Knowing Dirk Nowitzki Played There As A Youth Made Lazeric Jones(medi Bayreuth) Look Differently At The Gym

 Lazeric Jones is a 30 year old 182cm point guard from Chicago, Illinois that is playing his ninth professional season and first with medi Bayreuth (BBL). Last season he played with Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) playing 7 Eurocup games avergaing 7.9ppg, 2.0rpg, 4.0apg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 61.5%; and played 5 Turkish BSL games averaging 6.4ppg, 1.8rpg, 4.2apg, FGP: 31.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 71.4%. In the 2018-2019 season he played with AS Monaco Basket (France-ProA) playing 35 games averaging 8.7ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.8apg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 82.9%; and played 13 Eurocup games averaging 7.7ppg, 1.3rpg, 3.9apg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 88.2%. He has played in various countries in Europe like Israel, Greece, Hungary and Turkey. He has won three professional titles with two in Hungary and one in Turkey. He started his basketball career at Simeon Career Academy where he helped the school win the state title in 2007 while playing with Derrick Rose. He then played two years at John A. Logan College before finishing at UCLA. He spoke to after the big 90-75 win in Wurzburg.

Thanks Lazeric for talking to Congrats on the big 90-75 win in Wurzburg. What did it feel like playing on the court where Dirk Nowitzki played as a youth?

Yeh it was cool. I didn’t find out that he had played here until shortly before the game started. Some teammates had told me. Knowing that Dirk had played here made me look at the gym in a different way. I just love traveling the world and seeing new places like Wurzburg.

The first half was a tight affair and the game was deadlocked at the break 40-40. Why couldn’t any team break away from the other?

We made a few little mistakes in the first half. It isn’t always easy playing a first half as you try to see what the opponent is doing and you try to react well. I felt that we reacted better to their game plan in the second half.

Medi Bayreuth had picked up their offense in the second quarter and continued to execute well on offense, but you also picked up the defense allowing only 12 points. What adjustments did the team make on the defensive end?

I think that we are overall a good defensive team. I thought we came with better energy in the second half. We forced them to take tougher shots and did a better job limiting them to only one shot.

You gave the team a big spark in the third quarter showing your ability to score in bunches. How vital was your overall strong performance for your self-confidence?

I feel like my self-confidence has been rising the last month which has helped me to get going. Coach continues to tell me to be aggressive and attack. It is never easy to come back from an injury. I’m feeling a lot better now and it is showing in my game.

In the fourth quarter medi Bayreuth did a good job supplying counter punches whenever Wurzburg scored. What else was key for medi Bayreuth getting the win?

I felt like we continued to move the ball well. They did a lot of switching and tried to slow us down. We didn’t focus on the mismatches but just kept running our offense well. We did a good job with pressuring them and our stops fueled our offense. The ball continued to flow and we got more open shots which helped our self-confidence.

Osvaldas Olisevicius was top scorer with 19 points. Did you sense like he was extra motivated to play against his former team?

He is just a pure scorer. He always knows when we need him to step up. And he has shown it almost every game. He is a sniper and just scores the ball well. He is always ready to go and needs no extra motivation.

You have played against so many NBA players in your career, but what was it like seeing Perry Jones? Are you surprised that he hasn’t had a bigger impact yet for them?

Perry is so talented. I know him well. We played together in the G-League. He just got to Wurzburg and it’s never easy to get going when you get to a new team. He is still trying to find his role. It is all about learning your role and feeling comfortable. I think that in the next few games that he will find his stride.

How big is Derrick Pardon for the success of medi Bayreuth? He made some big buckets at the end to seal the victory

Derrick is always big for us. He is our defense captain. He protects our basket so well and hedges out on screens. He really does so much for us. His energy is always high and he makes big plays for us.

How happy were you in general with how medi Bayreuth followed the game plan? You won the boards, had 10 turnovers and slowed down Cameron Hunt.

I am really proud of my teammates and how we came out and won on the road. It is all about consistency. We have been going hard in practices and that has translated into the games. We talk a lot about game plans in practices and also during games. We need to hold our home court now and I feel like we can accomplish big things.

Medi Bayreuth is riding a three game winning streak. Would it be fair to say that your playing your best basketball of the season?

It is hard to say, but I think so. We have played very well in the last month. There have been games where we couldn’t get over the hump and we have had problems rebounding and keeping our turnovers down. I feel like we have to focus on our rebounding and keeping our turnovers down. I think that if we can focus on those two things then we will be ok.

The next game is against Chemnitz who you whipped 83-61 in the first meeting nailing 15 three’s and forcing them to 24 turnovers. What can we await from the return game and what will be key for the win?

Defense will be key in our game against Chemnitz. I think that when we play hard and can fly down the court then that will help carry our offense. That will give us energy to share the ball well. If we can do that and continue to play hard then we will be ok. Our team is healthy now. Chemnitz will be a tough game, but if we all come out and play together then we can come out with a win.

Have you seen Coming To America 2? The responses have been mixed. Shouldn’t they just have left with the classic and not made a sequel?

I like good comedy and Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. It was a cool movie. It wasn’t a great movie, but I liked it. The first was a classic. It is hard to beat a classic.

Thanks Lazeric for the chat.

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