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June 4, 2005

Stan Van Gundy


COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: I don't know what you want me to tell you about that one, guys. We got dominated. We could not handle their defense. The biggest difference in the game is, you know, they get 22 more shots than us because we turn it over 19 times to their six and get 14 offensive rebounds. I mean, you don't have a chance with that. They get 18 fast-break points or 19 fast-break points, a lot of those coming off of our turnovers. Our halfcourt defense was not all that bad, but we couldn't rebound and we could not take care of the ball. They dominated us. After the first quarter, they totally dominated us and I really don't have a lot else to tell you.

Q. How much of that is just not having Dwayne and how much of that was --

COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: Look, the two teams played with who they had tonight. I'm not going to get into that. They dominated us tonight, period. I'm not getting into that making excuses and all of that stuff. We had two teams out there that had the guys they had. I'll talk about that game we played out there. They dominated us.

Q. Talk about a Game 7 going home now, do you want to look ahead a little bit to Monday night for us?

COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, you play all year to have the Game 7 on your floor. That's why you go out and play 82 regular season games and you keep your focus on the back-to-back, you know, in Atlanta or, you know, somewhere like that and don't let up to get those wins to be at your place in Game 7. Game 7's are great. It's something that if you're, you know, a kid growing up, dreaming of playing in the NBA, you dream of playing Game 7. So it's something that all of our players should look forward to. We obviously have to find some answers to their pressure, and we have to be able to keep them off the glass. Those are probably the two major things, and then obviously we've just got to play a lot better, but those are probably the two major things from our point of view that will determine our success on Monday night.

Q. How close did Dwayne come to playing tonight?

COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: I don't have any idea. I want to talk about the game, guys. You guys can ask our medical people about Dwayne. I'll talk about the game.

Q. What can you do going into a Game 7? You talked about the turnovers, you talked about the not getting the shots off, what can you do to change that stuff?

COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, it's gone up and down for us in this series anyway. They had us, they defended us very well in Game 1. We came back in Game 2 and did a little bit better, they did a very good job on us I thought in Game 4, but we came back in Game 5. I mean, every game changes. They were very, very aggressive tonight defensively. We did not attack very well, and when we did, we didn't make great plays. We just turned it over way too much. I thought the shots we got in the first half were good enough shots when we got them, you know, we just missed a lot of ones that probably could have kept us in the game. If you're going to turn the ball over 19 times against a team like Detroit, you're going to struggle to do anything offensively, and obviously we did.

Q. Can you talk about what you saw from Shaq tonight and can he be dominant in Game 7?

COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, we need him to be. He needs to step up and have a big one. We'll certainly try to get him the ball. Our problem tonight, again, we tried to go to him on virtually every possession early on. We had some trouble with their pressure just getting the ball into position to feed him in the post. We've got to do a better job of that. If we can do that and get him the ball, I think he can have a good night; I think he made some good passes out. Obviously he's got to cut down on the turnovers like everybody else; he had six of them. So he's got to be more efficient down there, but, yeah, we need him to be a dominant guy.

Q. Just talk a little bit about their guard play, obviously Hamilton had a big night.

COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, he had a great first half. Rip had a great first half. He was 7 for 9, really opened up the lead. We didn't defend him great, but again, they got out in transition on us off of our turnovers. Just too much tonight. I mean, I look, I see 19 fast-break points and 18 second-chance points. Hey, look, they only shot 41.9 percent. Our halfcourt defense wasn't awful. We just gave them too many easy baskets off fast breaks, which were mainly off our turnovers and on second shots. If we don't take care of those two areas, we're going to be in a lot of trouble. I don't think they riddled our halfcourt defense.

Q. How fitting is it that this series comes down to a seventh game?

COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, I guess you guys decide if it was fitting. I would have rather ended it tonight. So I guess this is what everybody else wanted and they get it. So, you know, that's where we are now, and like I said, you know, every kid grows up dreaming of playing in the NBA, dreams of playing in Game 7, so there we are. I would think all of our guys would be excited about it.

End of FastScripts...

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