Larry Brown Press Conference
Patrick: "Last week, you guys got the news that Ben Emelogu was cleared. How will he help you this year?"
NM: "I think he will be a tremendous asset to our team, a great leader. He knows how to play and has a great basketball IQ, and he’s a great person to be around."
Patrick: "What will he bring on the court?"
NM: "Everything. He has a complete game all-around, so I think it will help in every aspect."
Patrick: "What has been the team’s approach as the season gets closer?"
NM: "Just staying together, taking a day at a time. Each day we have to keep the focus that we have to get better. And just have fun out there, that’s the biggest thing."
Patrick: "How’s it been being the leader this year?"
NM: "It’s good, every day is a new experience, but so far it’s going good. But I have the same mindset as last year, just being a leader for this team."
Patrick: "Ben Moore has been playing a bit of point guard, how do you think he’s looked?"
NM: "He’s learning, it’s a hard spot, but he’s getting it."
Patrick: "Coach has talked a lot about defense and preaching it all season. How do you think you guys are handling it?"
NM: "I feel like it’s the same thing as last year, a defensive mindset and that’s where it all starts, so I think we’ll be all right on defense."
Coach Brown was not thrilled with practice today as a whole, at one point saying they needed to come up with new drills because obviously the ones right now weren’t working in terms of players moving without the ball. One of the main frustrations for Coach Brown was a breakdown on simple plays that they practice every single day such as when to move during plays. The other key issue coach Brown had was guys, especially Sterling on multiple occasions, taking one dribble before picking up their dribble and getting stuck. Larry was quick to praise the bounce back plays that guys made especially Yanick and Jordan. The intensity and quality did pick up a little bit when they moved into the full court transition drills.
Movement without the ball
Larry was not pleased with the movement without the ball all practice long. He told the team that without the ball they have no clue what they are doing and that they need to start moving without the ball. Larry was very upset saying you cant run a cutting offense if everyone on offense just stands there this offense is not going to work. Coach Brown went on to say there is only going to be one person, the ball handler, happy at this rate and the other 9 without the ball will be upset. A continuing theme brought up today was that you can't pass and just stand there.
Running Offense vs. No Defense
The team-opened practice today working on taking the ball under the basket against no defense and working on breaking the press. On the other side down they ran their half court offense also against no defense. Coach was really happy with Keith during this drill and his movement without the ball.
Despite today being a rough practice for the team, Markus was one of the bright spots both on the court and with his leadership. Markus was in the right spots on offense and moved very well on defense covering guards like Ryan and Nic. After plays Markus was urging his teammates to pick it up and was much more vocal than usual with his teammates. Kennedy also showed some frustration with his teammates on what had the feeling of a very lethargic practice.
Nic Moore was the other player that had a good practice today. Moore made some beautiful passes to get guys easy layups. Moore also was walking his teammates through some of the plays and showing them where they needed to go and when to go. Both Markus and Nic were a little frustrated with their teammates and were trying to get them going.
Practice Quick Hits
— Yanick Moreira threw down a vicious one-handed dunk off of a pick and roll. Jean-Michael was practicing with the team again today.
— Keith Frazier had to leave early today, but the coaches knew about it beforehand.
— Larry did praise the defense today, but said the offense isn't up to par.
— Even though things were a little rough today, players were able to get a laugh out of coach even if they had made the mistake.
— Team finished practice today by working on transition defense and offense.