BENEDICT: I play as much as I can on the floor. I’m a defensive player with a mean streak. My style of play is a little different than the guys [in Europe]. I want to see [my teammates’] energy. There are many people like myself on the team.
When I’m on the floor I’m not just playing for myself. It’s about the team too.
KHAYKAR: The thing that has been interesting is that, when I first arrived here, a lot of people who had come from Europe had a different approach than the guys who had been here a longer period. The guys who were coming here had been here for two, three or more years. I have been here 10 months. There is such a big difference in approach. A lot of those guys who come here have become part of the identity of the team, so it has been very interesting. But when you get to know the guy, some guys have very different ideas. You can tell from their actions.
What is the difference between the two different styles of playing?
BENEDICT: For me, it’s always about being physical. It’s about trying to win the game by myself. If I’m on defense, I try to bring a physical presence to the game if I see a guy get physical. When I go to the box, sometimes I have the ball in my hands. So if I see a guy shooting and I’m sitting in the corner or getting open, I just try to put pressure on him and make it tough on him. And if it doesn’t work, I try to go back to doing what my team is doing. Sometimes [in Europe] the mentality is like this: ‘if the guy hits the ball, get the rebound.’ I understand why that’s the mentality. We all want to win the game, but in the NBA, we have 10 guys down there. The players are only on the court for 5 seconds. So if that guy hits a shot, that ball gets to you and you try to get it. To me, it’s just physical. On our side, if he shoots, I have to go get it regardless of who I know is guarding me. On the basketball court, the way I approach it is that I’m going to play that physical way.
KHAYKAR: When I first came to the NBA, I had never played against this style. It’s so different.
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