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Playoffs Mailbox: Wally Szczerbiak

You watch the games, you see the scores, but how do you really know what's going on in the NBA Playoffs 2003? 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.

Wally Szczerbiak was the Wolves' second-leading scorer this season at 17.6 points per game.

Wally answered your second round of questions on Thursday, May 1:

Q: Hey, Wally. First, you are an awesome player. I just wanted to know what it is like to play with Kevin Garnett? In my opinion, he is the best player in the NBA right now, especially now in the playoffs. Is he any different in the postseason than in the regular season? Thanks a lot. Beat the Lakers and whoever comes next!
-- Brock (Ashland, Ohio)

Szczerbiak: He's not really different. I think he should be the MVP, and he's carried that over into the playoffs. Hopefully, we can win this series. That's the most important.

Q: Hi Wally! First of all I would like to say that I love the Timberwolves and watching you guys play!! Between you and KG, it is so fun to watch and get into the game. My question is, what is the best part about being in the NBA playoffs and playing against one of the best teams in the league? Thanks a lot!
-- Katie (New Hope, Minn.)

Szczerbiak: In the playoffs, we really band together. We play 82 games to get here. It's win-or-go-home, and there's nothing to look forward to in the summer except training hard for next season.

Q: Hey, Wally, why are you guys so different from last year, when you lost to the Mavs? Is it because KG is taking shots and shooting the ball well, or is it the addition of Troy Hudson?
-- Mohamoud (Minneapolis)

Szczerbiak: So far, we've played well as a team. Plus, it's a seven-game series. We're right in the mix of it this year.

Q: I'd just like to say it's nice to see a Long Island native in the playoffs. After beating the Lakers at home in the third game, what does this do for you in terms of confidence, especially knowing that you were able to beat the Lakers in overtime, despite Garnett having fouled out in the first few seconds?
-- Mike (Smithtown, N.Y.)

Szczerbiak: It would've been nice to get Games 3 and 4, but one of two was our goal. We accomplished that.

Wally answered your first round of questions on Thursday, April 24:

Q: Hey, I'm just wondering if playing against Kobe makes you feel any additional pressure, since he is arguably the best player in the NBA today, and the most dominant player in the NBA at the same time? Seems to me that I might be feeling quite a bit queesy.
--Phil (Lebanon, Ohio)

Szczerbiak: Not at all. It's fun to play against better players. Playing against good players makes you raise your play and your game, because you want to beat the best.

Q: What is your main role now on your team's offense? In Game 1 against the Lakers, I don't think you got the ball enough.
--Corey (Katy, Tex.)

Szczerbiak: Sometimes I'm a decoy, sometimes I'm a main option. It all depends on the flow of the game.

Q: First off I want to say that I am proud to be a Timberwolves fan. Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing you boys in the second round of the playoffs. Now for my question: In your opinion Wally, besides Bryant/O'Neal, which team has the best duo in the league this season?
--Jennifer (Hutchinson, Minn.)

Szczerbiak: There are a lot of good duos -- Pierce and Walker in Boston, Stojakovic and Webber in Sacramento. But I don't really look at duos -- I look at the team matchups.

Q: What can you say about the year that Rod Strickland has had and the contribution he has made to the team this year? It was great to have him on my fantasy teams this year. What can you say about this guy?!
--Jim (Roncofreddo, Italy)

Szczerbiak: He's been really injured this season, but he's brought it in the playoffs. He's a savvy veteran who is very talented and smart, and he's done great at the end of the regular season and so far in the playoffs.

Q: Do you think that the new system of seven games in the first round will help you to beat the Lakers, or it will be more difficult to beat them four times? Thanks from a very big NBA fan from Israel.
--Gregory (Yokneam Illit, Israel)

Szczerbiak: Only time will tell!