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May 26, 2005

Amar'e Stoudemire


Q. With Joe Johnson back, everybody upbeat?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Yeah. We feel good about Joe (Johnson) coming back. He's such a key player to this team; with him in the lineup, makes us that much better.

Q. Kind of evens things up?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Yeah, pretty much. I mean, we have our full roster and they have their full roster, so we're pretty much even.

Q. How was practice today?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Practice was good. We came out and got some things done. Figured out how to guard certain players. It was good.

Q. Upbeat?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: I am ready to go, man. We got to get two in San Antonio. We can't make any excuses. We got to go out there and just put it on the line.

Q. Talk about Joe?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: He's a great defender, and also averaging 19 points in the playoffs. Both of those aspects we have.

Q. Is he close to the way he was before the injury or do you expect him to be that?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: He played pretty good today. We didn't really go too, too hard, but he's looking good out there.

Q. How much a factor is it to have him emotionally?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Well, it's good to have him back. Joe (Johnson) is an all-around great basketball player. He can back up Steve (Nash) at the point position. He's just a great addition to this team.

Q. Does it come down to some offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: It was one or maybe two that they got. They have been doing that the whole year. They are great at offensive rebounds. It's kind of tough when they are pretty much scrambling, then they come with the loose ball, so we have got to do a better job on the boards and also with the turnovers. We have got to cut those down.

Q. How much do you think, Amare, experience helps them?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Helps them a lot. The main thing about those guys, they know where to get baskets from. When it comes down to it, they throw it inside to Tim (Duncan), come on the double-team, he kicks it out for a wide open three. I think with us to be able to do the same thing, instead of playing out of control, we got to slow it down, throw it inside and kick it out.

Q. Can't replace years of experience, but have you guys grown up a lot in the last few weeks?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: You have to. No excuses in the Western Conference Finals. Age difference, experience, it doesn't matter. You still have to go out and play 110%. The best team always wins.

Q. A couple of days off, are you wishing you would like to get out there a little sooner?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Days off are good.

Q. Some corrections you guys feel you have to make to get back to it?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Yeah, just a few offensive rebounds they got, you know, stop making turnovers, we will be in good shape.

Q. Is there a sense of desperation?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Yeah. Got to have desperation, we are down 2-0. We have got to go out there and play extremely hard and put it all on the line.

Q. Fourth quarters are a problem. What needs to be done?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: I think we have got to lock those guys down to less than 70%. We shoot 60, they shoot 70. That's not going to work.

Q. What about Joe Johnson, having him back?

AMARE STOUDEMIRE: It's great to have him back. He's an all-around great player. He helps us out so much defensively. Offensively, he does a great job of backing up Steve at the point.

End of FastScripts...

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