Did you talk to the players about the situation?
About what situation?
About the extreme situation that was called in Lithuania.
And the possibility of not playing?
What are your thoughts on this entire ordeal?
I don't need to think about it. I'm an employee and I need to do my job. I'm a basketball coach, other than that, Paulius answered all the official stuff.
We need to follow the situation. I have my opinion on it, and I'll keep it to myself.
We must ensure the well-being of the people, and that's not even a question.
But I am here to speak about basketball. If Paulius comes out to the press conference, I think it's something that's a done deal.
I really have nothing to say about the "extreme situation".
Speaking of basketball, what are the accents in the game against Milano?
Milano is one of the most talented teams in the EuroLeague. They've got a bit of an up-and-down season.
That's a fact, as a lot of the teams do. But they're a talented team with many players capable of deciding the game.
We have to play our own basketball, concentrate on defense, how to stop them and turn down their numbers.
Just trying to continue the good dynamics.
Milano is going through a difficult period of time. What do you think is not working for them?
It's difficult to say. We watch a lot of the games, and they have some impressive runs, like the game in Barcelona. They start a lot of games really well.
It's difficult to talk about them, why it's going on. We need to concentrate on ourselves...
and just think of how to win the game.
Arturas Gudaitis is not coming to the game, but comparing his previous years in Milano, how has his role changed next to Messina?
I don't think you compare his role next to Messina or to other coaches.
He's a center that is dependent on the playmakers.
This year they have Rodriguez, and it seems they should fit together. To Rodriguez, to Nedovic, Shelvin Mack, who's already gone.
But it's not for me to talk about other teams, because I don't know what's going on on the inside.
As I understand, he hasn't had a lot of time to get in the swing of things. Injuries, then this, then that... He came back from a serious injury.
He's the type of center, who relies on the guards. And he's got really good, creative guards. It should all be ok. Perhaps he needs to get fully well.
The first game against Milano was early, perhaps you've seen some of Messina's style showing up now. What has changed most from him returning from the NBA?
It's very difficult to say about other teams, but comparing to the first game, their defensive systems have switched a bit.
Adjusting more to the modern tendencies. They tend to switch more.
From the first game, it's difficult to take anything. It was their first stage of the season, as it was ours. We hope we play much better now.
Milano core is very experienced. Scola, Micov, Rodriguez... Is there any accents to attack them aggressively?
Putting heavier physicality on them.
You know, in each game we have this accent. It's a system thing, that we try to do in every practice.
I think these are guys so experienced, that if you let them move freely around the court, they'll punish you. You've got to limit that.
That is one of the things we have to pay attention to. Tiring them out... But each team does that, and they manage that well, know when to rest.
When to turn on a higher gear.
Our job remains playing Zalgiris basketball.
Milano is heavily relient on Sergio Rodriguez. How does he change throughout the years? You've gone up against him quite a lot - what are the main accents to isolate him from the team?
Everybody knows he's stronger on the right hand, has got a great shot. Everybody tries the same things against him, a lot of team fail, some succeed.
We got to pay attention to the entirety of the team. Micov, Scola are having good seasons. Tarczevski has taken a big step.
There are players who will be playing better with each and every week in the new system.
It's a team with great potential and we need to start with defense.
Are all the players healthy and ready to play? How is Marius Grigonis situation unraveling?
I'm no doctor, and I don't want to make wild guesses.
We're going week-to-week, and we're pushing him forward. If the leg holds, we push him even more forward.
Bit by bit, we're trying to bring him back to practice. I can't give you a date though.
Everyone else is okay?