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 113-105 3 OT win against the Uni Riesen Leipzig.
Jordan congrats on the huge 113-105 win against the Uni Riesen Leipzig. How do your muscles feel on Monday morning?
I’m pretty exhausted to be honest. It was already a physical game to begin with and the three overtones didn’t make it any easier.
How big was this win? Was the 84-83 heartbreaking loss in the back of your minds for the whole 55 minutes?
This win was big for us. The loss from the first game was somewhat in the back of my mind. We felt we gave the game away at the end the first time we played and we almost did again but luckily we came out on top in the end.
The Giants Nordlingen played a three OT game and you played 50 minutes. Can you remember ever playing so many minutes in one game?
Nah I definitely don’t remember ever playing so many minutes. In games like those you’re so caught up in the competition you’re not thinking about how tired you are or how much your body hurts. All that matters is getting the win.
Lets talk about the game as your memory is still fresh. At halftime, the Giants were leading 45-39. Was there any moment were you were feeling this could be a long afternoon/night?
At no point did it feel like the game was in or out of our hands. It was competitive from beginning to the end and that’s what I expected since our first game went down to final seconds also.
Leipzig had the 69-67 lead for three minutes until Leo Vrkas sent the game into OT with a bucket. He actually scored the last two baskets before OT. How key was a phase like this for his mental toughness?
Yea his baskets were major for us at that point. We were struggling to get our offense going and were making a lot of careless mistakes. We were desperate for any kind of basket and Leo stepped up for us.
In the first OT, it was back and forth, but you made big plays and got the Giants the lead, but Leipzig battled back with Sacha Leutloff drawing a foul and bringing the game into a second OT. Is there any way to defend this experienced German without him drawing a foul?
He’s a tough player to guard because he’s so crafty and experienced. He has great instincts and always finds a way to be in the right place to make a play for his team.
You played against him twice now as he finished with 27 and 28 points. Where does he rank with being the most smart German players that you have played against in this league?
He’s definitely at the top of the list when it comes to Germans I’ve played against this year. His intelligence allows him to capitalize on whatever mistakes you make on defense. Also so much of their offense involves him there’s never a time to break when you’re defending him.
In the second OT, it looked like Nordlingen would finally pull through and win as Jankek Schmidkunz hit a three, but once again Leipzig never gave up and got to a third OT once again with free throws. Was this a lesson not learned from the first OT?
Yea that foul call really hurt us. Moritz and I made a play on defense stripping one of their players on a rebound and scored it, but a late whistle came calling a foul. Since we were already in the penalty it was a 4 point swing off that one call. We had to forget about and move on to the next play and I think we did a good job of that.
In the third OT Nordlingen had had enough pouring home 19 points. Was the will to win overcoming any physical pain the team was having?
Yea we really wanted this win bad so we had to push through. Have to give Leipzig credit also for continuing to play through that pain. They are maybe the only team in league with a smaller rotation than ours, us playing 7 key players and I believe them playing 6. So for us to battle it out for that long took a lot of heart on both sides.
The big three of You, Brandon Lockhart and Janel Schmidkunz supplied the necessary winning punch with 17 points to secure the win. In the win, it was you guys coming through like so often this season. Did you guys know inside, it was time to buckle down and take care of business?
At that point we all just wanted to make plays for our team to secure the win. We don’t care how it happens or who makes it happens as long as it happens.
How vital was this win for further upping the team self confidence as the playoffs draw closer and closer?
It’s another good confidence boast. To win a long close game like that is what it takes to be a good team. We have to know how to close out games in the end in order for us to be successful.
Do you sense week by week that the Nordlingen Giants are a very special team and on a mission to do something very special this season despite all the turbulences that it has gone through?
Yes I believe we’re a special team. We have great chemistry and we have fun playing together. Those turbulent times are what made us closer as a unit because we were determined enough to keep fighting and not give up.
You won two Eurobasket.com Pro B player of the week awards. With your 18 point and 10 rebound is a third one in the row coming?
Nah I don’t think so. I’m sure there were players this week that were more deserving than me.
The Nordlingen Giants have won 10 of their last 11. Has the team peaked yet or do you see it getting even stronger?
I still don’t believe we’ve peaked. Our last 2 games were really close and I don’t believe we played well. We were lucky to get victories in both of those but we know that one day luck is not going to be on our side. We know we have to play better in the playoffs than we have recently.
How do recap the NBA trade line deals? What teams did the best?
I like the Clippers getting Jeff Green. I believe that’s a huge pickup for them. Gives them some athleticism they didn’t have on the wing and if Blake comes back and plays well they can shock some people in the playoffs.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Jordan for the chat.