NBA.com Blog: Jerry Stackhouse
Posted Mar 29 2007 5:14PM
Back Home and Still Winning
Posted by Jerry Stackhouse on March 29, 2007, 3:45 p.m. ET
It was a great trip. I think starting off in Detroit and getting a big win there kinda set the tone for the rest of the trip. The road is a good time for a team to come together, especially with that long trip. Not that we were apart, but it's just that, being on the road for 10 or 11 days with the guys, you really grow as a team. And we were able to do something that this franchise has never done before, to go undefeated on the long trip.
And then we come back home and win a tough game last night, which was really just like a road game too, because we traveled and then played the next night. A lot of times, you come back and you at least have a day to kinda settle in and get back, but we were right back to work, which may have helped us, because we were coming off a high of going undefeated on the trip and then we were right back playing the next night. So, it could have helped us, but it didn't help us that we lost Dirk for most of the second half and that Josh tweaked his ankle. But guys stepped up and we refused to lose that game last night.
I think Dirk's situation is one that he's seen before, though. He's always had a little issue with his ankles. He's had bone spurs and every once in a while, when he jams it, they touch each other and you have a little problem, but it's never anything serious. I think having a day off is good for him and I'm pretty sure he'll be out there ready to go tomorrow night.
11 Games to GoWe have the Knicks tomorrow. I saw the win they had last night and I'm sure they have guys playing with a lot of confidence right now, beating Cleveland. That's a team fighting for a playoff spot, so I'm pretty sure we're gonna get one of their best punches, which we have with a lot of teams. We just gotta come out and be ready to play, and I think we will be.
Obviously we know that Phoenix is one of the cream of the crop of the Western Conference and you know, we want to go out there and beat 'em. We're just more concerned about getting guys healthy, getting Devean George back and getting Buck back from his knee problems. Those guys are key for us and I think our mind set is more about us than Phoenix right now. I know it's exciting for the fans, how the last game went to double overtime and was such a great game.
Don't get me wrong. We're going in with the mind set to win the game, no doubt. But moreso, it's just trying to get ourselves ready for the end of April and the months to follow.
We look at these last few weeks at what it is. We don't try to get ahead of ourselves or anything like that. You know that you have to go through the regular season. I think last year taught us that you really appreciate everything that goes on in the regular season, because it kind of prepares you for all the things that you see during the coarse of the playoff run. Some of the things that we handled well during the regular season last year, we handled well during the playoffs. A few of the things that we didn't handle well during the course of the regular season, we didn't handle well in the playoffs. So, all these scenarios winding down the season the way it is right now, we feel that it's important. I don't think we're getting bored at all.
The DecisionObviously, I was disappointed that Carolina lost the game the way they did. I thought they had that game and just really couldn't buy a basket there late. But they're a young team and it's similar to our situation last year. They're just kinda getting their feet wet in the tournament getting to the point that they did. They'll come back even stronger next time around. Hopefully, those guys stick around and try to get them a championship before they leave, because I know they're going to be getting a lot of pressure to leave. It's a talented group there.
I think you only give advice when asked. I think that's the best thing, because everybody's situation is different. Each player that is considering it has to look at his family situation, look at his school situation (how he's enjoying school and how he's enjoying being there with his teammates) and what goals that he has. I'd be happy to offer my opinion to any of them, but it's the dream of most of us who grew up playing basketball to play professionally, and when you get close to realizing that opportunity, the decision becomes tough.
I look back on it and it was the best decision for me to leave after my sophomore year. But I've looked at other guys who have left early and watched how their careers have turned out and would say that it wasn't the best situation for them. Each individual is a different case.
Live from New York
Posted by Jerry Stackhouse on March 20, 2007, 12:10 p.m. ET
The Detroit game was obviously a big game, because we played Boston after we lost to Phoenix and everybody was a little down after that game. So, it was really a struggle against Boston, because we kinda had a little bit of a hangover, but we found a way in the fourth quarter to find some rhythm and we were able to win that game.
But Detroit, we knew that they had come off of a big win in Phoenix and had an unbelievable road trip going 5-0, so it was a good test for us and I think we handled it well. We started off a little sluggish, I think we were still getting over that Phoenix loss, but by the second quarter and definitely in the second half, our defense improved.
We're in New York now, one of my favorite places to play. We know that the Knicks are a dangerous team and they're definitely going to be motivated, because they're playing for something. And that's good for the game. We're playing for something too. Every game means something.
Time for FocusI really don't want to be bothered with anything right now, going into the playoffs. We want to just focus in on what's going on, because to be able to win a championship, you can't have anybody that's not on the same page with you. That's what it takes ... to have that commitment from all 15 guys. So, Avery tries to make sure that all the appearances and autograph signings are out of the way now, in this last month of the season.
