October 8, 2020
Q. What was your takeaway from Spo's messaging and video and practice and all that stuff today or anybody else who offered messaging to you guys today?
BAM ADEBAYO: We've got a chance. We still believe. They're writing us off. Everybody is doubting us. But as long as the people in the locker room and all our coaching staff have belief in us, that's all that matters.
Q. Coming back from injury, a lot of times people are a little more hesitant or not able to play as freely as they want to. How good did you feel the other night, and why were you able to play so freely?
BAM ADEBAYO: I was hesitant. I don't want to get bumped in the shoulder. I was definitely hesitant. And then Jae came up to me after I got the first layup, he's like, Take your mind off of it; it's over. You're out there now.
Just locking into that, you forget about it. So I forgot about it. I was out there just trying to make plays.
Q. You just mentioned how your confidence is still there. Even though people may be writing you guys off, you guys still believe in yourselves. Could you talk about that mentality going into the next game that is so important for you guys, and where are you at psychologically right now?
BAM ADEBAYO: Our backs are against the wall. We know that. It's three up, three down. That's our motto. We've got to stick to that. We've got to believe in that. It's not like it hasn't been done before. It would be great to be another team to do that.
Q. With AD on Jimmy and he was dropping back so far in the paint, especially on pick-and-rolls, what do the other four guys on the floor need to do to help counter that coverage?
BAM ADEBAYO: We've just got to get more movement. I feel a lot of times we get stagnant and caught up into the clock. There's seven seconds [on the shot clock] and we get ourselves in "butter" situations, is what we call it. As long as we get shots on goal and they're quality shots, I feel like we'll be okay.
Q. What is the key to fight against pressure in Game 5?
BAM ADEBAYO: Like I said, our backs are against the wall; you can't worry about pressure then. You've got to do everything you can. We've got to play as desperate as we possibly can. We've got to go out there and execute, be detailed and play like we're down 3-1.
Q. What can you tell us about the last two days for you guys, knowing you're down 3-1 coming off a loss? How is the atmosphere?
BAM ADEBAYO: Like there's still some belief. Like I said earlier, people are writing us off. As long as the people in our organization have belief and we have belief, then anything is possible.
Q. People in Nigeria are obviously enjoying watching you play in these playoffs. How does it feel knowing that you're potentially inspiring the next generation of Nigerian players, and could you see yourself representing them on the international stage in the future?
BAM ADEBAYO: It feels good that people enjoy watching me play. Having the next generation look up to me and be something special for them, that feels great. Right now, I can't really worry about the decision to put on a Nigerian jersey. I've got to focus on the Finals.
Q. Of course you don't want to be down 3-1, but when you are in this position, do you think it maybe makes the team a little bit looser? BAM ADEBAYO: Play a little looser?
Q. Yeah, looser in the sense that of course the pressure is on, you've got to win every game, but when your backs are up against the wall, does it loosen things up a little bit for you guys?
BAM ADEBAYO: I mean, depends on how you look at looser. You're saying looser as in we play more free-flowing?
BAM ADEBAYO: No. I feel like we're down 3-1 and we've got to be damn near perfect, if I'm being honest. That's the way it has to go. We've got to be damn near perfect to go three up, three down. So I don't think it's playing looser. I feel like that's got to boost your energy up because we have a chance. At this point, we've got to play desperate.
Q. Does playing desperate become different or easier in any sense, knowing that this game if we were in a different universe would have been played in L.A. but now it's played in a kind of neutral site? Or do all the other noises and effects make it so it's just about the same?
BAM ADEBAYO: Once you really get out there, you really forget about it, even if we are in a bubble or we had the crowd. The home team is going to realize it, but we've just got to go out there and hoop at the end of the day. The court is still the same. Ball still goes through the net the same.
At the end of the day, we're down 3-1 and we've got to play desperate. Once you're in between those lines, you can't really worry about the outside noise, if that makes sense.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports