Steve Hetzel On Primetime

WFNZ Podcasts
Thursday, February 22nd

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

45 games to go it's kind of a separate to the finish line after the all star break schedule broken kind of weird this year and it starts tonight 7 o'clock tip off I got pregame it's a get. At 630 against the nets coach you don't it's good to see it. I'm doing good good to see you've made it's it's been awhile that feels like I mean you could you guys have. The oval road that he tickle we call free all star break and I can remember as an MBA scheduled break in a way it's broken this year just really really got out front front heavy in front loaded the schedule is. Yet it's definitely different you know they made a concerted effort to try to limit the number of back to back streets and every team so starting. 2 weeks earlier in October. The stretch things a little bit two years ago they changed all star format to give the players more for breaks yes it's a little bit longer. And it's Gooden in some ways in some ways you know it's it's more difficult for the assists you have to adjust things change. Well for you guys it would have to stand up coach was saying this yesterday. Yeah he like the energy in the attended if you attentiveness you guys have had a practice the last couple days. Give any expectations obviously it's been disappointing so far through our through the first 57 games for you guys. All all week away I think more than anything mentally clear your head a little bit comeback was was probably a fairly good timing for you guys to step away for a week yelling his. We needed the break a couple guys. Maroon and on and did there and I think is good for them to recharge themselves we had a couple two really good practices and we'll see how we do denying what's a philosophy comeback contracts and I mean do you really try to get after guys. Put them through hard when Ted can I get everybody's attention again are yet to ease into it after right. Love. Coach Clifford I think has very good way about it the first day they give back we we get a loose we get some shots up than they scrimmage and they're here for about. An hour and ten minutes but say they're getting up and down they get whenever they did. They're break out of home to have. You know get there the win back up and then the next day was more. Excuses that were talking a steep path toward its assistant play in the nets tonight. And I've got pre game at 630 to boss gonna come up at 7 o'clock and does it again the schedule we are from his standpoint. You've got eleven of 25 at home including tonight so it's a road heavy schedule odd difficulty wise obviously it's a little easier than the first half of the year blight. A media team like Philadelphia play it four times in a funnel Tony five point Brooklyn three tonne times of the funnel 25 couple odd way to schedule breaks here the last quarter of the season. PS unique I think. Again every every year's different how they do the schedule. This is the first time and that I've seen this happen obviously we've. Finished at teams like Milwaukee a Miami earlier schedule where is we have played the Brooklyn or. Philadelphia which is but. Yet the button there there on the scheduling got to play Obama when they are. Well I can and coaches can sing and obviously for awhile he thought beginning of the year goals for you guys you beat top ten in offense top five in defense perhaps. Data as a presented itself through that stretch of three guys have been one of the better performing offensive teams in better weather better former defense teams that have not normally overlapped. Com and right now you guys are what I think fourteenth in defense like seventeenth in offense. At any Hussein I think before the break BP to get back to being a playoff contender. You gotta be at least top ten and one of those six right like you've got to be able to hang your hat on one side of the ball especially night in and night out so what if for you guys as a defense what what's what's that thing where you feel like hey we can we can be pretty great team they at least. In this area with which that's not a boy you guys feel like you're close to that thought they get. The high point this year which is about three and a half maybe four weeks ago reread the defense in the last two weeks. We we slipped. Quite a bit and lot of that to do with the three point defense and how we are defending pick and roll and allowing. The 3.3. Pointers that attempted we spent a lot of time over break studying film and trying to tweak our coverages to limit that in a weird. We had a goal this year to be top fifteen in three field goal percentage against and we dropped significantly in the last two weeks so. For us the improved defensively that's the number one area focuses to maintain our points in the paint defense. And defend the three point line as well. What is that with which changing where you guys when you're struggling on that in that area specifically is that. Main demand on ball defense which struck with which stroke what's that the difference when you guys are a bit of better performing. Three point defense vs when you haven't. But big year. You know three point all defense and involves every all aspects of one one pick and roll 212 in the near protection behind you right now where we see our. Our flaws or where we've. Haven't been successful is that were over helping and in situations where we don't need to wee we wanna be