Then, it's all about the Mavericks. We hear all the talk. We didn't win the championship last year. We didn't finish the season we would have liked to or the way some people thought we could. But we got a lot of belief in our team and like I said last time, we just want to be respected. It ain't about getting all these gaudy records and having teams fear us. Because when you're backed in a corner, it's just a natural tendency to swing as hard as you can to get out of it. But if you just respect somebody, you can stand toe to toe and fight and see what happens. And we feel like when we do that, we'll come out on top.
Blessing in Disguise
Posted by Jerry Stackhouse on March 15, 2007, 5:10 p.m. ET
Last night's game was big. We're not trying to downplay it as being anything less, but at the end of the day, it's still a regular season game and we're still up in the season series 2-1. Obviously, there will be a lot of excitement for the last time we play in the regular season and hopefully, seeing this team in the playoffs.
I think fans really enjoy it and you know, we enjoy the games too, even though we came out on the wrong end last night. We still feel that we did some things that were out of character, especially this season. When we got a seven-point lead with less than a minute to go, that's a game that we normally win.
But, I think it could be a blessing in disguise. When you're playing a team like that and you happen to sweep the season series, they have a whole lot of motivation in the playoffs. I think it's a lot better to be respected as opposed to feared, because when you get somebody that's afraid of you, then there ain't no tellin' what they might do. But I definitely know that they respect us and we'll see what happens when we see them again.
We made some mistakes, missed a couple of free throws. We had bad fouls. Those are things that are correctable errors for us. I could see if it was just something where we just couldn't stop what they were doing, but that wasn't the case. We just made some errors that cost us the game.
I don't think that was my best game of the season. I think it was an opportunity that we all look for to step up in big games. Against some other teams, there might not be a situation where I have to score 30 points or that I even get 18 shots. There are a lot of times when I go three games and don't even get 18 shots. But that's just my role. I know what my role is. When it's time for me to perform, my coaching staff and my teammates know that's what I can do. I just accept it and I'm ready to step up when those times come. And they are coming.
Dirk didn't have his best game last night and Nash played big. He hit some big shots for them. But that doesn't take away from the other 60 games that we've played when Dirk has been, to me, the MVP. In the same situations against the same calibur of teams, he has stepped up and made big plays to win games. It just didn't happen for him last night.
On the road againWe're looking at this upcoming road trip as a time to correct our mistakes. We want to make sure that by the time the playoff season rolls around, we're not making those same mistakes again. Obviously, we want to have the best record going into the playoffs so that we can have the home-court advantage, but that's not all that it's about. If you lose one game at home, then the advantage is gone.
This long trip should be good for us. We get to go to the East Coast. We got a lot of family over there that don't get to see us play, having a lot of East Coast guys on our team. We're gonna have two or three days in Atlanta, a couple of days in New York ... I'm going back to Detroit, so I'm looking forward to going to all these cities ... and hopefully coming away with wins.
Go HeelsI'm a big March Madness fan, so I'm looking forward to checking my boys out. I got them going all the way. Their biggest test may be Georgetown, but I think they got a good chance of coming away with it this year. I also got Florida, UCLA and Texas A&M in the Final Four. I like that boy Acie Law. He hits big shots for them and they've got good guard play. That's what you need in the college tournament.
My best memory from it is probably the game going to the Final Four against Kentucky. We were playing them down in Birmingham and Rick Pitino made a big reservation for a party after they beat us ... and I think that room was empty after the game. Ha ha. That was fun.
Trying to Stay Focused Before the Break
Posted by Jerry Stackhouse on Feb. 6, 2007, 6:30 p.m. ET
We've been struggling a little bit with our defensive transition, but I think we've really been playing pretty good and we've been able to win games. It's good to be on a team where you can struggle in an area and you're still able to win games. We've been working on it in practice and we actually have gotten better in this last span of games. The numbers have gotten better for us, so hopefully, by the break, we'll be back where we were in the last few weeks.
I think we just have to have better anticipation of when we expect guys to shoot the ball. Part of our system is to make sure that we get to places where, if a guy drives and gets trapped or gets in a bad way at the basket, we give him outlets. And a lot of times, those outlets are in the corners. And then when the shot goes up, maybe a guy is still in the corner expecting a late pass.
I think we're just focusing on anticipating and if you see that shot starting to go up, you start to get back. Just those one or two steps can be the difference between the other team getting a layup or having to really set their offense to play against our halfcourt defense, which is what we want. Our halfcourt defense is pretty good.
