Jordan Talbert is a 24 year old 198cm forward from Little Rock, Arkansas that is playing his second professional season with the Giants Nordlingen. He came to Germany as a rookie last season and played with the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games: 21.6ppg, 9.6rpg, 3.2apg, 2.0spg, Blocks-4(1.5bpg), FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 78.4%. He played his college career at Missouri SO(NCAA2) from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 11.7ppg, 7.4rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1spg, 1.7bpg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 70.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after the big 79-78 win against the BIS Baskets Speyer.
Jordan congrats on the huge 79-78 victory against the BIS Baskets Speyer. The Giants Nordlingen came into the game averaging 86 points per game in the last four. What has changed in the offensive approach and execution since the loss to Frankfurt where the club scored only 56 points?
I don’t think much has changed in our style of play. We’ve had some good shooting nights collectively as a team and our chemistry continues to grow going into the playoffs.
The Giants Nordlingen won their fifth game in a row and it´s no secret that head coach Mario Matic wasn´t happy with the outcome of the game against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors, but seriously did he give the team some special kind of words of wisdom after that loss that has been able to rub off on the team since?
No he didn’t. We put that loss behind us and focused on the next games ahead. I think it was a wake up call that we needed and it helped get us back on track.
The Giants Nordlingen had the comfortable 47-34 advantage at half time thanks to an offensive explosion with 35 points. Was that a display of just how lethal the Giants offense can be when they get going?
Yes, I think we’re able to put together great runs at any point in the game. Our focus right now should be how to maintain that intensity and not let up giving the opponent a chance to get back in the game.
However you were unable as team to carry the momentum into the third quarter as the BIS Baskets Speyer scored 23 points getting back into the game. What did Nordlingen get a way from doing that caused the comeback? I
I think our intensity just wasn’t there on the defensive end and we made careless mistakes on the offensive end. We let Woodmore get going and we didn’t have an answer for him in the 3rd quarter.
You won the game with free throws with 17 seconds. The last few minutes were dominated with making your free throws. How big did the free throw percentage actually play a role in the result as Nordlingen shot 75% and Speyer 64%?
Free throws are always a major factor in close games. We only won the game by 1 point so a few misses on our side or a few more makes on theirs and it’s an entirely different ending. Free throws is usually how you close out tough games.
BIS Baskets Speyer guard DJ Woodmore had one more chance, but missed. Was your heart pounding a little extra more simply because he had been on the whole night finishing with 29 points.
Yes I was definitely nervous for the last shot. He got a clean look at the basket and we were lucky it didn’t go in.
Obviously the win was thrilling for you, but overall how much do you enjoy a game like this where you are being challenged by a guy like DJ Woodmore who had a huge game with 29 points, or Khobi Williamson who had 15 points and 15 rebounds, but went home with the loss.
I definitely enjoy games like this. When players on the opposing team are playing at a high level it forces you to step up your game. With me being the ultimate competitor I’m more than willing to step up and meet the challenge.
How good is basketball life now? The self confidence continuing to grow with every additional win. Is this team slowly becoming invincible?
Basketball life is good. Most importantly it’s still fun. Yea our confidence is still growing but we’re far from being invincible. Our game against Speyer proved that. We still have things we can be better at, potential that has yet to be reached, and goal for the season that hasn’t been achieved yet.
Last week you were Eurobasket Pro B player of the week with 20 points and five boards in the win against Weissenhorn, but this weekend you were even better with 26 points, 13 boards and five assists and a second Eurobasket player of the week award should become reality. You have been good and consistent all season long, but do you see yourself having picked up your game a bit more in the last three games or is it more a compliment to your teammates who have supported you?
I think it’s been a little of both. I struggled a little bit early on in the season. The effort was there I just wasn’t playing my best basketball. Now that we’ve grown so much as a team we know each other games a lot more which has resulted in better play for all of us not just me.
You have had so much consistency in your game, but do you sometimes think more about what you have to do personally than you may like or do you go into every game thinking team and winning?
My focus coming into every game is effort on the defensive end and in rebounding, everything else happens in the natural flow of the game. I’m definitely a team first guy and always have been. I was a role player for much of my college career so I know how important the little things are to helping a team win and I pride myself on doing whatever it takes for us to get a victory.
Head coach Mario Matic isn´t mentioned often, but really deserves to now. How much credit does he deserve to get with the current success that the team has achieved?
He definitely deserves much credit to our season. We started the season 2-4, losing our team captain in the process. We’ve gone on to win 11 out of 13 since then. He’s done a great job of pushing us and challenging us and deserves much credit for doing so. When you look at our team we’re not that impressive, but we have discipline and play well together which is a sign of great coaching.
ESPN recently named the 100 best NBA players ever. Do you see it justified that Lebron made it at #3 before guys like Magic, Bill Russell and Larry Bird?
No definitely not. I think the list was flawed in many places. They also had Steph Curry ranked above Isaiah Thomas and Scottie Pippen when Steph has only had 2 good seasons. I think they do things like this just to get people to talk about the list but it has no merit to people who actually know basketball.
Now with the Super Bowl completed, what sporting event do you focus on now? Are you a NCAA March madness freak?
Actually none really, until the NBA playoffs start. I used to be a huge march madness fan but with me living over here and the time difference the games aren’t that appealing any more. I will watch the highlights but that’s it. I’m more focused on our team and what we have going at this point.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Jordan for the chat.