The Hornets held practice at the Alario Center on Monday afternoon, leading their first-round series over Dallas 3-1 after a tremendous road win on Sunday. A few highlights of media time with Byron Scott, who addressed Jason Kidd's flagrant foul, playing Game 5 in the New Orleans Arena and Jannero Pargo's impact on the team:
Q: Do you feel that you now have a physical and mental edge over Dallas? Youve beaten them three times, and none of those wins were close.
Scott: Well, even the game we lost, we feel like if we had done some of the things were capable of, we wouldve had a chance to win that game. We have a lot of confidence that we can win this series. Obviously with us being up three games to one, weve put ourselves in a pretty good position to make sure that happens. Weve got to play this like its a Game 7, because we definitely dont want to go back to Dallas.
Q: Regarding the play where Jannero Pargo was flagrant fouled by Jason Kidd, Dallas has been talking about playing more physically. Do you feel like youve gotten them out of their element by them playing that way against you?
Scott: Reading some of the papers the other day, Mark Cuban was saying that (the Hornets) were the physical team and that (the Hornets) were trying to intimidate (the Mavericks). Im trying to figure out what team was he watching? We havent been an intimidating team all season long. But right now were playing aggressive basketball. Thats the bottom line. We knew going into this series that we had to be aggressive on both ends of the floor. Weve gotten them out of their rhythm on the offensive end, because of how weve been playing defensively. We understand how important it is to play defense in order to win this series.
Q: How do you feel about Game 5 being in New Orleans in front of your fans?
Scott: I feel good. Our fans have been fantastic. The first two games, they were incredible. With a chance to close the series out at home, I think its going to be really crazy in the arena tomorrow. Our guys feed off that. Were going to be up and ready to play this game. The guys are looking forward to having Game 5 here and having the chance to close it out here.
Q: Anything you want to say to the fans?
Scott: Just get as loud as you possibly can. Be as loud and as rowdy as youve been for the last couple games, even more so tomorrow night.
Q: Are you surprised by how well your players have kept their composure after some of the physical play of the past two games?
Scott: Im not surprised. Im happy with how well they handled it. Weve talked about keeping our composure and to just keep playing. Dont allow their tactics to get us off our game. If Jannero wasnt as athletic as he is, and able to put his hands down to break his fall, there is no telling what couldve happened. His head was headed straight to the floor. But Im very proud of how our guys have handled those situations.
Q: Jannero has played very fearlessly in this series. Has he always been like that?
Scott: Yes. JP is fearless. He loves taking big shots. He loves the challenge of guarding certain guys. Those are the type of guys youve got to have on your team. His heart is much bigger than his size would tell you. But hes a fearless competitor. Thats one thing I love about him. He doesnt let one bad game deter him from playing (well in the next game).
Q: In terms of NBA dollars, hes a bargain, isnt he?
Scott: Hes a bargain. Hes a find. He had other opportunities to go other places, but he loves the situation he has here. He loves the players he is surrounded by, and obviously he has a special relationship with CP. We love having him here.