They relied heavily on Jackson to dribble and prod, often in succession several times after, until he found an open teammate or an open shot. Now he sits sidelined, at least for another month, maybe another six weeks, recovering from plasma therapy to treat lingering tendinitis in his left knee, leaving Detroit to diversify some. “We’ve tried to do a little bit of that in the preseason,” Van Gundy said. “Still run our 1-5 pick-and-rolls, and obviously get the ball to our centers down low some. Running a lot of stuff for our forwards, them in pick-and-rolls, them isolating and posting. Trying to run some catch-and-shoots, running KCP and Reggie Bullock off screens.”
Jason Jones: Ty Lawson said Joerger has told him to expect to play 30-40 minutes a night in the first eight games w/ Collison out.
Thibodeau swears he didn’t need the dual roles, though given the public friction between Thibodeau and Bulls management during his tenure in Chicago from 2010-15, it’s understandable that he might want it. “It wasn’t an absolute,” Thibodeau told The Vertical. “The biggest thing for me was alignment. Not that you have to agree on everything. When you put competitive people together, there are going to be disagreements. But once a decision is made, you have to be aligned. There has to be a belief system. [Boston’s] Danny [Ainge] and Doc [Rivers, who coached the Celtics from 2004-13], they were very much together. Danny was very inclusive. Danny talked to me every day. I learned a lot from that. And I have that here.”
“But the biggest thing was seeing how much all the organizations have grown. Staffs used to be about 10 people. Now it’s 40-50. There’s analytics, sports science, interns, strength and conditioning. Managing all these people. Understanding all the technology. Watching how some organizations utilize that information. The biggest thing was creating a real positive synergy to your building.” One camp Thibodeau visited was Charlotte. “He was more telling me do this better, do that better,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said, laughing. “We have that kind of relationship. Playing groups, drills, he would say, ‘I would do this, I wouldn’t do this.’ He studies. He just gets better. He was a great coach anyway. He’s a better coach now.”