Kyle Lowry spoke with media after completing his end-of-season physical on Tuesday. Here’s a quick look at some of what he had to say.
(There’s plenty of analysis coming in the coming days and weeks, it’s just easier on a day like today to cover everything lightly and dig in deeper later on. Masai Ujiri and [maybe] Dwane Casey will speak at a later date.)
On this hurting, and what the regular season success means:
“It does feel a lot different because we feel we could possibly make the the NBA Finals, that was our goal. That’s always been a real goal for us, that’s the only things that matters.
I think we won 59 games, got the one seed — it doesn’t matter. The regular season doesn’t matter. Whatever happens you’ve got to be ready for this time, this year, the physical strength. That’s what’s important.
Yup. For me it was championship or bust, that’s what I feel, that’s what I always feel, so a wasted year for me.”
On his workload reduction helping:
“That’s the frustrating part: I feel as good as I’ve ever felt. I feel like I have another two, three months of play. Mental freshness, my body feels great, I was able to just keep going. That’s what it’s a little bit frustrating for me because it was a great year in the sense of minutes down, less usage and all of that. I felt like I had a lot more to give. That’s why it’s frustrating to go out this way.”
On the culture reset, and how it needs to apply in playoffs:
“It helped. I think you’ve got to be able to change styles somewhat. We played good basketball with the style we played. It helps us get very far in the regular season, to the second round. But things teams did defensive scheme wise were different and kind of took a little of the ball movement away. We’ve got to figure out how to change this or do that differently.”
On Dwane Casey:
“For me, coach, we’ve had our trials and tribulations. I wouldn’t ever be what I’ve become without him as my coach. I always believe in him. I believe he’s one of the best coaches out there. He’s one of the best coaches I’ve had. At the end of the day, he’s still my coach. That’s what it is right now.”
On how to foster belief for 2018-19:
“There’s a lot of things that maybe you can go back: More pace, more shots, less turnovers. More aggressiveness, getting to the basket. A lot of things can be said to be done differently. You can say this, you can say that. But it doesn’t really matter. You know what I mean? I think the most important thing that I felt for me personally, for our team, was the physicality and toughness and making them uncomfortable, which they were…I think we can definitely install it, and work on it all year. You look at Memphis from years ago, the grit and grind, those guys just every game, they added a couple pieces but everyone was tough like that. That team got toughness, or instilled toughness.
The belief comes from yourself and everyone in your team, your organization. I mean, every day, it’s coming in and believing in, I need you to do this, I need you to do that, we got to do this. It’s always about yourself and your organization and your team. You give yourself that belief. You don’t need a belief from the outside. You need a belief from withinside.”