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May 23, 2005

Stan Van Gundy


Q. Is there definitive now, an hour, hour and a half before the game?

STAN VAN GUNDY: There's not, no definitive word on whether or not he's going to play yet.

Q. And what will it be? What will determine it, final medical clearance or him going out for warm-ups?

STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, how he feels and what our medical people feel.

Q. This is off the subject. Brian Hill getting re-hired in Orlando, a fellow who was fired there eight years ago, does that surprise you?

STAN VAN GUNDY: I didn't know about that, either. Tim just told me about the Sixers. Really happy for Brian if that's the case. I know it's great for him to be home and with his daughter near there and her medical condition and everything, that stuff is more important than anything, and for him to be able to be home and around her, it's great, and Brian is a class guy, annd it's great that he's back. Thanks for the news, too.

Q. This whole question mark about Shaq, how has it affected you, it now takes up a third of your press conferences?

STAN VAN GUNDY: The main thing is I have to keep answering the same question over and over and over, and it's been since he actually got sick before, so it's been seven weeks now of the same questions all the time. I just don't have great answers. I'm not witty enough to think up a bunch of new things (laughter). That's the main effect. We're prepared either way.

Q. Do you think about it at all? Do you have to do two game plans? How else does it affect you?

STAN VAN GUNDY: No, we have stuff that we're going to run and some different defensive options when he's not in there as opposed to when he's in there. You know, if that's for ten minutes a game, great, and if it has to be for an entire game, that's what you go to. I mean, I don't spend a lot of time sitting around thinking about it or worrying about it because I can't control it. I'll find out here in a little while if he's going to play or not, and we'll go from there.

Q. Does it make you laugh when people imply that he might be faking it coming into the series?

STAN VAN GUNDY: That's absolutely ridiculous. Here's a guy that has won more playoff games, played in more playoff games than anybody in the NBA. Why would he not want to play right now? I don't understand that thinking and I don't understand why anybody would impugn his competitiveness that way. That to me makes no sense. This is a guy that's never run from a challenge, that has been as competitively successful as anyone in this league. I don't understand that. He's got a great will to play. Whether he's able to play or not is the only question.

Q. How do you see the match-up of the guard play?

STAN VAN GUNDY: Well, I mean, they have outstanding guards that have had a lot of playoff success, and obviously our guards have played well in this playoff, so I think the perimeter match-ups even extending to (Tayshaun) Prince and Eddie (Jones), the three-men. Those are going to be key match-ups. There's six good players at those positions, and we'll see.

End of FastScripts...

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