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February 20, 2005

Stan Van Gundy


STAN VAN GUNDY: I don't have a lot of analysis for you on that game. I thought the energy level picked up and I thought they played pretty hard for an All-Star Game. I thought it was a good show, and I was proud of the way guys played. The toughest thing you know, there's guys in there that didn't get as many minutes as they deserved, but it's difficult. I hope everybody's not too upset, and I hope I don't get stung too many times the second half of the year by guys that are upset.

Q. Can you talk about Allen Iverson's performance tonight?

STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, I thought he was great because more than anything, he was the guy that just kept pushing other guys verbally and with his energy. He really wanted to win and he's a very, very competitive guy, as we all know, and I think he sort of, you know, his intensity got everybody else going and our energy picked up, and I attribute a lot of that to Allen. I thought he was great tonight.

Q. Coach, your two guys played pivotal roles in this Victory. Some people felt that when Shaq was traded back to the East, that the balance of power had swung. You won the All-Star Game today. What do you have to say about that?

STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, I think any time you've got Shaq on your team, whether it's in an All-Star Game or any other game, you've got a pretty good chance to win. He got some rebounds and a great outlet pass late in the game. We had Dwyane finish the game. Somebody asked me questioned if our guys would get preferential treatment and I said absolutely. I remember Al McGuire said when his son played for him at Marquette, the guy that was backing up Allie said, "coach, I'm as good as your son." He said, "hey, he's my son. I love him. You've got to be a lot better than him.". I was going to play the guys down the stretch and I was happy with the way they performed. I thought Dwyane had a good All-Star Game. It won't be his last.

Q. You start the second half of the season going from here into Chicago. What do you have to say about that team, which has turned things around? Your brother referred to this year's Bulls as last year's Heat.

STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, it is a little bit similar. They have got great young talent and Scott has done a fabulous job. I said, you know, if we were voting like we do for the All-Stars for the coaches to be here, it would have been either Scott or Eddie Jordan. They have both done great jobs. I think the Bulls right now are playing harder than any team in the League, I honestly do. They really get after you. They are No. 1 in the League in defensive field goal percentage, which is unheard of for a team that young. They are playing great and it will be a very, very difficult game for us in there on Tuesday.

Q. What do you think about the theory that most people think the West is still a lot stronger than the East?

STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, I would say that, you know all you've got to do is look at records and look what the West has done against the East, and it's true. So I'm not going to argue it. The West is deeper with more good teams, and they are better right now. But the main thing I say about that question is it's irrelevant. At the end of the year there's going to be one team from the East and one team from the West. It doesn't matter if the next four best teams are from the West. That's entirely irrelevant. I mean, it's going to be one East team and one West team. The West was stronger last year and Detroit won the Championship. So it really is an irrelevant question. Sit around the bar and talk about it, but it really doesn't matter.

Q. Just wondering if as you've gotten to know Shaq if the vibrancy of his personality has struck you as surprising or did you know he had so much personality?

STAN VAN GUNDY: No, I think Shaq, you know, you don't need to watch him a whole lot to see his personality come through. He's got a great deal of charisma. He obviously just loves life and makes it fun for everybody around him. He's brought a lot of excitement and a lot of real good feelings to Miami. We are obviously very, very lucky to have him there.

End of FastScripts...

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