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June 8, 2006

Dirk Nowitzki


Q. Can you talk about Jason Terry's performance tonight and how much you guys needed something like that from him and how much he needed it for himself maybe?
DIRK NOWITZKI: Yeah, that was big. Obviously in the first half we couldn't really get anything going and I thought he was the one that kept us in the game. He made some incredible object shots. He looked aggressive, he looked comfortable, he looked in rhythm from the beginning on.
It was big. Me and Josh couldn't really get anything going, they played us tough, they contested our shots and if you would have told me Josh and myself would go 7-for-28 and we win this game, I wouldn't have believed it.
So, I mean, it was big. He carried us all night. Stack was great, attacking the rim. Obviously defensively, I thought it was a great game down the stretch.
Q. Do you think you guys do better even though Shaq was effective passing out of the double teams when you make him pass?
DIRK NOWITZKI: Yeah, we obviously saw the Eastern Conference Finals and he was so great and so dominant there, they tried to play him one-on-one, he got to the basket so close, jumped, and then he misses, he's right back at the rim getting the offensive rebound. You know, we try to mix it up a little bit, come a little bit, play him one-on-one and then come again. That's what you've got to do is keep great players off guard. They looked awesome early on. I thought they had everything going. Shaq had a couple turnarounds, their role players did great, they made shots from all over the players. I thought we looked frozen up a little bit at the beginning and we kept mixing it up on Shaq in the second half and that was big.
Q. 4-for-14 for the night, was it something Miami was doing or were you just out of sync?
DIRK NOWITZKI: You always are going to have an off night. You have to give the defense credit, I thought they tried to push up on me, tried to deny me in the post and tried to get the ball out of my hands some, and when I put the ball on the floor, somebody was running either from my blind side behind or in the front, just making me pass off the dribble.
Still, I had some good looks I thought early on in the first three or four shots, looked pretty good, and just never really found my rhythm.
But, you know, like I said, Jason really kept us in the game and won it for us.
Q. You seemed to spend most of the game on the perimeter. Is that the result of a bigger defender like Haslem guarding you?
DIRK NOWITZKI: Well, I thought we ran a couple post-up plays. And, like I said, they were fronting me and there really was no passing angle to even catch the ball in the post, Walker in front of me, Haslem in front of me.
So I just tried to make some stuff on the start and be aggressive. I thought I wasn't really taking great shots there for a while, but, you know, I just had to get myself going a little bit in the third quarter. But I thought really it was a defensive battle and the defense won us the game in the second half.
Q. Did you think the Miami defense was taking you out of some stuff early or were your rotations offensively just not real crisp? It seemed some passes were at people's feet.
DIRK NOWITZKI: Yeah, I thought we were a little frozen up. I think this is a big stage, nobody really has been here before besides Avery and Darrell Armstrong, but he didn't even play when he was here with Orlando.
I thought we were kind of frozen up, you know, we were not making shots, we weren't making good plays on offense. We weren't swinging the ball. We forced some shots. Obviously that plays right in Miami's hands, if you stay on the strong side, they don't have to move and they can build a wall underneath the basket. And we just played right into their hands.
I thought the second quarter, we got loose a little bit, we moved the ball better. We finally got some stops which put us in transition and that was big and got us back in the game the second quarter.
Q. Talk about the atmosphere in the American Airlines Center, how much did you feed off that when you were down early and came back?
DIRK NOWITZKI: It was great, I thought early on Miami did a great job quieting them down. But when we made that run and Jason got hot, they were awesome. We've been feeding off them all season long, we won 60 games and took them all the way The Finals.
This organization, this franchise has never been to the Finals and obviously they are as excited as we are to be here. This is as much for them as it is for us. We got the first one out of the way. We can make some adjustments, look at some film and the crowd is going to be big on Sunday, as well.

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