Friday, November 14, 2008

Nate McMillan pre-game vs. Hornets

What is your defensive preparation for this game?

"Very similar to the Miami game were we want to commit three guys to the pick and roll. We want to commit the guy on the ball, the four and the five to the pick and roll. We’ve got to stay tight and show a tight paint but we’ve also got to recover to the three-point shooters.

"Now the guy that will probably be open is should be open is West, who is capable of knocking down the two."

He’s had big games against you guys.

"Well, he and Paul are on a string together. But it’s very similar to Miami. Beasley was the guy that, if you’re trying to take away that paint and force them to pass around the perimeter, somebody is going to be left open. We would much rather those guys shoot the two ball than the three ball. So we don’t want to leave West open – definitely not Stojackovic, Peterson and Posey. We got to get out to those guys. But we want to try and shadow Paul, commit three guys to that."

West probably will get the 17-foot jumper.

"He may get the 17-foot shout with closeout. That’s what we’re looking at. Then we’ll make our adjustments as the game goes on if that starts to hurt us. Beasley knocked down some shots but for the most part I thought we did a pretty decent job of keeping Wade out of the paint. He got there in the second quarter, went crazy, but that’s going to be the gameplan tonight."

What are your thoughts on LaMarus Aldridge's offense. It seems like he's not clicking just yet.

"Well, we’re going to go to him. We want to go into the paint with him and establish that just like we did last year. Go to the paint early and see if we can get something inside. Teams are giving him different looks where they are fronting him, double-teaming, playing him straight up; they’re digging and bluffing. So he’s still adjusting to different looks that teams are giving him. But I want him to be the focus, both he and Brandon, with that first group. We’re going to play through those guys.

"He’s doing some good things. When he’s got it going, he has it going. I thought in the Minnesota game, where he had a bad first half, the second half he got his rhythm and we keep coming to him and he found his rhythm, which was good.

"What I would like to see him do a little more probably is face up and use his –because he can shoot the ball – shot as a threat. It’s OK to play with your back to the basket but he’s a serious threat when he’s facing that basket and I think he can drive a guy more from that position than fading away."

The play of the second unit has been great this season.

"They’ve been good. They’ve been very good and we’re going to need them to continue to be good. I thought last year when we had one group playing well, we didn’t win as much. But when we had both groups clicking, we were able to win some games. I think that’s an advantage for us, that the second group can come in and they really kind of have created their own identity as far as sets that we’re running and things that we’re doing. They’ve come in and just been a spark, either built a lead or gained the lead. We want them to be aggressive. We’ve got some aggressive players with that group. I think they are more of an up-tempo team than the first group so we want them to continue to attack."

Are you satisfied with your rotation?

"We’re still working on it. We’ve got some combinations that we can go with down the stretch and it’s like the one, two and the three. Do you finish with Travis at the three or do you go Rudy and Brandon at the three with Rudy and Blake at guards. What I’m doing is, OK what’s working? What has worked for us lately is Travis at the four with LaMarcus, Rudy, and Brandon. What I talk to the guys about is, you’ve got to allow us to coach and you take advantage of our combinations. We can put some different combinations out there, and it may not be the same guy every night, be ready"

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