Dan Oppland is a 32 year old 203cm forward that is playing his third season in Nurnberg and first with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA. He started his basketball career for Valparaiso (NCAA) in 2002 where he played until 2006. He started his professional basketball career in 2006 for Hanzevast Capitals Groningen (Holland). He then played in countries like Poland and Sweden before coming to Bayreuth in 2008. He then played for seasons four Allianz Swans Gmunden (Austria-A Bundesliga) where he won three titles. Two seasons ago, he played for Namika Lahti (Finland-Korisliiga) 47 games: 15.7ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.0%. Last season for Rent4Office he played 32 games averaging 9.8ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 23.1%, FT: 72.6%. He spoke to German Hoops after the big 90-83 win against Ehingen.
Dan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on the big 90-83 win in Ehingen. How soothing was finally putting points on the board again after averaging only 50 points the last two games?
It was definitely a great feeling to get that win against Ehingen, especially after the way we played the last two games, and in the first half against Ehingen. Hopefully we can build on this game.
After scoring 80 points against Gotha where you led the way with 34 points, what did the club get away from on the offensive end during that two game losing streak where the club only averaged 50 points?
I think we just weren’t playing with confidence offensively the last two games. We stopped moving the ball and playing for one another. We just need to trust one another again.
It was a pretty wild game. Nurnberg was behind at the break 48-29 How can you explain this massive up and down on the defensive end?
We had a terrible first half and then we turned it around in the second half, scoring 30 points in the third quarter and 31 points in the fourth quarter. We really got into a great offensive flow, which ignited out defense as well. Basti, A.J., Diante and Mo did a great job stepping up for us.
Nurnberg is now in 12th place with a record of 5-9 and only two wins away from a playoff spot. How is the momentary atmosphere in the team. Does the tight standings race give hope for a positive second half of the season?
The atmosphere of the team is positive at the moment after that win. We know we just have to build on this Ehingen game, and chip away in the second half of the season. We have to take it game by game, and see where we stand at the end. Our guys will continue to fight and battle no matter where we are in the standings.
I know I have asked you this before, but with all the talent on this team, the club should be able to average 80 points a game instead of only 69 points. How much does this have to do with the mental state of the team during certain situations in games rather than with actual execution?
I think it is a little of both. The mental aspect leads to poor execution at times. If we can find consistency in our play than we will be fine. We have proven that we can play with most of the teams in our league.
Playmaker Diante Watkins had 15 turnovers in the previous two loses. As one of the veterans did you keep him focused by motivating him or is he one of those guys that is capable of getting out of hsi funk on his own?
I feel like anyone on our team is capable of making a significant contribution to our team. I have the utmost confidence in everyone on our team. I never worry about Diante. Players go through struggles during a long season, it will happen. He has to do so much for our team, so when he has struggles, you know he will pull himself out, which he has done. He always has the right attitude and thats all you can ask for.
I know you’re a guy that doesn´t concern himself overly with his stats, but going into the Ehingen game you were having your best season in Germany since 2008 when you played with Bayreuth. Do you feel like your playing better?
I feel like I can always do more, especially when your team is struggling like we have been this year. I am just blessed to still be playing at a high level at my age, so I will continue to try and do that each day.
Besides helping your team win as many games as possible, what is your main concern in your own game? Possibly your three and turnover ratio?
I never concern myself with worrying about my game, but there are obvious things I can always improve on. Shooting the three and protecting the ball are two factors that can get better.
The next game is against the Hamburg Towers who also have been struggling. What will be key for going into the short X-mas break with a win?
I think we just need to build off the momentum from Ehingen with the right attitude and focus. If we play with these factors then our confidence will be there as well. We just need to continue to play for each other, both on offense and defense.
With Christmas just around the corner how have you experienced the pre Christmas time in Nurnberg this year?
I was able to visit the Weihnachtsmarkt one day so far, which was really nice. If I’m not practicing, I am mainly spending my time in Erlangen, attending university there, so I am looking forward to the X-mas break.
What is something you enjoyed most on opening the presents on Christmas day when you were a kid?
Growing up my favorite part about Christmas was the anticipation before opening the actual gifts. It was always a wonderful feeling to wake up and run downstairs to the Christmas tree. I miss those moments.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
It has got to be one of the all-time greatest scoring performances in NBA history. It is amazing what he did, in such a little time frame.
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?
Russell Westbrook is the current NBA MVP in my opinion. No one can touch him stat wise on this Earth at the moment.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was Sully.
Thanks Dan for the chat