Transcript of an interview with Jazz guard Deron Williams on Thursday night following Utah's 100-89 road loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Whether the team faces a major challenge in dealing with injuries, and the theory that championship-caliber clubs are eventually able to overcome them:
Yeah. We're dealing with some injuries and that happens. I'm used to that. We've had some injury-plagued seasons the last couple years, and we're able to battle through it and fight through it. Portland has just played us well twice. They played better than us. They played harder than us.
The Jazz had an impressive comeback road win Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers, but the defeat to the Blazers is a reminder that Utah has to improve its consistency and ability to play a full 48 minutes, since the Jazz are not a superpower-type team:
Yeah. We can't keep getting down early. We're going to burn out. It's hard to come back every night. It takes a toll on your body. It takes a toll on you mentally. I don't know what it is, but we have to do something else.
How his body is holding up:
I'm good. Frustrated, but I'm good.
Where the frustration is coming from:
Well, I've only felt we've played good in a couple stretches. Really the first road trip, we got lucky. We could easily have a lot worse record than we do right now. We got lucky. Everything might look good because of our record but — it's not time to panic, but we have to play better.
Chemistry and teamwork have improved, so is execution the main problem:
I think that's a big problem. I think you look at all the games where we've had success, we play well offensively. The defense has been pretty solid all year. We've had some bad games and we've had some games where we didn't play well enough defensively, but we've let our offense dictate a lapse on defense. I've said it all season: When we come out and have under 22 assists, we're not successful. It's not Jazz basketball. That's execution. We're not screening, we're not running the floor, we're not gelling.
The Jazz's on-the-court communication:
It's something that's going to take longer than we thought, you know? Everything wasn't great my first year here, when we had some new guys, and it took us a while. That second year we came out and we just [played]. It's something that's going to take a little more time than we thought. Hopefully we can get it going sooner than later.
— Brian T. Smith
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