be wrong. It's just the first day. But it seems to me it's more reading the point guard. Read the point guard. As the 5 right now, what I'm playing, is kind of the opposite of the point guard. So, that's how I'm adjusting to it.
It's more easier for me. I'm catching the ball in my sweet spot. I think the team last year led the league in assists, and I now I see why. One thing that I've got to do this year that I didn't do last year is pass the ball a lot more. Because last year I didn't have to do it.
Playing with Williams and his style:
D Williams, he's been in this offense a long time. So he know it inside out, this offense. So, that's a plus for me. Because he'll help me to get in the situation I need to be in.
Williams on the offensive system:
I think the offense is structured really good. But it's how you execute it. You need guys who are going to come in and screen. Guys that are going to stay disciplined and stay in the offense and get good shots. We're a team that relies on that: staying in the offense, setting screens and getting good shots, and that's what makes it successful.
Incorporating Jefferson during camp:
Over this month, that's more than enough time. It's going to be a little different than he's used to, and he's got some learning to do just because its a new offense, a new system. But we've got several guys that are in the same boat. As a team, we've just got to come together, work together. But it's not going to be a problem at all. I'm going to constantly talk to him and work him through it. We definitely have to get an understanding and get a feel for each other, where each other is going to be on the court, because that's what me and Booze had. We had a great feel for each other. I knew where he likes the ball. I'm going to figure that out with Al. I'm going to figure out where his favorite areas are, where he's best at, and work from there.
Sloan on blending Jefferson with Williams:
I can't do the work. It's up to them to see how much they try to do and how much they end up getting done. You can run a play all day long. If they won't set any screens or pass the ball to anybody, what good's the use in running? So, you eliminate the other opening.
You put them out here. Practice is where you find out who they are. I mean, you can see guys play and you have a pretty good idea. But you see them practice; see how they want to do what we do. He'll be fine. He'll just work at it.
I think he'll adapt to what we're doing very well. … I think he'll try and do whatever we ask him to do. I don't think he's a guy who will say, 'I can't do that. I won't do it.'
Continuity is hard to develop overnight. Especially in basketball. Some guys — the great, great, great players — they can probably adapt to anything. But sometimes it takes a lot of work. We've worked with a lot of guys that have made themselves better. You just keep working everyday. It's all I know.
Bell on the Jazz's unique offense:
Offense: I think this offense has a lot more moving pieces, if you will. There is a lot more screening that takes place. There are a lot more possible reads out of those situations. When you game plan against the Jazz, it's almost impossible to game plan against them. Because out of the same play, there can be five different options.
There's a lot that goes into it. You have to be a cerebral player. You have to have a high basketball IQ. It's fun to play in, it sucks to play against it. It's a hard, difficult system to guard.
In Minnesota ... he was on the block. Pretty stationary. And he's a beast down there. He'll probably have to move a bit more in this offense than he did there before he gets the ball. But I think the end result will be the same. After he gets the ball, he can still come back. That might be a little different, and it might actually work out better for him. When you're moving so much, that defender is not in a position to just guard you every time you catch the ball, and you can get some easier baskets.