But I think it's kinda a tough time right now. You can almost feel the break approaching, so I mean everybody's kinda got one foot on vacation and one foot on the court. You gotta try to stay focused.
On points and playing timeFor me, every night is different. A couple of times where I had big games, Josh was out. When he came back, I didn't play as many minutes. It happens like that sometimes. You never know who it's going to be on our team, but I think we're all capable and we try to take what the defense gives us. On those nights where I didn't score much, I had six shot attempts. When I get 20, I have 10-15 shot attempts.
So, we accept it. I don't think anybody on our team complains about time or shots or anything. I think that's why we are the team that we are. The fact is we're winning games. When you're winning games, you can deal with the numbers being down a little bit. When you're losing games, the natural tendency is to feel that I could be doing more. When you're racking up wins, I think everybody, and I'm no different, is cool with what's going on.
On the Western Conference reserve selectionsI've seen it happen before. It's nothing new. I'm not surprised by anything that happens in this league. It's hard for me to fathom that, as great a player as Allen Iverson is, the coaches in the Western Conference, with the minimal amount of games that he's played, are going to vote him into the All-Star Game over guys that have been playing in the conference all season long.
Josh is a young player. He's going to have plenty of opportunities to play in the All-Star Game and could obviously get selected by the Commissioner to go this year. But I've had three or four years where I was one of the guys talked about as being snubbed, so I definitely know the feeling. I went two years and I had two years that I didn't go where I personally felt that I played better than the two years that I did. There's always going to be few guys that are left out that probably deserve to go, but at the same time, I think all the guys there deserve to be All-Stars.
My plans for the breakI'm just playing it by ear as far as working on my movie. It's gonna be one of those things where I'm just looking to relax and do it at my own pace. I'm not going to have any itinerary as far as when I'm gonna go down there and work.
I've got a couple of appearances that I haven't been able to do during the course of the year because of my schedule. So I'm going to try and satisfy those appearance requests during that first Friday of the break. After that, I'm just gonna hang out with the family and definitely watch all the festivities of All-Star Weekend without having to be in the hustle and bustle of actually being in Vegas. It's still an exciting time I think for all the players, even the ones that don't attend or participate. You're still tuned in to what's happening and I think I will be also.
It's Been a Long Time
Posted by Jerry Stackhouse on Jan. 17, 2007, 12:15 p.m. ET
Hey, what's up guys? I know it's been a while since I've been on the blog. I've been a little busy, a little tied up. A lot has happened. Obviously, we've been playing great over the last couple of months. We've just been getting contributions from a lot of guys. The main guys have been playing great. Dirk is on his way to what I believe should be his first MVP year. Josh Howard should make his first appearance in the All-Star game. I think those guys, along with a collective effort from all of our new guys, have helped us reach the point where were are right now, with the best record in the NBA.
I just came back from my ankle injury about four or five games ago. I'm trying to get back into a rhythm a little bit. The team has been playing great. We had a big win last night against Houston. That's starting to become sort of a rivalry. I'm excited about and that and looking forward to another big game tomorrow against the Lakers.
MotivationObviously, your whole team strategy is trying to control Kobe, because he has the ability to go off and have a huge game similar to a guy like McGrady and the Rockets. But I think we have a little more of a motivation factor similar to what we had against Houston. One of our first four losses of the season came against Houston and they really beat us pretty good. So, coming into last night's game, we had a little payback on the mind. And the Lakers ended our last streak in L.A. They made some tough plays at the end to beat us, but still, those are some motivating factors that you can find during the course of the season, so we'll definitely have that working for us tomorrow.
We feel that there's obviously room to improve. We're playing really well in stretches and in the right stretches. We're playing well to end quarters and we're especially playing well in the fourth quarter. But, you know, we come back and we look at film, and we see where we're still making mistakes and where we have areas to grow. Hopefully, we'll be better by the time the All-Star break rolls around. And then, coming out of the break, that's when we really need to start trying to tighten things up to get ready for the playoff push. With that being said, it's still about winning games and we've been doing a good job at that.
Not Yet 100 PercentMy minutes have been down a little. I think it's just kinda been the strategy since I hurt my ankle to not try to put too much pressure on it right now. I'm just kinda being the guy to clog the holes. And I think that's gonna be my role until after the break and we really start to lock down our rotation going into the playoffs. I think my minutes will gradually increase.
I had kind of a high ankle sprain. I could roll my ankle to the outside and play the next day. But I rolled it to the inside and I haven't been able to get the full range of motion from it yet. But when I get out there and play, and the adrenaline is going, I feel that I can still do what I've always been able to do. I think Avery's just being a little more cautious with it. We want to err on the side of the big picture.
