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Ups and Downs of an NBA season

Your team has recently been in a slump (7 game losing streak) but you’ve managed to win 2 of the last games. Do you think the team is over the hump?
Hopefully we are over the hump, we play 4 playoff bound teams to finish the season so it will really test us but we need to continue to improve and find some good rhythm and momentum going into playoffs.

You recently haven’t been receiving playing time. What do you do in moments like that, how do you keep your focus and what do you do to overcome adversity?
It’s very difficult, I never received a DNP in my 23 yrs of basketball and only missed a handful due to injury so it’s tough but when I came from Europe taking a lesser role was something I knew. Also some struggles in my rookie year were expected but I just stay positive, support my teammates and try to get better every day.

Do you feel that the bad moments build character even more than the good ones or do you feel they are equal?
I feel they are equal, in pro sports you can never get too high or low. You have to stay balanced. It’s tougher at the lows because you’re under a bigger microscope and people on the outside looking in don’t understand the half of what goes on.

What do you have to change personally and what does your team have to do in order to get better and stay at the top of Eastern Conference?
We just need to play unselfish, get back to being tough on defense and limit turnovers. If we do that we can beat anybody in my opinion. While also being healthy.

At this point you would be paired up vs. Toronto Raptors without the home court advantage. If they would be your actual opponent in the first round, what advantages do you feel your team has over them?
I feel we are confident playing them. We beat them a few times and while they are a tough team I think this is a road series we could steal.

What are your plans for the summer? What do you want to work on and how will you rest after this first season in the NBA?
I can’t wait for the off season. I was to vacation and spend time with the family, but this is the first summer I’ll be able to grind and get better for a full summer. I need to get back to being myself and show everybody my real game. Time to show what got me here, so I’m looking forward to working on my craft.

Recently your brother managed to come to your game. How did it feel for both you and him?
It was great, this was something that’s been mentally draining on me since the incident happened. Him not being there with me doesn’t make it fun so it’s been tough but he’s been to 2/3 of our last games so it’s been a positive for me while not really playing.

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