home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 21, 2011

Rick Carlisle



Q. Can you talk about your defense, especially at the start of the game?
RICK CARLISLE: Yeah, we were much better tonight defensively, and you know, we had to be. The first two games were poor. We were very fortunate to win the first game.
But tonight, I mean, we played championship-level defense for the first time in the series, and now the challenge is to sustain.

Q. Can you talk about Terry didn't shoot well tonight, Dirk had an off-night, yet you got enough offense from everybody else?
RICK CARLISLE: Well, again, with our team, it's not set in stone who's going to be the top two or three scorers. You know, like tonight we had eight guys -- we had nine guys with four or more points. I mean, sometimes that's our formula. And we had a great start, but Dirk wasn't that involved. I thought that was a good sign, same as Game 2. The difference was we played better defense tonight.

Q. How big was it, Jason Kidd comes in and does whatever you needed defensively and also seemed to have a calming influence when it was important?
RICK CARLISLE: Yeah, Jason Kidd is a great player, and he's one of our superstar players. He does so many things that cannot be quantified on the stats sheet, just from having a calming influence when a team is making a run, a knack of hitting big shots and finding the window to deliver the ball at the right time to the right guy.
And defensively he did a great job the whole game of communicating to everybody what was going on, because our coverages were good, but we did change things a lot on the fly, and he's a guy that's directing traffic out there for us.

Q. Can you talk about Shawn Marion? He did a good job on Kevin, but he also was efficient offensively.
RICK CARLISLE: Yeah, Shawn Marion got us off to a great start defensively, and he was involved in a lot of great things offensively, scoring, moving the ball. He's such an important player for us because he plays a total game, his movement offensively, his ability to run, his ability to do things at the basket, and he's an underrated passer.
He's been one of our guys that's been a really important play maker for us during the year, as well. You know, it was a big minute game for him, and he came up huge for us.

Q. How high was your level of concern that the defense had lost its swagger and did you know you could get it back?
RICK CARLISLE: Well, I know what we're capable of, because the first ten games of the Playoffs we saw it. When you come up against a very different kind of opponent, you can get seduced a little bit into a different style of play, and you can get a little bit seduced out of what's made you successful. I believe that happened to us the first couple games. But then you get hit in the face at home. It's sobering for everybody.
And so, you know, we refocused. Guys recommitted to the defensive end. This is as hard a team to guard as there is in basketball, just because they're great at putting constant pressure on you off the dribble, off screens, in transition, so many different ways.

Q. Can you talk about your confidence in Dirk there at the end of the game? It had been a rough night for him.
RICK CARLISLE: My confidence in Dirk?

Q. Yeah, at the end of the game, considering it had been a rough night for him.
RICK CARLISLE: You mean like why I decided to leave him in? Look, he's our guy. In the fourth quarters, he's going to touch the ball as frequently as we can get it to him. And if he misses a few shots, you know, he's not going to get deterred, he's not going to get discouraged, and he's got the kind of will he's going to keep going at it. If he doesn't have a shot, if he's double-teamed, he's gotten really good at finding people.
He didn't have a good shooting night by his standards, and Oklahoma City had a lot to do with it. They were very physical, and they made it tough on him. So you know, he hung in and hit a couple of timely shots, and then he and Terry worked together on some plays, and the big key was we were able to get some stops when we needed it in the last three and a half minutes because they were charging at us.

Q. Two questions about your defense: One, Durant really never got it going throughout the game. Can you talk about why that might have been? And secondly, toward the end when they had a real chance and they cut it to a two-possession game, they seemed to just isolate and take quick shots. What was it about your defense that might have forced that?
RICK CARLISLE: Look, Durant is a guy you game plan for in your sleep because he's so -- he's great. I mean, he is great. I've never seen a guy 6'10" or 6'11" that can do the things that he can do on the floor with the basketball, putting the basketball in the hole and the efficiency with which he does it. I mean, it's unprecedented, really.
And so the first two games, we were allowing him too much space. He was getting -- he was very comfortable. You give a guy like that airspace, he's going to average over 30 against you, and that's what he did. Now, tonight he didn't get 30 and he had to work for his 24 and he missed some shots that he'll normally make. But early in the game, everybody was responding to what he was doing on the floor as well as Westbrook and Harden, too. All three of those guys are great, and they're all very, very dangerous.

Q. Was that as well as you've seen Dirk be guarded for the first three quarters? Even in the fourth they were all over him, too.
RICK CARLISLE: Well, they're doing -- they're making a great effort on him. Now, I don't know in terms of legal limits, I believe the line may be crossed at times, and if so, I mean, the league will see that.
But Collison is another guy that's extremely underrated as a player. I mean, he's so important for them, and he does so many things at both ends of the court. And I watched him during the whole Memphis series, and the job he did on Randolph when they really needed to guard him, he guarded him one-on-one. It's phenomenal. You're talking about a guy that's one of the best post defenders really in basketball. He's proven that in three Playoff series now.
They've got Ibaka and they're bringing guys over and stuff, so we're having to read situations and Dirk is having to read situations, and they'll keep throwing different looks at us. We know that. That's why balance is important, and that's why it was good that we could spread out the scoring to a lot of different guys, and it just didn't have to be Dirk getting 35 tonight for us to win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297