12/2/09 – Worthy of minutes. Worthy of respect.
Freaknick: 18 minutes, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. All season highs. How does it feel to get a game like this under your belt? What do you need to do to build on that game and take the next step?
Sinan Guler: I sure needed a game like this. Although it was much an easier Euroleague game than the usual ones, for gaining some personal confidence, it was an important game for me. I think I did my best during the time I was on the court, and now it’s time to add more on this success. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in terms of minutes, or scoring, but I need to improve my input on the game when I am on the court so we can reach those most needed victories.
FN: When you’re out there, is it more about proving to the coaching staff that you’re capable of big things with big minutes? Or is it more about proving to yourself that you can make an impact on such a high level?
SG: This is a tough one, but I have to be honest. I think the more important part is to prove to myself and spectators that I can make such an impact on this level of basketball. There have been glimpses of it during the Eurobasket ’09, and I believe it boils down to the confidence I have on the court. If I am feeling comfortable that I am doing what I am supposed to do, and I have a chance to add more to this, then I believe it will catch the coaching staff’s attention a bit more. We talk a lot, especially with the Assistant Coaches Ufuk and Emir, and they constantly remind me to improve so I stay on the right track.
SG: Personally, I try to take the same approach to every game. Do whatever it takes to win. This idea had been growing on me since my college years in the States, but now playing in a high level club, it has been of the utmost importance to me. Even during practices, I am trying to work mentally and physically to improve my game to reach more wins. I believe the “Do whatever it takes” part comes from playing with players who put a lot of heart in the game, and try to take as much as I can from each one.
FN: There have been some rumors surrounding the possible trade of teammate Boki Nachbar. How does something like that affect your team’s chemistry on and off the court?
SG: It shouldn’t affect us that much I believe. Nachbar is a great player, and a great person also, and the rumor itself has been denied so far so I didn’t really dwell on the idea that much, and neither does the team.
FN: After getting three tough road games out of the way, what do you think your chances are of going 5-0 the rest of the way? What is the biggest thing your team needs to improve upon?
SG: It’s a great advantage to play 3 more home games in the future. Because we did have great atmosphere in the previous 2 games, and I think it will increase day by day, especially if we win this next game against Rytas. We were working very hard on the Euroleague break during the previous week, and we didn’t really stop since. We are settling down on our game philosophy, and I think the roles are fit in on the team, everybody knows what to do to stay on the court. So right now our only need is to improve that record we have and reach the Top 16 with confidence.