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June 12, 2008

Phil Jackson


PHIL JACKSON: Some turnaround in that ballgame. The air went out of that building.
You've got to give them credit. Their defense was up to the task in the third quarter and changed some momentum of the game.

Q. What's happening to your team in the third quarters? This is the fourth straight game where they've had a big advantage on you there.
PHIL JACKSON: Maybe I shouldn't have talked about it at halftime, but I mentioned it to them at halftime that we had to come out and win that third quarter. We talked about the fact of the disparity. But their defense in front of the bench, I think they played much better defense there where they're coached very well from the bench or from the floor. Their bench plays defense well, and they caught us in a situation where we didn't execute very well.

Q. Can you talk about matching up with their shorter lineup, their shooting lineup?
PHIL JACKSON: Yes. Well, that changed the course of the game, obviously. Time-out called, Perkins is injured, we're up by 20 points. They put in Posey and House, and they spread the lineup and run screen rolls, put some pressure on us to have to match up on screen rolls and have three-pointers available and they hit shots in the second half.

Q. Can you describe what happened on the play where Ray Allen in the final minute was able to isolate one-on-one against Vujacic and make the basket?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, they just into an open-floor situation, an open floor we have nobody to run, jump with on that kind of a line-up. We had done it a possession, two possessions before and Posey had hit a three, so we just said to the guys, stay home, take care of your guy, make him take a tough shot, and Allen was able to get by Sasha on that.

Q. What do you possibly tell your team after a game like that, up 24, you end up losing by six?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, it's not over. This is not over. The series is not over.

Q. That's what you said?

Q. What's the tenor of the locker room right now?
PHIL JACKSON: Oh, they're very depressed about that. With the kind of momentum they carried into the locker room at halftime and having a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, it's very difficult right now.

Q. Sasha went from being the big hero in last game, and this game he's sitting on the bench really upset, his demeanor looked torn apart right now. Do you think this young player can turn this around and do you think you need to tell him anything or talk to him?
PHIL JACKSON: No, they're resilient. These guys are resilient. They have disappointments, they come back. It's about team effort now that we have to make sure that we have a good collective energy again, come out and play that first half like we did before.

Q. I've heard you talk in the past about the trappings of having such a big lead and how sometimes teams get maybe a little careless. Was that one of the reasons that led to them coming back?
PHIL JACKSON: I'm sure it is, but you know, there's some things that they did exceptionally well. You know, Pau had a dunk. It was a block or a foul, but it was a bang-bang play. They reacted to those kind of things. They reacted to passing situations, destroyed passing lanes. Those are some of the things. I didn't think we got some lackadaisical.
One of the things I was concerned about was that Kobe hadn't scored a field goal in the first half, and that puts some -- then they knew, hey, he's going to come out and try to get some scores so we're going to have to commit as a team. They committed as a team and we didn't have guys that stepped up and helped out in that second half.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the decision, the point guard decision, between Jordan and Fish? You had Jordan play a lot of minutes down the stretch. Was that a match-up thing? And also with Vladdy for Lamar at the end?
PHIL JACKSON: I just felt that Jordan's quickness against Eddie House was probably important for us to have, a little more harassing defense up the court and some pressure in his reactive time a little bit. But Lamar had a great first half.
The second half obviously wasn't as successful. But they were what we call spying off him, going and helping off him and double-teaming, and we need to spread the court and open up the court so we could get something accomplished there at the end of the game and get some opening opportunities in the lane.

Q. Talk to us a bit about the confidence that you have in your team to win the next three games.
PHIL JACKSON: Our back is against the wall, but it's just a game at a time, and that's one thing we have to understand. We have to keep forcing the action because anything can happen in these situations. You just keep playing through it and you'll find a way to keep succeeding as you go along. We lost that in the third quarter and left that energy out there on the floor.

Q. Do you feel like your team played a little tight down the stretch?
PHIL JACKSON: No, I thought they played tight in the third quarter. When they came out of the second two-minute time-out, second time-out in the third quarter, you know, I was saying that we were playing without poise. We didn't have confidence in our execution skills at that time, and their harassing defense obviously is part to credit, as that goes. But I felt that we got out of character at that time and they got us a little bit scattered.

Q. I know there's a lot of stuff that contributed to this, but no steals in the second half for your time. Can you talk about that?
PHIL JACKSON: Turnovers, steals, we kept saying we've got to get some turnovers, we've got to force something, and we didn't. We couldn't find a way to -- they kept the ball in Pierce's hands, and in situations which I thought they were relatively secure with. But my issue with the team is we gave up too many lay-ups, too many lay-ups in the second half that cost us the ballgame.

End of FastScripts

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