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May 31, 2005

Larry Brown


Q. When the series started people were talking about Zo and Shaq playing together, some people thought maybe they would be slow defensively, but you look on the court all three games, there's an advantage at the plus-minus. Do you see that as being something that would surprise you with their success together?

COACH LARRY BROWN: You know, I didn't think that was a factor in Game 3. But, maybe they think differently than me. I think I said this since they made that move to get Alonzo that that was, you know, a lot like what we did when we got Rasheed, I thought that was a key move. The fact that Shaq's been hurt and they got Zo to put in has been huge, and then when they have played together, you know, other than Game 3, I thought in both other games, it has been a factor. I think it's been a plus on their side. But I heard after Game 2, Phoenix was a plus-20 when Stoudemire was on the bench, so I don't buy those things. A lot depends on who you're playing, what the situation is. But I think they have both been real effective when they have been together.

Q. Rip's saying his calf is feeling better. Did you notice a difference at both ends of the floor as far as how he's playing right now?

COACH LARRY BROWN: Well, he got 33. Helped his jumpshot. I thought he was phenomenal last game. Doug Collins commented to me after Game 1 that his shot was flat, you know, he was 7 for 20 in Game 1 and I guess 8 for 20 in Game 2. I thought he had great shots. He made his last two shots I think in Game 2 to get to 8 to 23. But he looked great to me and he was active defensively, and I'm hopeful. I don't know how you can play any better than he played.

Q. He talked about maybe guarding Wade, would you consider maybe having him handle Wade a little bit tonight?


Q. Maybe guarding D-Wade a little bit tonight?

COACH LARRY BROWN: The second half, even sometimes in the first, we changed who we picked up with him. You know, I thought in the second half we did an effective job defensively, but there was so many free throws taken that, you know, it's hard to really see how you did defensively, because, one, with being in foul trouble, you don't know if you can be as aggressive as you would like. And two, you put people on the line, you know, it's pretty hard to defend that. But we've got to change up. I don't want Rip to get in foul trouble. But I think, you know, we've got to change up and put Tayshaun or Rip or Lindsey or Chauncey on him. Second half, I didn't think, you know, he made an unbelievable jumpshot that really mattered. But aside from that, I thought we defended him about as well as you could. He was 7 for 9 the first half, and Shaq's 7 for 8 and we're two down. But the kid's great. The kid is absolutely great. If he goes to the line 18 times again, it's going to be real hard for us.

End of FastScripts...

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