Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce spoke to the media via Zoom Wednesday afternoon to discuss what exactly he hopes the team will get out of the mini-camp workouts set up by the NBA for teams who did not quality for the 22-team Orlando bubble. Hawks center Clint Capela also spoke to media via Zoom following Pierce’s availability.
Pierce noted that there weren’t a ton of specific basketball goals set for the team, as in such a short period of time, it would be a challenge to run down a checklist of things to try to accomplish. He was instead more focused on connection for the 15 players involved.
“Competition, commitment, and care,” was the trio of focus outlined by Pierce today. “We want to compete. I don’t care what we do, if it’s one-on-one, if’s a shooting competition. I want our guys to compete.”
Pierce continued outlining his vision for the Hawks’ camp bubble.
“The commitment side is really just about us working on some different things,” Pierce continued. “You can talk your way through it, that commitment to each other is a main focus for us in these two weeks.”
“The care part, Travis [Schlenk] talked about bonding as a team. When you bond you get to know each other...we have to connect. Having Clint here is extremely important from a connection standpoint, forget the basketball. We get to know what he’s like on the court, we get to hear his voice and we get to spend some time with him off the court.”
As far as Capela’s health, Pierce said, “he’s been working for a long time... we’ve seen Clint here in the individual workouts. He’s in good shape. He’s been moving well for a few weeks now.”
Capela spoke to his health as well as how he sees himself fitting in with the club.
“I have no limitations,” said Capela. “I have been coming in [Mondays to Fridays or Thursdays] to work on regaining the strength in my leg, as well as my heel, along with the individual workouts.”
As far as being vocal with a new team, Capela said “If I feel like I have to say something I’m going to say it. Obviously on the court I’m going to talk, especially defensively. Just trying to be myself, whatever I can bring for the good of the team.”
On his goals for the mini-camp, Capela said he wants to get to know his teammates better on and off the court.
“That bonding, do stuff together, get closer... get to know each other better,” said Capela. “It will definitely happen on the court. This is what you want with your teammates, you want to get close enough to be like brothers so whenever we’re on the court we’re able to give everything for each other and care more for each other, that’s the goal here.”
The Hawks will have more Zoom press conferences over the course of the mini-camp, stay tuned for more updates and insights into how the Hawks are growing together in this unprecedented practice/camp setting.