Jordan Talbert is a 26 year old 198cm forward from Little Rock, Arkansas that is playing his third professional season and first with the PS Karlsruhe Lions. He came to Germany as a rookie in 2014 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%. Last season with Nordlingen he tore up the Pro B averaging 17.5ppg, Reb-1(11.0rpg), 2.4apg, 1.7spg, Blocks-5(1.5bpg), FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 27.5%, FT: 73.4%. He spoke to German Hoops before the start of the 2017 playoff series.
Jordan thanks for talking to German Hoops. 2017 is now in its third month. Did you make any news year resolutions or are you more the guy that doesn´t believe in that?
No I didn’t make any resolutions. I’m not big on those things. I think if there’s any change that I feel is necessary then it should be made at the moment of realization. No reason to wait until the start of the year.
How long did it take to digest the bitter 76-49 loss against the kids of FC Bayern Munich? How can a loss like that occur shortly before the playoffs?
Not long at all. We locked up the number 1 seed for the playoffs which really took the motivation out of the team going into the game. We got caught looking forward to playoffs, it came back and punched us in the mouth.
Teams want to roll into the playoffs or playdowns with some force. Do you feel like PS Karlsruhe will be ready when game one with the Rostock SeaWolves comes around?
We’ve all been looking forward to the playoffs for a long time. I think we’re hungrier right now than any other point in the season. Our goal was not to finish the regular season number 1 but to end the post season in that position.
It was a tale of two seasons for PS Karlsruhe. After losing the first game to Frankfurt, you were unstoppable with a 10 game winning streak, but then up and down with a 6-6 record. What happened with this team from December until now?
Injuries and additions. We made some adjustments mid way through that we thought can help us in the long run. Now that we’re settled in I think we’re ready to make a playoff push.
How much of a factor was the injury to German Deon Mcduffie during the up and down play? Would the team have had a few more wins with him in the lineup?
It was huge losing him for the month that he was out. Everyone has their role on our team, each one just as important as the next. When we lose any player the team suffers as a whole.
The defense was pretty solid except for two loses against Leverkusen and Wurzburg. What tweaks will the team have to make to play successful defense consistently in the playoffs?
Our focus is what needs to increase. Our effort and toughness is always there, just our focus on the details during key moments is what we plan on fixing during the playoffs.
Do you feel as though teams figured you out a bit better and began to scout better the second time around especially how to contain you, Parker and Borekambi better during certain phases of the game?
No I don’t think that. I don’t think anyone has done more damage to us than we have done to ourselves. Our lack of effectiveness throughout the second part of the season is on us.
Which PS Karlsruhe player are you most proud of that has worked very hard and been the most improved this season ?
There’s not one player I can single out. We’ve all put in a lot of work this season to get to this point. Now we’re just focused on finishing the job.
Your playing a very solid and consistent season. You stated in our last interview that there is less focus on you and you don´t need to score as much. What areas in your game have improved this season?
I’ve think my game without the ball has improved. Finding ways to have an effect on the game whether it’s screening to get a teammate open, helping out on defense, or rebounds in traffic. Making those little plays that don’t show up in the box score is what I’ve been proud of.
Except for a 3/5 shooting day from outside against Weissenhorn you have struggled from there as you are 2/21 in your previous six games. Will you focus more on your shooting during practices during the playoffs?
I’m just going to continue doing what I do and playing my game. I try not to overthink things. My confidence in my shot is still high despite the slump I always think the next game can be a breakout game.
You meet the Rostock SeaWolves in the first round of the playoffs. What kind of series can we await and what will be key to advancing?
I’m not sure what kind of series it will be. I don’t know much about the team yet. Getting more familiar with them as game day approaches but I do expect that the Lions will come to the game ready to play.
A shocking news story in that top Pro B player Aaron Nelson has left the Dragons Rhondorf leaving a huge 23/12 void in their playdown journey. With teams like Lich, Leipzig and Nordlingen fighting to stay in the league, has Rhondorf secured their ticket down to the Regionalliga?
I’m not sure. Maybe they have players that’s been waiting for their opportunity and now they have it. It’ll sure be a challenge for them.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
I think it’s incredible. Another amazing stat about the performance is that he only made around 10 dribbles during the game. In our generation it’s very rare to find players that are effective without dominating the ball each play.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
Yes stat wise him and Harden are on another level. But stats doesn’t make them the best players in the league in my opinion. The team success also plays a huge role. Kwahi Leonard is just as much as an MVP candidate as the other two considering his teams success and what he does on both ends of the floor.
Draymond Greene recently had a triple double without scoring 10 points or more. Why do you believe has it taken long for someone to do this?
I think it’s taken so long because it so easy to score 10 points in the NBA. Out of all the statistics there are to get double figures in, scoring is the easiest one to do.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Jordan for the chat,