May 23, 2005
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Practice Day
Q. Any major adjustments today at practice?
AMARE STOUDEMIRE: We had a few adjustments, but it's not to mean they need to be made. We just got to be up. Fourth quarter was huge for us last night. But still have the same approach. Keep a lot stronger in the last quarter and we will be all right.
Q. The way they trapped Steve Nash in the fourth quarter late in the game, is that something you guys need to find a way to counter?
AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Well, Steve is a great player. I am pretty sure he knows how to counteract the trap. We'll do a good job of getting him set, giving him a better position. That was one of the adjustments.
Q. You guys seemed tired a little bit yesterday.
AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Wasn't tired at all. I wasn't tired, at least. I can't speak for anybody else, but I was ready to roll. This is the Western Conference Finals. You have got to be ready to roll.
Q. Do you guys hope to have your pace, almost wear them out?
AMARE STOUDEMIRE: We're just hoping to outplay them, just play basketball, and the better team wins. We're not trying to tire them out. We're not focusing on that. We're focusing on defending guys and try to get wins.
Q. It is a must-win game for you guys tomorrow night?
AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Yeah. Got to get a win on home court. They came here and got a win on our floor. We have got to get one and then go to San Antonio and get one. Big game for us tomorrow night.
Q. Talk about Steven Hunter, helping out against Tim Duncan --
AMARE STOUDEMIRE: Steven Hunter did a great job. 7-footer versus 7-footer, so it's almost even matchup for both sides, but Tim is one of the better players in the league. So it's kind of hard to defend him.
AMARE STOUDEMIRE: We're in good shape. We can tie it up tomorrow night.
Q. Tony Parker was saying that you and Steve Nash are going to score regardless and they have to stop everything else. How do you approach them when you know they are pretty much going to let you score if you have to?
AMARE STOUDEMIRE: They are not going to let me do anything. It may sound like that, but they are not going to let me do anything. Who knows what the outcome may be, but I think as a team we just got to step up. We have got to play hard our first quarter and give it 110%.
AMARE STOUDEMIRE: I think the fourth quarter they just scored the ball well. They shot 73 percent in the fourth quarter, so that was our only downfall in the fourth. That trap wasn't really huge setback for us; it was just that they were on a run and scored the ball well in the fourth.
JIM JACKSON: You take criticism for going against the grain, for not doing what is popular, but I think for both of us it was a career choice. Near the end of our career you want to be in a position where you have a chance to compete. Doesn't mean you are going to win a Championship, but at least you are in a position to compete in a Championship. That's what we want. If I take criticism for wanting to win and wanting to do it the right way, especially after taking a hit financially, then it is well worth it.
JIM JACKSON: New Orleans, no disrespect, four, five years away. As an expansion team I don't have four, five years, so I am not in a position where I feel that I want to start over.
Q. Can you talk about just coming here, this would be a hard enough game to play in your 20s, but you seem to be keeping up with the pace with all those young whippersnappers, what do you attribute that to?
JIM JACKSON: It is a blessing. I kept myself in great shape always from the beginning of my career. I had an injury here or there but for the most part I just pride myself with staying in shape. In the off-season that's where it really counts, because that's where you do a lot of your work at. It prepares you for a long season. I have been fortunate enough to have a situation here where I was prepared to come in and play right away.
Q. Did someone tell you in your 20s -- give you advice because? A lot of players in their 20s don't really pay attention to off-season because they think they are invulnerable?
JIM JACKSON: Well, no, it is something I just did my whole career. I have always worked out, kept myself in shape. I am of the philosophy that it hurts more to get in shape once you are out of it so you might as well stay in shape. It just hurt more to get in shape, so why get out of shape. You want to take a break and let your body heal, but, you know (laughs) --
Q. Do you think it was a question of fatigue --
JIM JACKSON: No, I just think they outplayed us. I think we scored enough points, put up 114 points. It was just defensively where they got some loose balls, second shots, fast-break points, they flat-out beat us, no excuse. If we would have won the game, it wouldn't have been a question of fatigue, so I don't think that should enter into any conversation why we lost. San Antonio just beat us.
Q. Did they surprise you that they were able to play that style of game?
JIM JACKSON: No, because earlier this year, the game that went into overtime here went with that up and down pace. Again, for us, when we won games, when we needed to, we have come up with big defensive shots when we needed it. Last night we got behind the ball early, tried to make up, we got ahead, but in the fourth quarter we fell off defensively. Not so much offensively, but defensively. Defensively equals defensively, offensively equals offensively.
JIM JACKSON: At some point you got to figure out the matchups. When Steve Hunter plays him I think he plays him pretty good. When Amare plays him I think he plays him pretty good one-on-one. You don't have to help as much. That's a situation that, again, you make adjustments to. Of course you are going into a game saying you want a game plan. Saying, okay, maybe we want to double Tim Duncan, but the other guys are hitting shots, then you have got to adjust to that. Also the fact, okay, we're just going to let Tim Duncan beat us. You go in with a game plan, but the best part of this game is that you make adjustments as you go because a lot of times it's -- the game plan is dictated how the flow of the game is going.
Q. You guys have been pretty good on the road but I think you said last night --
JIM JACKSON: I think we still got to walk out of here 1 and 1 going back to San Antonio. That's my belief. And San Antonio already accomplished what they wanted to. If they get Game 2, it's gravy. They wanted to come in here and steal one and they got it. It's a chance for us to get that second game to go in there and get that first game when we get there, get the home court back to our advantage. Tomorrow is an important game.
End of FastScripts...