a help team you wanna be in the paint. But. You get knocked in the head a couple times here in the paint and they skip it out team got to be able to do both you gotta be able to read. The pick and roll. Roller whether he's flaring a rolling and we're getting caught in between and we got just that self itself. We're talking to Steve that's a hornets assistant tip off tonight at seven I got pre game at 630 coming up. Hornets and nets and the people when you look at this funnel 45 games coming your margin prairie if you guys know three figure five and a half games back to what the tiebreaker with Miami. You have an opportunity to fight for that was some of these other teams with. Realistically is there a number familiar look at win total wise of like hey we get to give ourselves a chance we got to get to either this win total we get a win X about a game to these final 25 how you approach this if you wanna give yourself. He's really got to be you wanna have a chance to be relevant to follow through three weeks of the year so how do you get steady get to that point. We'll get that goal of. Every regular seasons make the playoffs and by doing that dome. Facility set a number at this point even has no number we just got to play well we have to play well we have to play well consistently and we do that. We'll give ourselves a chance at the end of the season to be fighting for that playoff spot mean and on history a little bit looking at last year. Of the books were in a similar situation does their game ahead of us in the win column but they were in. At a fourteen enforce stretch in March and you know they made they ended up in seventh. Coach Clifford first year here. Bobcats went on it hairdo in the season. To make the playoffs but if he can't be a numbered it's gotta be guts is playing well he tonight because you're gonna. You don't play well some might see them lose. Neither played poorly some nights and you gonna win some we deceptive and figure out a way to be consistent. And have our game and try to play it every night. Think you guys are capable that the consistencies in the issue how many guys have shown flashes of it right yeah Padilla I've had 23 game winning streak to tell high watermark all year long as you know so. That stretch three and win ten out of twelve great at it and you think you guys are capable of that. I do hmmm is he and there's no point being in this thing if you don't believe and and you don't believe what we're doing in the guys on the floor and I do I do believe that we have the talent on this roster. I think that there's been some circumstantial things this season and then of not gone our way. It's been a roller coaster ride as far as injuries and then coaches help but. You know. We've had. You know for a good break good couple practices. Everything's there in front of us to. To try to attack it and to Steve I think a lot of people are curious over this last a little bit of the season. Last 45 games and there's a curiosity about believed in his minutes and what does he have to do to earn the confidence of the coaching staff. To get those minutes we are he can learn on the job. By the you know on the biggest thing. I think for for an NBA fan is that. Everybody gets excited. About young talent and they they wanna see what he could do what he's capable of and also really loves offense in the league as a super talented offensive player but he's nineteen years old. And he's got a lot to learn about the NBA game and you know for him to what I'd like to see our what we would like to see as a staff has continual growth. From Jimenez needed the process of being in the gym. Working on this is still work. And that is designated time which he does he never never been a problem but you know the continual rough process of being of what it takes to be. A professional athlete professional athletes. That succeed in this league many times is routine based. Focused on not only his. His skills but the team game learning defensive schemes and you know it's at nineteen years old this game. As fast you know moves fast the pick a top pick and roll coverages a dribble handoff coverages they're very difficult to pick up on the fly. And so we wanna see him engage. Progress and get better and better at those things you know. When he played earlier in the season. It's hard to say whether he was out of position. Or not you know playing the backup point guard it was Matt Moore. Need base with the injuries that we have put Carter Williams and and Julian both being injured so we had to play that backup point guard spot. And the emergence of Jeremy lamb and what he's played. Buzz both of them play in this league and so many comes but the decision of food you've not played too blatantly and it's not fantasy basketball we've just. Look guys out on the floor of his you'd like. What those guys play like they've they have to have the makes sense they have to work well together they have to fit and you know Jeremy lamb and bleak moment strengths are scoring the ball. Where is the player like trivia Graham among our wind strengths are defending NC at the proper. Come mix of how they play well together and so. If you and certainly now Pitts who are you not playing pranks and so Malik has all the confidence of this staff and a coach Clifford to be a very good NBA player. I would just say the way the roster is built right now. Where we're at the season that his his minutes will come more. Based on injuries or. Right need