Posted by: Ben White on November 29th, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
I had a great coach in Junior Jazz. To this day, I can still hear him whenever I am playing and a shot goes up.
He taught us through the years that you cannot win games if you don’t rebound. You have to get the ball.
The two best rebounders that I have ever seen were short. Dennis Rodman stood at 6’7” while Charles Barkley was listed at 6’6”. (Barkley, by most accounts, was actually 6’4” or 6’5”).
How did they do it, when they were going up against guys half a foot taller? Well, they both had “quick ups”; they could get off their feet quickly. But what really set them apart is that they WANTED the ball more than the other guy. They wanted it; and they went out and got it.
The Jazz are starting to take a lesson from these guys.
Against the Lakers on Friday night, the Jazz found a way to win the rebounding battle. Despite going up against Pau Gasol (listed at 7 feet tall, I have stood next to him and would say that 7’2 is probably more accurate.) and Lamar Odom 6’11”, Utah’s Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, and Andrei Kirilenko were able to hold their own. Not allowing second chance points was huge and will continue to be huge as this Jazz team continues on this year.
But then they regressed on Sunday against the Clippers in LA. Deron was all alone at the top of the rebounding list with…………5. Yep. The Jazz leading rebounder was the point guard whose rebound total fits comfortably on one hand.
That works against the Clippers, it won’t cut it against real teams.
It’s about desire; you have to want it. As soon as the Jazz learn to do that, they will be very hard to beat.
IN THE LOCKER ROOM:
Each player has their preferences on how they like to be interviewed. Some don’t mind talking anytime. Some like to be dressed before they are approached.
One of the latter is Memo.
During a game where Memo had shot the lights out and had been a big factor; we swarmed around him as he finished buttoning up his shirt. He stood up and stared at us for a moment with a smile.
The first person began
“Memo, what was the key to…”
The question never finished. Memo had put up his hand to stop the question.
“Hold on a minute.” he said, pausing, frozen with his hand in the air.
“5…….4………3…………2………..1, ok you may continue now.” with a smile on his face.
The question finished and the interview continued. It was a strange “Okur”ance, but as always, its nice to know that these guys have a pretty good sense of humor.
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