The Toronto Raptors hosted the Orlando Magic at Air Canada Centre on Monday. Home team, who was a clear favorite, got the win over the struggling Magic. After the game, Magic’s Croatian sharpshooter Mario Hezonja answered our questions.
— TrendBasket (@TrendBasket) 28 Mart 2017
First of all, commiserations for the loss. How would you describe this season so far?
It’s not how we expected it to be. But we have to keep working and keep building because we are a young team. We need to focus on developing ourselves and we just need to go forward.
Nine games to go in the regular season, you guys could not avoid being one of the most unproductive offenses in the league. What was the main reason behind this?
We have been talking a lot about our defense because we’re trying to re-construct the whole team; so we have to start somewhere. Offense comes later for us, naturally, especially now in the second part of the season. As I said, we are building for the next season.
Recently, you started to get some minutes at 4-spot. Are you feeling comfortable with playing as a power forward?
Yes, I am. I like that the Coach gave me the freedom to play this position. I feel very good out there.
Are you following EuroLeague? Barcelona has had a forgettable season…
No, I’m not following EuroLeague.
Dario Saric, your countryman, has made an impressive start to his NBA career and now is the biggest candidate to win the Rookie of the Year award. What are your thoughts about him?
I mean, he’s a good player. In the beginning, it was frustrating for him but he got open space. He has green light to do everything. It’s going well for him and I’m very happy to see him do further for his team.
You came into the NBA at the age of 20. Was it something that you were planning? Or was your sour relationship with Barcelona a cause of this decision?
It was not the plan [at that time] but going to the NBA was planned even before. So, you were preparing yourself for the next level all the time.
You have represented Croatia twice at the senior level. Are you planning to join Croatia squad for EuroBasket 2017?
I don’t think so. I’ll have a long summer with Orlando: workouts and everything. I’m not going to discuss about that right now but I don’t believe that will happen.
What will be the main thing that you would focus on this summer?
[It will be] pretty much my consistency, my offensive game as a whole. I will try to add pieces and complete my game.