That's what we talk about all the time. The big picture. Being ready in May. Obviously, we have goals of winning games now, but it's going to be much more important for us to be healthy and win games come April, May and June.
Every day is it's own challenge. We're looking forward to tomorrow. Then we're going to Miami on Sunday, still another motivational game for us to come out ready to play. Then Orlando, another team that's playing well. It's just game to game. We're not thinking so much about records or things like that. We set a franchise record last year with wins and that didn't do anything for us in the Finals. We know that it's just about playing well in that last week in June as opposed to anything else.
Free TimeAvery gave us the day off today. It was a little surprising to have a day off the day before a game, but we've been going pretty long here for a while. We had some road games, came back home for a game and then came right back home to play. So I think it's a real timely break. We just gotta get ready to go in tomorrow. Tomorrow's shootaround will be a little heavier, probably like a tape-shootaround, like a light practice to get back up for the game.
Over the holidays, I did some things down in North Carolina with the basketball team and delivering food, things like that I do every year. Back home, we had a big food drive at my mom's church that helped a lot of people in our community in Kinston.
Here in Dallas, I'm doing some things with my music and my film. Just trying to position that to transition my way into some other avenues in a few years when I finish playing this game. The film is 98 percent finished. We're working on getting the original music in right now. For the rough copy, we used some music that we won't be able to use. But that's part of what we do anyway. We want to use our original music and we've got some artists that we're working with to kind of watch the film and get their vibe on it and do their thing.
It should be a lot of fun. We're looking to do that during the All-Star break this year. So, that's gonna be a critical time for me. We have a good break. After we play Houston that Thursday, we don't play again until the next Thursday, so I'm gonna try to get some things done in that time.
We had our Christmas party and Mark let me get one of his theaters and we put the film on. I got unbelievable feedback from it. Everybody loved it. Obviously, it was a little disappointing at the end, because it chronicled the whole season including the loss in the Finals. But it was real. And we kind of left it off as "to be continued." I think everybody knows what that means. Hopefully, we can have a happier ending this time around.
Time for a New Streak
Posted by Jerry Stackhouse on Dec. 5, 2006, 1:15 p.m. ET
During the streak, we had gotten off to really good starts in the first quarter. Last night, we didn't have a good first quarter. We allowed 30 points. I don't think we were really that bad offensively, but it was really at the defensive end that we struggled. Give the Wizards credit though. They made a lot of shots. They've played well at home. They haven't been able to put it together on the road yet, but they're definitely one of the top home-court teams in the league.
In the first four games of the season, I think we were trying to get guys into our system and most of the teams that we played early on were teams that had been together. We played teams that were pretty much playing the same rotation that they did at the end of the season last year. So even tough we were the team that advanced further and were a Finals team, we were kinda retooling. And that takes a little bit of a process.
But after that, I think we kinda stepped back and went more with our core rotation for a few games after those first four, with the guys that were here last year. And then we started to slowly integrate the new guys into what we were doing and we had some success with it.
The best is yet to comeI think the media definitely plays the streak up where we know that it's there, but I don't think that it's something that we talk about as a team at all. We just come in and we're a team that talks more about the things that we didn't do well and where we can try to improve from game to game as opposed to harping on all the good things that we did.
Because although we won 12 straight games, we as a team don't feel that the stretch that we just came through will be the best stretch that we go through during the season. We may not win 12 straight games again, but we want to be able to look at film and say that we played better basketball (more efficient offensively and better defense) somewhere later on in the year.
From sixth man to starter and back againI feel good about my own game right now. I think that, when Josh went down, coming into a starting role during the winning streak (he came back the last two or three games), I was able to get into a pretty good rhythm. And now, it's almost like an adjustment period again playing with the second unit.
We feel that we have more talent on our second unit with the experience and depth that we have, so it's important for us to try to push the ball and get as many possessions as we can. We feel that we can take advantage of most of the second units that we play. Most of the time, the other team's second unit wants to slow the ball down and not make any mistakes until they can get their starters back in. We like the approach of trying to extend the lead as opposed to just keeping it.
Jerry Stackhouse, Executive ProducerI've been working on a documentary that I did last year following the team. I had a couple of camera guys and a director that I worked with following the team from the start of the season all the way up to the Finals last year. We finished all the editing and everything and we're actually going to be having a little showing at our Christmas party next Friday. This is my first movie release, so I'm kinda excited about that. Hopefully, in the next month or so, we'll get some opportunities to let you and the world see what I was able to put together.
