Steve Clifford: Rod And Rich Work Every Day To Improve Our Roster
Fresh of a 3-1 west coast road trip, Bobcats head coach, Steve Clifford joined the Mac Attack to discuss the recent success, the impact of Al Jefferson, the possibility of a trade, Spurs film, the dying breed of the center, winning with defense, and MKG being ‘elite’.
On the road trip: It was really good for our team. We’ve been a good road team and we’ve had chances on the road a couple of times, in Miami, Dallas, and Indiana to win against upper echelon opponents and we came up short. Even though Ty Lawson didn’t play, Denver is a very difficult place to play, to finish the game in LA against the Lakers the way we did and the Golden State win was our best road win of the season. I think it’s good for our confidence.
On his team’s improvement: I like that we’re more balanced. Our offense is improving and ever since we got Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back our defense is getting back to where it was at the beginning of the year.
On being surprised at the overall impact of Al Jefferson: I am, because the old coaching cliche is ‘You never know a player until you coach him.’ The one thing I did know was he’s very team oriented and he’s taking his responsibility of helping our team get better, very seriously. The last two or three summers, he’s gone to Santa Barbara in the summer to work out. He rents a place out there through September. I called him in August and said I’m trying to get all the guys to come in during September for optional workouts and it would make a big difference if would come. All he said was, ‘What day do you need me there?’ ‘I’ll be there.’
On the possibility of a trade: I can’t confirm that we’re definitely going to make a deal, but Rod and Rich work every day to try to find ways to improve our roster. It’s been quiet so far for all teams, but most years, as you get closer to the trade deadline that’s when something’s more likely to happen. In this league that’s the best way to do business. No matter how good you are, you always want to look for ways to get better. We have some good young, developing players, so we’re not only looking at this year, but also future years as well.