Q&A with Mark Jackson -- Part 1

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Q&A with Mark Jackson -- Part 1

Editor's Note: Check back with the Warriors Talk Blog on Friday for Part 2 of Mark Jackson's interview.Mark Jackson sat down with some media members on Wednesday for question-and-answer session. Even though Jackson couldnt talk about current NBA players, the lockout or the lockouts impact, that didnt stop him from touching on several subjects.Heres the transcript:Question: Are you a long practice guy, short and crisp practice guy, or totally open to anything when were talking about practice?Mark Jackson: Theres no need to waste time and be over there just to say we got in three hard hours. No. Were going to be precise. Well have a purpose to it. It depends on how the guys are. If youre efficient and put quality work in, we can move on.
But ultimately its a long season, we will go over this stuff, go over it in detail and well be out of here. Im not a guy who wants to keep players here three or four hours just to say were here.Question: Will your assistant coaches have specific roles such as one person who is the big man coach and another who would work primarily with the guards?
Mark Jackson: Im not a guy who is going to put any one of these coaches in a box. The reason why I hired them is because I believe each one of them can and will be a head coach in this league. It would be unfair to any of them to say, well hes a defensive guy. I get a chuckle out of reading Michael Malone is my defensive guy. Hes not my defensive guy.Im going to be the head coach, Im going to be the defensive and offensive guy, Im going to be the rules guy, Im going to be the leader, but every one of those coaches will have roles within this coaching staff on both sides of the basketball.It would be unfair to any of them to say hes a big man coach or defensive coach or offensive coach. Im going to encourage all of them to be a complete coach.Question: So, theoretically, if you break the teams up into bigs and smalls, you could have one coach working with the bigs one day and then that same coach would be working with the smalls the next day?Mark Jackson: That could happen. That could happen. ... All of these coaches will be coaching both sides and every position.Question: How much are you into film work?Mark Jackson: Ive played for coaches who have used it above and beyond, and even out of control. Im a guy who will use it to show examples of what were preaching and whats getting done and also whats not getting done. Youre not going to see bags under my eyes because Ive watched film all night long.Are were going to be dragging out of a two-hour film session? No. We will use it too make a point of emphasis and then we will move on. Ive played for coaches where youre like, Another day of film? Cmon. Lets go.I think you go out on the floor and begin to talk about what needs to be corrected.Question: Did you actually have to create a playbook?Mark Jackson: Yeah. Yeah. When I was interviewed, I not only talked about what I was able to do but I also brought in stuff I had prepared during the course of my career: Plays that I liked, defensive concepts that I liked. So I was already ready. I had stuff. I also (kept) stuff that they ran in the past here that was very effective.Theres no need in me trying to re-invent the wheel if they did something very well and they were obviously very comfortable with certain calls. There are probably two or three things I kept within that playbook that they ran last year. Its a totally new playbook. It has my DNA all over it. And then depending on what we look like as a team, well make proper adjustments, either adding or subtracting.Question: One of the things weve heard about the Warriors having their own D-League team (Dakota Wizards) is that you can try things down there, see if they work, and then try them at the NBA level maybe an inbounds play?Mark Jackson: No. I mean, it sounds nice and probably great material to write about, but the truth of the matter is if youre Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich, Phil Jackson, no matter who you are, youre trying something every night. I can remember calling Nets games and Kiki Vandeweghe - and I didnt agree with this -- the Nets had some sort of lottery where a fan could design a play.And the winning fan actually designed the play which Kiki Vandeweghe ran in the game. Thats not going to happen. I mean, thats overboard. But youre not far removed from that. I could sit here and draw up something and say lets try that later. Or I could go into practice and say Cmon over here, you five guys, were going to try this against a defense. That happens every single night during the course of a season.Question: How much have you been on the phone with (assistant coach) Mike Malone?Mark Jackson: Ive pretty much been on the phone with all of my guys, quite frequently and often. Mike has done an outstanding job from Day 1. When we went to visit the guys (Monta Ellis, David Lee and Stephen Curry before the lockout) putting things together (with this weeks coaching gathering). Hes been outstanding.But all the (assistant coaches) to make sure everybody has a good grasp of what were doing on both sides of the ball, make sure that were complete as a staff and make sure everybody understands it.

Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant, Thunder Stopper? With a second consecutive magnificent performance in decisive wins over his former Oklahoma City teammates, Durant may be adding a nickname.

Durant on Wednesday night posted his first 40-point game as a Warrior, carrying them to a 121-100 win over the Thunder at Oracle Arena.

He has scored 79 points in two games against OKC, taking only 40 shots to ring up such an impressive total. He was 13-of-16 Wednesday night and 15-of-24 in scoring 39 points in a 122-96 win on Nov. 3 at Oracle.

Though Durant downplayed his production, his coach and teammates were not surprised he has been so good against the team with which he spent nine seasons.

“It’s still kind of fresh, but we can’t deny the history of him with OKC,” Stephen Curry said.

“Every player in the NBA wants to play well against his old team,” coach Steve Kerr said. “For most guys, you feel that extra juice when you play against a team that you played on.”

Durant not only finished with a season-high point total but also added a team-best 12 rebounds, along with four assists and three blocks. He practically stamped his signature on the game.

“My teammates are doing a good job of freeing me up,” said Durant, who drilled 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. “I put the work in and prepared myself for every game. I just happened to knock them down.”

It’s not just that Durant was facing his former team, though. He was, once again, on opposite sides from longtime teammate and erstwhile friend Russell Westbrook. The two have not had much to say to each other since Durant’s decision last July to leave OKC and sign with the Warriors.

Little changed Wednesday night, though the two had a brief exchange in the second half, as Durant headed to the line to shoot a pair of free throws.

Asked if the two have talked, Westbrook said, “Nah,” despite the brief dialogue.

Durant carefully avoided saying anything remotely inflammatory about Westbrook or any of his former teammates.

“It’s good to see everybody,” he said. “Once the ball is tipped, you’re just playing. You’re just hooping. It’s as simple as that. But it’s definitely good to see everybody.”

Durant’s lone lowlight came when he blew a dunk with 1:45 left in the first half, taking flight about 10 feet from the basket and slamming the ball off the back of the rim and nearly to halfcourt.

“I thought I made it,” Durant said, “and then I heard the crowd.

“I was kind of upset. I tried to dunk it too hard, I think. I might have jumped from a little too far out. As I was close to the rim, I felt myself coming down a little earlier than usual.

“But, yeah, I should have made that one. That would have brought the crowd to its feet. But, hopefully, I’ll get another opportunity.”

The crowd was on its feet plenty, as was the case during Durant’s previous display against OKC. The Thunder won’t be back to Oakland this season.

Durant will have another chance to go after his former team and burnish his credentials as a Thunder Stopper when the teams meet on Feb. 11 in Oklahoma City.

 

Westbrook on Pachulia's flagrant foul: 'I'm going to get his ass back'

Westbrook on Pachulia's flagrant foul: 'I'm going to get his ass back'

Late in the first half of Wednesday's game between the Warriors and Thunder, Russell Westbrook collided with Zaza Pachulia.

Pachulia appeared to hit Westbrook in the face. The Thunder guard hit the floor and rolled around for a few seconds before bouncing back up.

The officials reviewed the play and assessed a flagrant foul on Pachulia.

After the game, Westbrook was asked about his vantage point on the play and he didn't hold back.

"I don't know. He me kind of hard. But it's alright. I'm going to get his ass back. Straight up," Westbrook said.

He was then asked if he noticed Pachulai standing over him.

"I didn't see that until just now, but I don't play that game. I'm going to get his ass back. Whenever that is, I don't know, but I don't play that game," Westbrook said.

Westbrook's comments were brought to Pachulia after the game and the Warriors center offered this rebuttal.

"I can't worry about that kind of comment. I'm part of an amazing team and we have a great goal of winning a championship. I'm all in with my energy, 100 percent. So we're thinking about this team, staying healthy, moving forward, getting better, getting to the playoffs and playing for the championship. That's what I'm thinking about. I'm not thinking about those kind of comments. That team is not there, so they may be thinking about other stuff like getting me back. Okay, you can get me back. But again, it's my 14th year, we all know what my game is, to play hard, not dirty. If it was a hard foul, it was a hard foul. It wasn't dirty at all. I'm not worried about this," Pachulia told the media.

Westbrook will get that chance on February 11 when the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City.