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NBA FINALS: BUCKS VS. SUNS


July 19, 2021


P.J. Tucker


Milwaukee Bucks

Practice Day


Q. You guys have closed three series in a row on the road. Is there a difference here, trying to do it at home, or is a close-out a close-out?

P.J. TUCKER: A close-out's a close-out. Just the mentality of the team. It's next game up, doing best we can. Obviously, we don't try to pick where we close it out at. It's not going to be easy being at home. Just being home don't win you a game.

Q. Is there something that you can draw from those three games previously, mentally meaning, or is it different because it's the Finals; you win the Championship if you win. How do you balance, it's just another game but knowing the stake, I guess?

P.J. TUCKER: It's got to be just another game because if you put too much of that emphasis to me, I think and you start to kind of get out of your body, you just start doing anything -- I think it's another game.

Weíve had that mentality every series, every game, next one up, but knowing in the back of your mind what's at stake.

Q. You can't predict the future of how youíll feel; is that one of those things where you think you can do this, today, your pregame routine, but itís really more of the, hit the court, the initial adrenaline rush?

P.J. TUCKER: You're going to get that, that's natural, but honestly doing the same things. We're doing the same things we've been doing today, day before, practice is the same, shootaround is the same. Everything is the same. You do the routine and you stick in that and whatever happens in the end, happens.

But everything's the same

Q. Obviously, they are different players, clearly, but the last couple games it feels like -- it's reminded me of Brooklyn in that when you sat here and would tell us, if Kevin scores 40 points, it would have to be on 40 shots and make him work. It feels like that way with Devin to a degree, where it's make him work. If itís 30 shots, that means these other guys Ė I donít know if these other guys; has it shook out that way these last few games where, make him work but maybe not have these other players hurt us as well?

P.J. TUCKER: I use this, kind of not really, totally different series, different players, different teams. I get it, for sure. We've got to make him work. He's going to score. He's going to score a lot of points. He's one of the best, he's good. But he's got to work ask we have to make him work and everybody has to stay in coverage and do the little things throughout the coverage that make him have to work and not give everybody else open shots and start doing things we're not supposed to do outside of the game plan. So just stick to the game plan.

Q. The other day, Giannis, he was asked about missing the free throws and Khris at the end of the game, but you had the volleyball tip to extend that stuff, and some of the other plays that you've done all year, I don't know, I guess in that moment, how do you -- how do you see when you're involved in that way, sort of that intangible way or that -- that secondary way, lack of a better phrase and you see your teammates kind of finish it, what is your feel like, you know what I mean, when you're watching that, you turn Book but Jrue is the one that pops the ball, in the moment, how do you watch that and feel about that?

P.J. TUCKER: Piece of the puzzle. At the end who cares what's a masterpiece as long as it all comes together. Who cares who did what and who gets the credit. I don't care. I don't care if I score another point, I don't care. As long as we win in the end, that's all that matters. People get caught up so much in the other things, and yeah, you turn and I did all this stuff, Jrue got the steal, everybody talk about Jrue, great. Who cares? We got the stop. Like that's what matters. It's the end result and that's always been the case and that is the case.

Q. Along those lines, how important has that been for this team to come back from the 0-2 hole to get to this point where it's Bobby or Pat or whatever it may be for finding those pieces?

P.J. TUCKER: It's truly been like our whole team. Like we have needed everybody in different series at different times. Everybody has contributed to us being in this position, not Giannis and like the big three. Everybody, all these guys on our team have done something to help out this team throughout this whole process. And I expect that tomorrow. And that's the beauty of our team. You don't know who it's going to be. Pat was big and made some big shots the last few games. He's been great. He's been great.

But you know, Bobby, it might be Bobby tomorrow. It might be, you know, Jeff, Jeff might come off. Like who knows, we don't know. But the way our team is and the way we're built and the way we play, it doesn't matter.

Q. Eleven years ago you were in Germany playing for Brose Baskets Bamberg, and today you are one game away from being an NBA champion. If you had the chance to talk to that P.J. who was in Germany, what would be the first thing you would say to him?

P.J. TUCKER: You ain't going to believe this [expletive], for real. You ain't going to believe this. You wouldn't believe it for sure not. He'd laugh, like, get out of here, man.

Q. With one more win, you are an NBA champion. When you went to Europe, did you expect to return to the NBA, and wing a ring as a starter?

P.J. TUCKER: No. I did not. You can't -- in sports, you never know what's around the corner. You don't know what's going to happen. You don't know how long you're going to be with a team, how long you're going to play, being healthy, so many things play a part, life, you know, the other things that happen off the court. So many things in life, you never know what's going to happen.

So, that's the beauty of it. You being able to turn it, your book just completely can turn from one story to another to another, and that's the beauty in this. That's the fun. That's what makes it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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