I hear people in the NFL say when rookies come in myths say he needs an entire offseason to get his body ready physically to be ready. Coming out of a college environment where I mean inning was only fair for one year. Can a nineteen year old body. Be ready for an 82 game and an NBA season by the you know there's vastly different body types and down the leak. Would be wood is considered and an undersized two guard so. It's in his body does need to mature right I think he has they have led a schism. And agility to play in this game like when you watch him on the quipped as a way that he moves it's very fluid and very. His MBA skill it is. Snapped in jumps on you but his. His strained thin his awareness of what's going on defensively those links will take time and an off season in the summer league we'll help those things but. Can it be fair he did have those things so I mean he he came in few theaters he had his his his injury needing get. Take I think cliff has been saying out of it if that he had that opportunity to play at some relief. The development kudos were what that was meant for the season for him yeah it would have been you know would help the more reps you get them the more we'll help you I mean just tonight. You don't know have been Simmons would have done last year yet but he had a whole season to sit and watch him in his body mature you know he's obviously got up. I'm very good NBA side comedy that put them. He had I think the maturity of his body that we room. Who are studying this summer league all of those things. Complex Willy go this this is not a. Mortgage related. I thought the all star which to getting off her game by the way I thought about. That would that was an improved product overall I thought for the all star game on Sunday night the what's that start to finish tonight. One of the first time a long time get on my thought last year was very disappointing I thought that the urgency that the players made and then Adam silver and getting together making the adjustments. It's still sloppy at first little with a win together sweat going and it was entertaining and you could see the intensity level. Of the for an all star game at it was very enjoyable to watch severe if you were picking the all star teams if you were the guy choosing upsides would you be willing to publicize your fixed. And let the world know who the last Gao a man that says six. You know you'd be put somebody on the stock is the I don't care. Food is still an all star no right like your Phillies give you your urine only words don't get the car is not a good our abilities ago we heard so it has hit it and trust me Russell Westbrook was worried about whether he's put extra. It's true. Well I just thought it's interesting because. A lot of people were saying oh as the captain's picks and all that I think maybe that helped a little bit more data and I think the guys just took a personal. Innocent a good look for a league we had to take this more serious I picked I think Stefan and LeBron and a lot of guys the top Chris Paul I think they took. I think they took ownership that this game yes it's an exhibition but it does matter we get we put a piece of product out here for those guys. Yeah does it you know what's last five minutes it was. It was intense was news defense being played there was you could see that it was important to them they're making plays offensively. And who's really been. Really enjoyable of pleasantly surprised well at silver kind of floated the idea pave maybe you know he's he's he's want to think a little progressively slow the idea maybe we received the playoffs are more east west and the LeBron said yesterday he's not a big fan of this we would you we think about that is a possibility here just so let me floater right now you know you we all have to adapt to change change is inevitable but I guy I do like history and you know there's been. Through the years some others give an example for a personal experience so. I was with San Antonio the first first in my work for in the NBA and we are in the number one seed. And we played the damn Dallas Mavericks they're the second seed we played in the second round and after that season they changed the rules. Two the first since second seed no matter if they're in the division or not they would they would meet in the western or Eastern Conference finals yet so there is a rule change there too. Not allow that to happen what happened to us. And I don't know if it if we would have been it's just not the same. To me there's rivalries. There is you don't always see the best two teams. In the finals you know leg of everybody says that Houston and Golden State are the best two teams and that's who they wanna see in the finals. I'd rather see in the Western Conference finals if say they they're the best team in the west there there in the west they should be in the west that's. Pastor bill upset when that's not Big Ten vs pac ten and Rose Bowl you know like so the change this now. Maybe it's for the greater good you'd have to give me thought out plan but I like these first west and the battles that. In other rivalries that are created throughout the playoffs we go toward its assistant Steve had so get ready for tip off tonight we got pre game at 630 Europe FNC. Tip off at seven against the nets and you start to look pretty good right now meant. Hey we gotta gotta run at a piece of the Big Ten chips have now we will just try to keep going for that that out right.