November 23, 2005
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. I guess Farmar's ankle was okay; did you envision him doing what he did in the second half?
BEN HOWLAND: His ankle, he missed a week about two weeks ago of practice with a groin strain where he didn't do anything for a week. Then he missed three more days with his ankle, so he's missed about ten days. But I thought he had a very good second half in terms of shooting the ball and led us to where we had a chance in the second half to come back and play them. I think, what was the closest we got to, 66? Couldn't get the stops. We were very tentative first half both ends of the floor. I didn't think we were aggressive defensively or offensively against their press. Some of that is inexperience. We are playing some young kids still, and some of that, a lot of it contributed to just that they are a pretty good team.
Q. I don't know if you -- I'm sure that you've looked at plenty of films of the games they have played this season.
BEN HOWLAND: Just the two games.
Q. They have only played the two games. Did you have any idea this guy Williams was capable of doing the stuff he did?
BEN HOWLAND: We knew he's a very good player. He has not shot with that kind of consistency. He was shooting at least three of those threes in the first half from NBA range. Where I'm disappointed, when he had his second one, he still had it going. We were playing off him too much. Luc, I talked to him about it five different times now, when a guy is getting it going, you have to get out on him and make him bounce it. I thought he hit a couple of trail jumpers where it was someone else that have got to him. You have to give him credit, he's a very talented kid.
Q. Did you expect him to be more in the low post?
BEN HOWLAND: No, I thought he would put the ball on the floor more. But he's just very talented. You have to give him his due. I heard Vital, that they are touting him as the best player since Hardaway at Memphis and based on today, that's in the ballpark. Carney and Washington played very well, too. They are experienced starting guards. I thought Carney is an outstanding player, really shot it well and Washington ran their club very well and did a nice job. Those are the three guys that really hurt us offensively.
Q. I don't know if John's analysis of it was exactly right, but he said that you killed them with pick-and-roll in the second half; is that something that wasn't there for you guys in the first half?
BEN HOWLAND: I don't know that it wasn't there. We actually executed better and we've got to keep the ball in Jordan's hands as much as possible.
Q. Talk about your impressions of Drexel tonight.
BEN HOWLAND: I didn't get too see much of the game. I was really focused on what we were trying to get ready for. We'll go back and watch the game we played tonight. I know they played Duke very tough. I did catch a few minutes of it in the coach's room and I was very impressed with how tough they are playing him. It's going to be another team that we have to guard the dribble better. We didn't guard the dribble well tonight. These guys, they can all move the ball on the floor and make plays and we're going to have to do a better job.
End of FastScripts...