May 28, 2005
DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Practice Day
Q. Damon and Shaq didn't go today, Udonis did not go. But no concern about their availability?
COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: Everybody as far as I know is available.
Q. How is it influencing Udonis?
COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: He didn't practice, that's how it influenced him. I don't have an answer beyond that.
Q. How have you seen it affect his game?
COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: I haven't.
Q. You don't think it's slowed him down at all as far as rebounding?
COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: No.
Q. Happy with your rotation the first two games or are you thinking of tinkering it?
COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: I mean, I'm happy with the way guys have played for the most part, but I mean, I say this all the time, I've got everybody on our roster in mind, and there are situations I would change, but that doesn't mean I'm unhappy with guys, either.
Q. What has Rasual done from the point of not being on the active roster to suddenly being back in the rotation so far this series?
COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: I mean, Rasual is a guy who can provide us with a lot of outside shooting. This is a series where scoring points is very difficult. He can open up the floor a little bit more, so we like that, and we think there are match-ups out there where he can hold his own defensively. His length is helpful against a very long team, his shooting is helpful. We haven't really gotten him enough shots to make his shooting be a factor, but he's held his own defensively. He's only played 18 minutes, so it's hard to really judge what he's done.
Q. There have been some significant lapses in the third quarters of these games. What do you see are the reasons?
COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: I just don't think we've come out of the locker room with the same energy and focus as we have in the first half of games or even in the fourth quarter. So it's definitely a concern that we've got to come out of the locker room a lot better. But in reality, I mean, going up to Detroit, it's got to be first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter. We've got to be able to put 48 minutes together to be able to win on the road.
Q. What do you want to see out of your guys in Game 3 as far as the game?
COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, I think exactly what we saw in Game 2 and what we knew going into the series that we would need, and that is we need great energy, great intensity, and a real focus on just the most basic things in the game, getting back defensively, blocking out and rebounding, protecting the pace and making strong, aggressive plays offensively, which I think we did in Game 2.
Q. Do the perimeters have to rebound with Shaq and Udonis the way they are?
COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, I think our perimeters have to rebound all the time. That's been a focus of ours from day one. I mean, we need to be a gang rebounding team. But yeah, we do have some guys hampered. I mean, Udonis can't quite grab the ball as well. He can go up and get it as much but he can't quite grab it, so maybe he loses a couple. Shaq cannot get off the floor quite the way that he did. So with that, yeah, we've always had the need for everybody to rebound, but there's probably more of a need now. Plus we're up against one of the absolute best rebounding teams in the league, fourth in the league in offensive rebound percentage, a lot of active long guys, and it takes everybody to rebound. The only reason we out-rebounded in Game 2 was that our perimeters did a great job on the board, and so did our bigs, but our perimeters aided in that effort big time.
Q. What happened in Game 2 that led to you guys winning?
COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, the difference for us was execution at the offensive end of the court. The difference for them was just missing shots, in my opinion. I mean, I think they executed well offensively in both games down the stretch. I thought our defense was a little tougher down the stretch in Game 2, we contested a little bit better, but the big difference for us was at the offensive end we executed, also, and got better shots.
End of FastScripts...