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May 22, 2011

Scott Brooks


Q. Coach, what did you learn from film today and what did the guys take away from practice and everything?
SCOTT BROOKS: Hmm. Well, we dug ourselves a pretty deep hole in the first half. A lot to do with that was Dallas. They played extremely -- they had a great start. They were really into us in our offense and really forcing us out where we don't want to be. A lot to do with them, and then we kind of put our foot down and said it's not going to happen in the second half, and we played much better.
The spirit of our team improved with better defensive execution, better effort, and offensively we were just playing with more force, so we weren't allowing them to dictate the game to us. We were forcing it on to them, and I thought that was the biggest key to the comeback. Unfortunately we cut it short. We had three good looks to cut it to four or three, and it didn't happen.
But the guys, I knew going into that game that it was going to be a tough game because we're playing against a very good team that usually the team that just lost plays with a little more anger and a little more desperation, and they did that in the first quarter, and then we just couldn't overcome. But we battled and fought and gave ourselves a chance.

Q. What do you think happened to the shooting touch, 36 percent overall, 1 for 17 from beyond the arc?
SCOTT BROOKS: You know, looking back at the threes, out of those 17 I think maybe three were not good ones. But we still have to step up and shoot it. That's the game of basketball. Like I told the guys today, there's going to be nights that you don't have your offensive touch, and those are the nights you have to keep the team under 22 in a quarter, and we didn't do that in that first quarter. Even if they would have kept it in the 22 to 12 range instead of 27 to 12, it's still a pretty tough hole to climb out of, but it's always about defense with our team.
Our offense has improved and it's going to continue to get better and we get better as a team. Defensively we gave ourselves opportunities offensively with our defense in the second half.

Q. Things have been up and down game to game. Is that kind of fluctuation to be expected?
SCOTT BROOKS: I think that's just basketball. If you look at the other series, the same way. Look at Dallas had some rough spots, also, in the second half. I think when you're talking -- it's a physical game, and it's every possession is highly scouted, and we know each other's stuff, and it's just doing it and executing it with great energy and keep moving until the ball finds a good shot. But it's always been that way, and tomorrow night's game is not going to be anything different. We're going to have to fight through their toughness, and I anticipate our guys will do that.

Q. What are your thoughts on how Collison guarded Dirk?
SCOTT BROOKS: Collison, there's only one word I always like to describe him; he's a winner. He fights every possession, he tries his best every possession, and Dirk is one of the best players at that position ever, and that's probably the toughest person to guard in this league because he's got such a great offensive game and does so many things. Nick plays him well because his effort is always there. He doesn't give him a lot of room, doesn't give him the angles as much. But it's an every-possession thing because if you relax for two or three possessions, it can be nine points.

Q. The personality of the way the refs are calling it is more physical. How do you view that?
SCOTT BROOKS: I think that's just playoff basketball. I don't know if we have an advantage or they have an advantage. I just think you have to just play through all of that, and our guys have done a good job so far, we just have to keep getting better. But we know that Kevin has improved in his toughness. I think he had a big lesson last year with Artest, and now every series I see him getting better and not allowing guys to hold and grab and push him off of his spots, but he still needs to focus and work on that area, but he's been bruised a lot. Dirk is hard to knock off the spot that he wants to get to because he's strong. You don't look at him as a strong player, but he always seems to catch the ball where he wants the ball.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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