home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 15, 2018

Mike D'Antoni

Houston, Texas: Practice Day

MIKE D'ANTONI: This is a very good executing team, obviously. Maybe the best in history. We just made some mental errors that we didn't quite follow the game plan. We didn't quite get it, and that's not going to get it done against these guys.

I think we realize that. We will make some adjustments mentally and physically and whatever. Then we'll give it a heck of a better try on Wednesday.

Q. What is the most important thing you feel like you have to improve in this game to win?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Well, they can't shoot 52 percent on wide-open threes. We can't give them that. Now, they're going to make shots. Kevin Durant and [Stephen] Curry, they're good. So they're going to make them. Our head can't explode that they go one-on-one and make shots.

I'm sure James [Harden] does the same thing; so does Chris [Paul]. You have to be able to absorb some of their greatness; at the same time, don't make the mental errors that we did. That would accumulate for 15, 20 points, and that's the difference in the game. Not even that many points, but that's the difference. We just had too many of those, and we've got to do a better job.

Q. You had mentioned, Mike, the other day you have to have a short memory in this game.
MIKE D'ANTONI: Yeah, what is your name again?

Q. Thank you, sir. It's Mark, thank you.
MIKE D'ANTONI: No, I have a short memory [laughing].

Q. Having said that, will you have a short enough memory from Game 1?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Yeah, we got a little rattled with ourselves and we can't do that. Like I said, we've got to be able to absorb some body blows. They got us a little bit. We sagged a little bit with our spirit. That won't happen Wednesday. We're going to have a heck of a good battle on Wednesday.

Q. Are there things you can shore up offensively that will help you defensively?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Yeah. Well, one thing we can shore up is be sure to keep all the noise out. We talked about that. There are just too many, and rightfully so, I'm not complaining -- but we play the way we play. When we've played that way, we're pretty good. Again, we get a little upset on offense, as we did on defense, because we weren't as good on offense. So we have to be able to understand where we have to do this a little bit longer, a little bit better, and up the ante a little bit.

Our pace has got to be up a little bit. There are things that we can do and we will do. That's why I just expect us to be a lot better on Wednesday.

Q. What noise are you talking about?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Just everybody. I mean, just from ourselves. Like, oh, my gosh the iso, that's all we do. No, it isn't. That's what we do best. We scored like 60 percent of the time on that. Oh, really? Oh, they don't pass, everybody's standing. Really? Have you watched us for 82 games? That's what we do. We are who we are, and we're pretty good at it. We can't get off who we are. Embrace it. Just be better of who we are and don't worry if somebody else solves the puzzle a different way. Fine, that's how they solve it. We solve our puzzle this way. We've got to play at our strengths. We know our strengths and we've just got to do it better.

Q. The series going back to Oakland for 3 and 4 where they're obviously so tough. How critical --
MIKE D'ANTONI: Although we're 1-0 there, just to let you know.

Q. That's regular season, not in the playoffs.
MIKE D'ANTONI: There you go. We're 0-0 now. So speculation has it they're tough there. No, go ahead.

Q. How critical is it to get this one?
MIKE D'ANTONI: It was critical last game. It was really critical. This is really critical. The next one's going to be really critical. It's all the same.

We did the same thing against Utah. If you think about it, we eked out Game 1 and didn't play well. Game 2, they busted us. We go to Utah and go, uh-oh, we're in trouble. Utah is a tough place to play. No, we're not. We're never going to be in trouble with this team.

Now, having said that, it's a critical game. We've got to come out and we've got to be fired up. The fans have got to be fired up and we've got to give them our best shot. Then we'll move on to Sunday and whatever result it is, it is. Then we'll have to fight that too.

No one told Cleveland you've got to go back to Oakland two times and play, and can you win? Yeah, you can. But we just made it a little bit harder. So be it.

Q. There were questions afterward for James about kind of the comfort level of some of the guys on the offensive end. There were people asking questions about Eric Gordon and other players. Do you agree there were times that they looked a little uncomfortable? What you have to do to get the rest, not James and Chris, going and feeling good about what you're doing offensively?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Like I said, this is how we play. It's how we played all year. I don't know why you wouldn't be comfortable. Wee got some shots up there. I don't know how many layups we just missed and they turned them into fast breaks. You just take that away, make the layups and defend a little bit better. We've just got to get in transition and we've got to defend better. A lot of things -- up the ante.

But like I said, how are we going to get comfortable? We can put some blankets out there or something, but that's not happening. You know what? Play through it. So be it. This just comes down to a dogfight. It doesn't come down to feeling comfortable. Everybody's feeling uncomfortable. Your hair should be on fire, and you should be playing and spitting blood out there.

This is hard stuff to overcome, one of the better teams ever in the history of the NBA. They've got to embrace the situation.

Q. What is it that makes you think that any of your players might have actually been listening to the noise?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Oh, no, no, no. Just human nature. I mean, we have them for 10 minutes and you guys got them for 24 hours. So if they're human they've heard something. We've just got to make sure they don't.

Q. James played 35 minutes, Chris played 38. I know James had a bit of an injury there. How much was that based on fatigue?
MIKE D'ANTONI: I think Chris is about the limit. We can up James a little bit. We were down four to start the fourth quarter. You bring him in right there, and then he's got to go the whole quarter. I'm just thinking in my mind, and I'll adjust, but he's got to finish the game off. It's going to come down to a lot of him. So I wanted him to have some legs, and then it got up to seven or eight before I could get him back in there. OK, that won't happen again, and he can go a little bit more.

Q. You're not worried at all about the iso ball wearing him down both ways?
MIKE D'ANTONI: I don't think so. I mean, that was the best thing we had. I don't know why it's bad. Perception is not reality. Reality are numbers. Numbers are, that's good. Numbers are, yeah, we had a couple 24-second violations and everybody goes, oh, and everybody goes crazy and our guys do sometimes. We can't do that. We can't do that. Yeah, it's going to happen. We're not going to be perfect. But the numbers show it's pretty good.

Now, having said that, we've got to get into transition. We've got to get Trevor [Ariza] and those guys shots. We've got to get the ball moved up a little bit quicker, and we can do that. We control that.

Q. Where are you on the backup center options?
MIKE D'ANTONI: We'll just see. I've got four or five guys here we can go to, and I've got to figure out which ones work.

Q. You went with Ryan Anderson first and Nene second. What made you want to make the switch?
MIKE D'ANTONI: It's a battle out there. Just a gut feeling.

Q. You said that's the way you guys play and that's the way you guys had success. When did you settle into that that this is the route that this team is going to take offensively?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Watch them every day. You watch them. What is the best way we can play this team with this talent? This is the best way. We won 65 games and there was nothing in this (indiscernible) all year, so why wouldn't we play this way? I think this is the best. James is one of the best if not the best ever one-on-one player.

Give them credit in the sense of they're switching everything. We can run a thousand plays. At the end of the day, James looks up, oh, there's [Kevon] Looney right in front of him because they switched everything.

Well, we have to take advantage of that. If we can't, then they've imposed their will better than we've imposed ours.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297