You watch the games, you see the scores, but how do you really know what's going on in the 2001 playoffs? NBA.com has infiltrated the action with the ultimate insiders -- the players themselves. We're giving you an exclusive look at the postseason with a roster of player mailboxes that will change with each round.
Bryon Russell KNOWS the playoffs, having been in the league for eight years and competing in the postseason eight times. His playoff averages are actually higher than his career averages (10.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg vs. 9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg), so the Jazz are confident he will step it up when it counts. In Game 1 against the Kings, Utah lost a heartbreaker at ARCO Arena when several last-chance trey attempts fell short. Russell played 20 minutes and logged three rebounds.
After practice before Tuesday's Game 2, Russell took some time to answer fan e-mails.
Being that the Jazz are in a kind of unusual position (8th seed) this
season, do you think that this might be an advantage to them as they are
the underdogs and have nothing to lose so it takes a lot of pressure off?
How well do you think we'll fare this year?
Bowie State, Md.
Russell: We are the underdog, and we're fine with that...this is an upset in
Do you think that zone defense is the key to control the
Kings' offense or do you prefer personal defense because of the shooters
of the Kings? Good luck. We trust in you guys. Sorry for my English.
San Salvador, El Salvador
Russell: We haven't used the zone, we have used man-on-man. We did an
excellent job in the first game.
My heart sank when I saw the offensive goaltend that Padgett
made. It was amazing seeing that you guys could hold off the Kings in
the third quarter, where they looked more frustrated than ever. What
vital parts of your team's defense stopped them?
Russell: All of our defense stopped them, interior and exterior. Our bench
came in and played well and helped stop the Kings as well.
I am 40 years old and have been an NBA fan since I was about
10. What is it like knowing that this may be one of the last years that
Stockton and Malone may play together? It has been a joy watching them
play all these years. They may both retire out of the NBA as two of the
greatest players that never won a championship.
Russell: Playing with Karl and John right now is like playing with them when
they were in the prime. I will continue to enjoy playing with them while
they are both still with the team.
What do you guys have to do in order to pull of an upset of
the top seeded Kings?
Russell: Win! Win! Win!
What's the diference between a regular season game and a playoff game?
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Russell: Intensity and control of the game. Every possession counts.