You watch the games, you see the scores, but how do you really know what's going on in NBA Playoffs 2004? 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.
Sacramento's Doug Christie started all 82 regular season games for the Kings this year, ranking fifth in the NBA in steals per game. Send Doug a question via e-mail and we'll post his answers to the best questions at least once for each round of the Playoffs the Kings reach.
Christie responded to your first round of questions on Tuesday, April 27:
Q: What will be the team's strategy for rebounding against the Dallas Mavs?
-- Rob (Sacramento, Calif.)
Christie: We are all going to have to help each other out and make sure we get to the loose balls. Iíve always said, whatever I can do to help this team out, thatís what Iím going to do. If that means rebounding, then so be it.
Q: Being that you guys are 1-3 against the mavs in the regular season, what do you think it would take for you guys to get past them in the playoffs?
-- Asia (Tacoma, Wash.)
Christie: We just have to come out and play the type of basketball that we know we are capable of. We feel like if we do the things both offensively and defensively that we are supposed to, we will be alright.
Q: With the recent string of upsets you guys have suffered, how are you, mentally, going to approach the playoffs?
-- Ted (Fullerton, Calif.)
Christie: I think we understand whatís at stake. We hadnít been playing well lately. And if we donít play well, weíll go home. And I think everyone on the team understands that. I hope we can bring the same energy night after night.
Q: Congratulations on making the playoffs! I am a huge fan of the Kings. Anyway, what is your strategy against the Mavs? They're a tough opponent.
-- Will (Selden, N.Y.)
Christie: We just need to play Kingsí basketball and not worry so much about what they are going to do. With Don Nelson there, you know anything is possible with the Mavericks. I think if we rebound and get after it defensively, weíll be in a great position, because neither team is going to have to worry about scoring.
Q: Will you guys be able to play the type of basketball that you were in the beginning of the season?
-- Djordje (Perth, Australia)
Christie: I think so, I think so. Weíre starting to show that intensity that we had at the beginning of the season that helped us to the best record in the league. I think weíre getting back to that point.
Q: Hi Doug, I love how you are playing. I think you are the leader of the team because you play solid all around. What keeps you so focused on the court?
-- Paul (Davis, Calif.)
Christie: As you get older and see your career winding down, I donít want to say Ďwhat if.í So, Iím just going to give Iíve everything I got. If I have to crawl, Iím going to crawl.
Q: Doug, what do you do to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the playoffs? Is there a special routine that you go through every time?
-- Simpson (Seattle, Wash.)
Christie: I just try to relax before games, get my mind prepared mentally by reading and visualizing myself on the court.