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Transcript: Pelicans guard Josh Hart media availability - July 31, 2020
On the defensive takeaways from last night's game against Utah:
"It was a good defensive outing. I think it could have been better, just finishing possessions with rebounds. I think they had 13-plus offensive rebounds that we probably could have been a little bit better. But [the] first seeding game, I think we did well defensively, and we’ve just got to take that momentum on the defensive end into the game tomorrow."
On how difficult it is to get into a rhythm not having the regular rotations available:
"It's definitely unfortunate, but for him (Zion Williamson), he's a once in a generation type player, so we’ve got to definitely look at the long-term for him. We’ve just got to go out there and hoop. Whether he has three minutes, five minutes a quarter, whatever it is, we’ve got to go out there and just hoop when he's out there, use him to our advantage, and then when he doesn't [play], you have guys that are fully capable of stepping up and filling that void that's left when he's not out there. Yesterday was a little bit of a challenge, but we know what it is moving forward, and we’ve just got to make the best out of it. Guys are going to have to step up and play bigger roles until he's fully available to be out there without any restrictions, and I think we are very capable of doing that."
On the pace of play slowing down in the 4th quarter in last night's game and how long will it take to get back to the Pelicans back to their normal rhythm:
"Part of it was definitely just kind of playing a full game. Obviously, [in the] scrimmages, we weren't [playing a full game], and we haven't done it for four months, so I think part of it was definitely kind of getting used to playing a full game again. The clock is ticking, so we can't make any more excuses. We [have] to just go and make things happen, especially in the fourth quarter, pushing the pace. That's what we do well, and that's what we’ve got to do. There's no time for us to be like, 'alright, we got to kind of slowly get back into it.' We're not the third, fourth, or fifth seed in the [Western Conference] and be able to just kind of slowly ramp up. We’ve got to hit the ground running, and we’ve got seven more games to get into the playoffs."
On playing the next seven seeding games knowing there is no margin for error:
"We dug our own grave in that sense. I mean, we didn't start the season off well. We had a 13-game losing streak, and if we won five of those games, we would be in control of the eighth seed right now. It is what it is, and we know that. We know there's no excuses. We’ve got to go out there and just hoop no matter what. Teams have the same problem that we have, in that all these other teams haven't been playing for the last four months. Even their main guys haven't been playing 30, 35-plus minutes, so we're all in the same boat, [and] there's no room for excuses. We’ve just got to go out there, play our game, and we have to want it more than these other teams. We're fighting for something that we really want, and if we really want it, we have to go out there and do it and not make any excuses."