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Transcript: Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry media availability – July 11, 2020

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Alvin Gentry Media Availability – July 11, 2020

On getting acclimated to the Orlando campus:
“We finally got out of our rooms yesterday. We just kind of explored a little bit and went around and walked around a little bit. We’re still in a very confined area, so we can’t move around that much. But we were able to get out of the rooms and we’re on a nice property, so just to be able to get out and walk along the water and things like that was much better than being able to be cooped up in the room for 48 hours.”

On how the team is getting the most out of these practices with a short window before the start of games:
“Well the one thing that we have to understand is that we can’t go overboard. We have to still really try to spread this work out that we have to do. From a conditioning standpoint, we try to do a little bit every day. But the execution becomes really important as to what we’re doing…obviously our defensive rotations and how we’re going to do that. It really looks like a short time on paper, but we’ll have enough time to get our guys ready. The thing that I think was good is that most of our guys came back (and) had been doing some work anyway, so it wasn’t like they’ve been sitting out the whole time and not doing any work at all.”

On the team’s chemistry in March and how he hopes to pick that up again four months later:
“I think the one thing we have going for us is that our guys genuinely like each other. We have a pretty unselfish group of guys. They understand where the shots come, who shoots the shots, the execution of our offense, the defense. We have pretty defined roles. We had very defined roles at the time (play stopped in March), so I think that’s going to be easy to get back into that situation. Basically what we have to do is that – as far as the timing and things like that – the more practices that we have, I think you’ll see that come together also.”

On establishing a routine for the players off the court:
“Our guys have pretty much freedom. As I said, there’s not a lot to do right now. But as we’re here, they’ve got a lot of things scheduled from the standpoint of entertaining the guys and being away from the hotel. The NBA has done a good job of establishing – I know they’ve got a players room here that has a lot of things and a lot of activities that go on in there. There’s golf, there’s other things here that the players are going to be able to do. So it’s really going to be up to the individual, but there’s enough things here to entertain the guys.”

On having everybody on the team back and if that continuity will be an advantage:
“As far as the chemistry of our team and (if) it gives us an advantage, I think there are a lot of teams here that have pretty good chemistry and were playing well. We happened to be playing well when the season was put on hiatus, but I also thing that our guys in particular feel like we’re going to pick up where we left off. We didn’t use the word ‘training camp’ at all when we came down here. We basically said we’re going to resume where we were when this thing stopped, and that’s going to be to pick up where we were playing and play well.”

On how important it is for the team to pick up where they left off and continue to make strides on the defensive end:
“Well I think one of the things that happened is we got (Derrick Favors) healthy. When Derrick Favors is healthy and he’s on the floor, we are an elite defensive team by stats. So him being healthy really helped. I think our guys really picked up the concept. We changed a couple of things, defensively, that we were doing that I think really helped the guys from a rotation standpoint and understanding exactly what we wanted. I think the main thing that we did is that we did a much better job of containing the basketball, not allowing paint dribbles. I think when you can do that, you force outside shots and challenge outside shots obviously a lot better than having guys in the paint and trying to score…because one of two things is going to happen: you’re going to give up baskets or you’re going to get your bigs in foul trouble. So we tried to do a much better job with that and I think our guys got better in those area in particular.”

On if defensive communication will be easier with no fans in the stands:
“I think it’s going to be interesting to see. I’m not real sure. We had a run-through on a Zoom call and what we are going to have is a lot of virtual fans, believe it or not. I think it will help the environment in the arena as far as the players and them feeling more comfortable playing without real fans in the stands. I also think the communication part obviously is going to be a lot easier because we’re not going to have the twenty thousand fans in the stands, so we’ll see how that works. But it’s going to be all new to everyone, so we’ll just have to see.”

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