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Ed. Note: We’re very pleased to have the opportunity to bring you a one-on-one interview with Chris Douglas-Roberts. Longtime friend of the site, Fred Katz, had a lengthy chat over the phone with CDR this week. We’ve broken it up into three parts; this is the third part.
Here’s a little bit about Fred: Fred Katz averaged almost one point per game in fifth grade, but he maintains that his per-36-minute numbers were astonishing. Find more of his work at Bleacher Report, RotoWire and ClipperBlog.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredKatz.
Fred Katz: Who did you model your game after growing up?
Douglas-Roberts: I kind of always just had my own game, but I feel like it was a lot of the bigger guards from Detroit. You know, the prototypes. Steve Smith, Jalen [Rose], George Gervin. Everybody who’s tall, lanky, skinny, but can handle the ball and has a little bit of flair to their game. It just kind of happened like that. Those are the guys I kind of looked up to coming up.
Katz: Has that changed as you’ve gotten older? When you look at your game now, is there anyone you say you would compare your game to? Is there someone you might watch to replicate or learn from?
Douglas-Roberts: Well, now that I’m older and I’m in the pros, you have to be who you’re asked to be by the coach and your teammates. So right now, I think I’ve shot more threes than twos this year. I think I’m around 40 percent from three this year, and that’s the highest I’ve ever been. Right now, that’s my role. So I’m taking this role as seriously as I can everyday. But things do change. I’ll probably have another answer for you next year. So that’s the best answer I have. I’m just doing what I have to do right now.
Katz: About roles on a team, you were a big-time star when you helped take University of Memphis to the NCAA Championship in 2008. Now, you’re more of a role player. Is there a mindset change you have to have there?
Douglas-Roberts: I call that being a professional. Right now, this is what I have to do. I always feel confident. My confidence never wavered. You know, I’ve had pretty big nights in the league. But right now, I have to make these threes. I have to defend. And I just have to make the most of my opportunity when I’m out there. I always look at guys like Gerald Green, who went from not playing in Indiana and now he’s in Phoenix, and he’s playing a huge role. You know, he’s the starting shooting guard over there. But it took him maximizing his opportunities in a smaller role. So that’s how I approach it. Take it a day at a time. That’s my mentality. Take it a day at a time and maximize every opportunity.
Katz: You’re mentioning aspects of the analytics of basketball. Are you a big stat guy?
Douglas-Roberts: Yeah, I take this seriously. I watch film. I treat this like somebody would treat a 9-to-5. I spend those eight hours on my game, whether it’s working out, whether it’s film, whether it’s just studying. True shooting percentage and all that is very important. You have to go along with the game and that’s what the game is turning into. When you’re a free agent, they’ll put these numbers up against you so it’s only right to adapt, and be like those guys, too.
Katz: What’s your favorite stat that you use to evaluate yourself or other guys?
Douglas-Roberts: Points per possession. Scoring the ball almost every possession they get it. That’s important, especially when you’re a defender. The great thing is they have Synergy now so you can really go and watch a guy’s every move. I think more of us should take advantage of that. True shooting percentage is also very important to me, because it’s what it says. It’s your true shooting percentage. So I look at stuff like that.
Katz: What’s your favorite NBA moment that you’ve had since coming into the league?
Douglas-Roberts: Well, I have two. My first ever NBA game in the preseason was against the Heat and we were in Paris. I had 17 points and it’s like, you’re on the scene. It was against D-Wade. It was like you belong.
And then there was my first game against the Celtics when they had Paul Pierce, KG, Ray Allen and all of those guys. They welcomed me to the league. They said congratulations, welcome. And that moment really stood out, because those guys didn’t have to do that. And KG is the opposite of that, you know? KG hates you. So that meant a lot to me.
Katz: Playing against KG, that can’t be fun.
Douglas-Roberts: Honestly, man. It’s very fun to me, because I understand it. He’s just getting himself going. This is how he gets himself going and you have to respect it. He’s going to set hard screens and he’s going to talk bad to you, but in some ways, you have to respect that. He’s ultracompetitive and as a basketball player, you’ve got to respect that.