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May 22, 2011

Rick Carlisle


Q. How would you describe Jason Kidd?

Q. Can you elaborate on that?
RICK CARLISLE: It just means he has the ability to process situations at a different -- at a higher level than a lot of us. It's part of his genius as a player and as a leader.

Q. How does it come into play in this series and this season? What are some things he's done that even blow you away?
RICK CARLISLE: Well, there are a lot of things. We see things nightly. The example that always comes to mind for me was last year we played at Atlanta, and there was a situation where Mike Woodson came out on the floor during the game to communicate with his guys, and this is a very close ball-buster game, and Jason saw that he was three steps out on the court and just had the ball and just turned on the gas and went and hit him, knowing it would be a technical foul, and then we get to shoot a technical free throw with the clock stopped, and it put us on the odd number in terms of the game, and it was a pivotal play with us winning the game. Things like that.
He just has a -- he has a way of viewing things with such a great simplicity, but often times it's a lot different than a lot of us would see it.

Q. Why do you think a point guard has never won an NBA title at 38? And can he be different?
RICK CARLISLE: Well, John Stockton was tantalizingly close, and it can be done. It can be done. It's just -- a lot of it depends on the kind of team you're with, the period of time you're playing, the situation, et cetera, et cetera. But the key for us is that we've been able to keep Jason's minutes reasonable during the year. He's had that one week at the end of the season to sort of regroup, get his body tuned back up, get his mind away from it, and that really energized him.
And then now it's that time of year. You know, saliva tastes different; your nervous system functions a little differently. When you're in the competitive moment, it's a higher level, and it brings out the best in all of us.

Q. Can you make a case that he's as valuable to this team now as he was to those New Jersey teams nine and eight years ago?
RICK CARLISLE: Oh, on our team he's a superstar. That's how important he is to us.

Q. The success that you had with trapping at the end of Game 2 when you got back into the game, did that kind of lead you to believe that you could do it earlier in Game 3 and get them out of rhythm and get your guys jump started, too?
RICK CARLISLE: Well, we knew we had to be more aggressive, more tied together and more engaged. You know, the trapping at the end of Game 2 was really just -- it was all-out, double-team the ball. In Game 3 we just were better, more aggressive and more tied together on our coverages. You know, our disposition was where it needed to be, and we've got to be able to do that again in Game 4.

Q. Is that defensive intensity almost a mindset more than anything else?
RICK CARLISLE: Yeah, it has to be. Look, we developed some consistency with our defense this year. For whatever reason we strayed from it in the first two games. Some of it may have been style of play, whatever, how Game 1 went. But we've got to deal with reality, and the reality is that we've got to play the way we played in Game 3 to be successful.

Q. Can you talk about how Shawn Marion really accepted the challenge that was put forth to him?
RICK CARLISLE: Big time, big time. Shawn took some heat for a couple days, and he responded with a big-time game. This is a guy that's been a franchise player in Phoenix for a lot of years. You go look at his stats and his career numbers, it's pretty amazing some of the statistical accomplishments that he has.
And for us, he's had to reinvent himself the two years here. Last year was an adjustment. This year you could argue was an even bigger adjustment in some ways. We're not playing a run-and-gun, rat-type game that they were playing in Phoenix. We needed him to be a defensive stopper, to reinvent his post game, and also play all four, and he's done all those things.

Q. How much does it help to have so many guys with veteran experience in the Conference Finals that appreciate this opportunity?
RICK CARLISLE: Well, experience is always a positive factor, but it's never a guarantee. And we found that out in Game 2. Game 3 we adjusted some things, but mostly our disposition and collective intensity and will, and we've got to carry that to the Game 4.

Q. You've talked about taking that next step, getting that next win. Was last night, withstanding what Oklahoma City did late, perhaps taking that next step?
RICK CARLISLE: Well, look, the things we've got to do better that we did in Game 3, down the stretch our transition defense needed to be better than it was. They kept taking the ball at us and getting to the free-throw line, and so a couple of turnovers and some missed shots facilitated that, so we've got to be better in those areas.
Look, as the series goes on you've got to keep adjusting. You've got to keep adjusting to the match-ups, to the rotations, to some of the situations that are happening, and look, both teams will continue to do that.

Q. In a bigger sense, was it that next step, though?
RICK CARLISLE: There's no next step until we've got a ring on our finger.

Q. How encouraging was it for Dirk and Jet to both have off nights and still get the win?
RICK CARLISLE: We had good balance, but to assume that just because those guys have off shooting nights and we won that we'll be okay the next game, it doesn't work that way. We've got to throw a total game out there, and it's got to start with the defensive end.

Q. Can you talk about what you've gotten out of your bigs so far in this series?
RICK CARLISLE: Very solid, and in Game 3, they really had to work because we're asking them to scrim on the perimeter to help with the perimeter guys and then get back in and rebound and bang with their bigs. Their mode of operation is much different in this series than it was in the previous two.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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