SALT LAKE CITY -- Think before you speak.
Speak before you think.
Earlier this week, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he wants his guys to improve their communication skills on the defensive end of the floor. On Thursday, he also expressed concern Jazz players were "thinking" and not playing as instinctively as he'd like.
Is there a conflict here? No, said the third-year coach.
Essentially, it boils down to offense and defense.
"Offensively, you have places to be," said Corbin, whose team will play host Oklahoma City tonight at EnergySolutions Arena. "Defensively, you're reacting to what's being played."
The Jazz are still in the early stages of their preseason schedule and a week removed from training camp. With three new veteran players on the roster, the team is going through an adjustment period, which Corbin said is to be expected.
"It'll come," he said. "It's a lot of stuff to throw at guys at one time, in a short amount of time. But you want to get it in and now you work your way through it."
Defensively, Corbin asks his players to speak up and let their teammates know which way to funnel the opposing offense. They're required to call out where they are on the floor, where additional help is coming from and when to switch assignments.
When it comes to offense, the Jazz run a series of sets with various plays that run off each set. For each play, players are expected to occupy specific spots on the floor.
This, of course, is nothing new. Most sports teams run plays. However, Corbin is concerned his players are getting bogged down trying to "think their way through" each play.
Specifically, he mentioned times when the Jazz get a defensive rebound and start the fastbreak. Corbin and his coaches teach players their first priority is to run to the basket. If the quick scoring opportunity breaks down, then set up for a play.
"Initially, when we get the ball we may call a play, but the first thought in any transition is to run for layups," Corbin said. "(The concern is) you call the play and they're thinking about the play and not thinking about the layup first. It slows them down from running the lane real quick."
Jazz point guard Mo Williams, a new offseason acquisition, said he shares Corbin's concerns about communication and instinctual play.
"Communication is obviously on the defensive (end)," he said. "(On offense, it's about) just playing. You're playing off each other and you know where to go instead of saying 'OK, where to I need to go, what do I need to do.' In that split second in this game, man, it'll eat you alive. You're playing against the best players in the world."