I woke up early Monday before our game against the Lakers and had breakfast. Then I went and got treatment, stretched and the next thing I knew it was time for lunch. The day was kind of stretched out a little longer than the other days so I had a little more time to myself. That time helps calm me a little, but I’m thinking about the game the whole day. I’m always excited to get out there and get another chance.
It makes things harder when you’re not winning. Everything is easier when you’re winning.
The good thing is we’re all staying positive. We’re still trying to figure each other out and figure things out on the court. That especially goes for me. Being new to this I just get so amped up, it kind of hurts me a little bit out there. The main thing I want to focus on in the next few games is calming down a little bit.
It’s funny because in the past I’ve always played patient and calm, but at this level you just want to get in there and show what you can do. I want to show the coaches that I have a lot of energy and try to make sure I’m going after everything. The coaches talk about slowing down just a hair.
Another thing they have emphasized is communication. Talking on defense is always something I’ve done naturally. In college I was the guy who was communicating all the time and I think a lot of it transfers over. I’ve still got to get better at it, but I think I’ve shown I’m willing to do the little things the coaches asking of us.
Even though we’re in Vegas, I tend to go back to my room after games. I said it before, but the Clippers are really good about getting us treatment that we need. I try to make sure I’m taking care of my body and staying in the training room and make sure I’m getting rest. That way I’m fresh when my number’s called to get out there.
The biggest challenge here so far has been myself, mentally. I have a tendency to get down on myself when I make mistakes and it’s a big stage and we’re all looking for a big job so I tend to get down when I make a couple mistakes. That’s one of the things Coach Lue talked about after the last game. He said stay positive and focus on the things that can help us win.
We have practice early Tuesday morning so we’ll get in there and get the kinks worked out and get back on the winning track here.
Day one was fun. Everything’s new and you don’t really know what to expect. You’ve just got to kind of lean on some of the veterans and follow them around. That’s kind of what I did on Friday. I don’t really have a routine and some of these guys, the veterans, already have routines that they like to do. I just try to pick up little things as I go. I think when you get more comfortable everything becomes more routine. That will help me.
When I got up I ordered room service for breakfast, ate it and stretched a little bit. Then we had to go meet in the training room that they have there. You get treatment there and other stuff that you need, pick up your gear, head to the bus and ride over to the game.
After we got off the bus we had to take an elevator up to the gym, so I was just running through all the plays. We put in a lot of stuff and I don’t want to be that guy who messes up. I like to walk through everything myself, even after the team does walkthroughs. I just try to get dialed in and visualize some things.
It was fun to finally step on the court. I had butterflies and was able to get the jitters out once I got out there. Shots weren’t really falling, but I felt like I was playing really well defensively, so they left me in there. There’s always something you can do to help your team. I tried to go after every rebound and made sure I gave my best effort defensively.
After the game I talked to a couple of different people in the media. Some of them were local newspapers from back home in Utah and others were from here. Once that was done, I got iced, got on the bus and went back.
We had a dinner at night with Clippers season ticket holders. It was fun to be able to meet new people and everything. It was a lot of fun. They were all very complementary of my game and everything. It was a good way to end the first day.