Coaches list priorities as build-up to 2020-21 NBA season begins | More sports News – Times of India

CHANDIGARH: From a first-time bubble to a maiden 72-game season, NBA teams are gearing up to the new normal. But Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers’ new head coach was as honest as he could be about the upcoming season.
“I’m very concerned if we can pull this off. If we miss three or four players, we’re in trouble, especially with the amount of games, we’re playing 3-4 games a week,” said Rivers.
“So if one of our guys or two of our key guys get the virus and they miss 10 days to 14 days, that can be eight games. In a 72-game season that can knock you out of the playoffs,” he added.
Rivers said going into this season, one of the chief concerns for almost every coach is probably non-basketball. But Steve Kerr is busy finding ways to fill a hole of the size of Klay Thompson.
“There’s a hole in our hearts, just because he’s such a huge part of who we are,” Kerr said.
“And (Thompson, Curry and Green) really are the core of this whole thing – what’s been built here over the last seven or eight years. That part is gonna be really tough for Steph and Draymond to get past. It’ll be hard for all of us to get past, but we have no choice but to do so.”
For Dallas MavericksRick Carlisle raising defensive levels is the top priority. “When you’re a galactically successful offensive team but a below-average defensive team, that’s not a recipe that’s going to win you an NBA title,” pointed Carlisle “You can never have enough toughness on a team, particularly with the way the Western Conference is shaping up. Big emphasis this season will be getting better defensively, not just with the new additions but also from a mentality perspective.”
Even first-time head coach Steve Nash echoes Carlisle’s point. “We realize that we’re trying to compete for a championship, and we have to be excellent defensively,” Nash said.

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