Obviously, I have some channels to go through, because I do have some NBA footage, some stuff around the Finals and different things during the games. I have to go through those channels, but it's definitely something that I think people would love to see to get behind the scenes of NBA basketball that's better than the NBA's approach on it. The players were a little more relaxed because there was another player behind the camera as opposed to guys that are coming in from the NBA to shoot it. They do great documentary stuff, but I think this has a different edge to it that fans would appreciate.
Stack in the House
Posted by Jerry Stackhouse on Nov. 1, 2006, 4:15 p.m. ET
I think as a team and as individuals, we were really disappointed after the Finals. We really felt that we were the better team. We just had a stretch there on the biggest stage where we didn't play our best basketball. We had four games where, looking back at the film, we just didn't play well. After playing really well for the first three rounds and the first two games of the Finals we picked a bad time to hit a lull in the season so to speak.
So, it was tough those first couple of days, where you just replay every situation that could have maybe turned the tide for us. All the little things that could have gone differently... obviously me getting suspended for the flagrant fall on Shaq. We lost that game by two points and I know I could have provided more than two points if everything played out the way it did. And then it swings back in our favor and we're one game away with two at home. So you beat yourself up a little bit. You point the blame a little bit. In those first couple of weeks, you feel all the emotions that are possible.
But time heals all wounds and we've started to kinda refocus and think about that's over and now let's see "What did I learn from the experience in the Finals?" Hopefully, we're ready to get on that stage again and finish it off.
SummertimeThis summer, I took some time off. Obviously, I spend some time in North Carolina every summer. My mom and dad are still there, so I spent some time with them. I went up to UNC and spent some time there. We got some good runs in. They're gonna be good. I know Ohio State has all those guys coming in, but we can't be far behind them because we got some special players coming in. I saw at least eight players, freshmen or returning players, that could realistically be playing at a high level in the next couple of years. So I spent some time with them and even some of the pro guys that came back like Marvin Williams and Sean and Raymond.
I took a little vacation too. I went to Mexico. Cabo San Lucas. I swam with the dolphins a little bit. But it was such a short summer. It seems like everything was such a blur. Don't get me wrong. We'll take a short summer every time, but it just seems like the season came back on us really fast and here we are.
RetoolingI think everybody is coming back hungry and trying to finish what were unable to finish last season, but knowing that it's a process. We're not getting ahead of ourself and feeling like we can automatically get back to the Finals this year. We know it doesn't happen like that. It's a process.
Obviously, we made some changes. We brought in some veteran guys that I think that can help us get over that hump. So, it's kind of bittersweet. When you have a special team like that, even though we didn't win the championship, you'd like to see all those guys stay together one more year to try to get it done. But you know, it doesn't always happen that way. So, we're gonna miss Darrell and Marquis and Adrian... those guys that were a big part of what we did. But like I said, I think these guys are gonna fill in admirably for those guys.
Avery had a strategy going into preseason, because it came on us so quick with Dirk playing in the World Championships, to give us as much time as possible. Even though it's important to get off to a good start, it's much more important to to finish well. So, the rookies and the new guys got the bulk of the time in the preseaon so they could learn what we're trying to do. Our nucleus guys know it really well. It's just a matter of getting in shape, so I spent a lot of time conditioning. I only played two preseaon games, but that was by design. It wasn't because I was injured or anything. We did the same thing with JT and Dirk.
Last year, I missed the first 20-some games, because I had a great training camp and then the first preseason game, I got bumped in the knee and there you go. I had some swelling in my knee and it was 26 games later before I could play.
RivalryWe have the Spurs tomorrow night. Obviously, over the last five or six years, they have been the team to beat in the Western Conference. And I think with us, people talked about a rivalry with us and San Antonio, but I think it was more just because of the intra-state thing, because Dallas never beat them. I think the last two years is really the time where we've had their number so to speak. And obviously, last year, putting them out in the second round was big. So, I think that was really the start of the rivalry in my mind.
So I'm excited. They're a division foe, a state foe and we just don't like each other very much. There's talk about them being banged up last year, but I didn't seen anybody hobbling around when we finished them in the second round. There was nobody out there on one leg. They weren't any more banged up than we were. You can always find some excuses and I'm glad that's one thing that we didn't do. We didn't point the blame, maybe in our heads we did. But Miami beat us and that's how we look at San Antonio. Yeah, they're a great team and they got great people, but we're on their level. It starts tomorrow and we're excited.
I didn't watch one bit of the ring ceremony the last night though. I saw the highlights that they got blown out, but I found myself trying to be occupied once the season kicked off. I'm excited tonight to watch the games though. I love to watch basketball, but last night was just a difficult night to start with.