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.
Now in his seventh season with the Nets, Kerry Kittles started every game for New Jersey during the regular season. Send Kerry 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 Nets reach.
Kittles answered your second round of questions on Wednesday, May 12:
Q: Congrats on your 1st Round Playoff victory. What do you think will be the key for you and the New Jersey Nets to win round 2 against the Pistons?
-- Cliff (Memphis, Tenn.)
Kittles: We have to play our style of play. Detroit is a very good defensive team and at times they can get you out of playing your style of play and be disruptive in that sense. I think as a team if we can play our style of play, we have a very good chance of winning the series.
Q: Kerry, I have followed you since the Villanova Days... Why do you wear the number 30 and what is the weirdest conversation you have had on the court?
-- Kyle (Neptune, N.J.)
Kittles: I wear #30 because there was a guy in my high school who played before me who was a very good player and I looked up to him. Once he left my high school, I took his number. As far as the weirdest conversation, I don't converse too much during the games so I can't really think of anything that I've talked about with other players.
Q: Do you like having teammates like Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson, and how do you guys have such good teamwork?
-- Amanda (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
Kittles: I think for one thing, you have to have things in common. We share a good chemistry because all three of us are pretty athletic and we like to play in the open court. When you have guys who like to do similar things, you get along and things run smoothly.
Q: Who do you think the hardest team to beat is going to be?
-- Chad (Huntington, Ind.)
Kittles: It depends on which team is playing well at that particular time. I think you have to look at the Lakers as being one of the better teams because they have such great players and at any given time those guys can play well together. San Antonio is definitely one of the better teams because they have been there and they have won a couple of championships.
Q: Is being skinny in the NBA more of an advantage or a disadvantage?
-- Tommy (New York, N.Y.)
Kittles: I don't look at it as either. I think if you have speed and quickness, it makes up for having bulk.
Q: Was your first year in the NBA the hardest, or if not which one was the hardest?
-- Joseph (Versialles, Kent.)
Kittles: My first year was not the hardest. I think my hardest year was probably my third year when I had to deal with the injuries I had at the time. My first year was a lot of fun.
Kittles answered your first round of questions on Thursday, April 22:
Q: Hey Kerry, Who is the toughest player that you have to match up against?
-- Evan (Summit, N.J.)
Kittles: Probably Paul Pierce. He shoots almost every ball he sees and he's the guy they go to all the time.
Q: The casual fan knows you as the Nets 3-point shooter, but you really do a lot more than just that. What do you need to do other than shoot three's to help the nets make another run to the finals?
-- Keith (Midland Park, N.J.)
Kittles: Do what I've always done and that's be a good all-around player and contribute on both ends of the floor.
Q: Kerry, what do you think will be the key to your success in the playoffs?
-- Anthony (Elmwood park, N.J.)
Kittles: The key to our success is probably our half-court execution on offense. Whenever our transition game isn't as good as it can be, we have to do a better job of being better in the half-court set offensively.
Q: How does it feel to be on another hunt for the Championship? What do you think will make your chances better this year compared to the previous attempts?
-- Lefty (Georgia)
Kittles: It feels great. Hopefully our experience will help us. Being there two years before and going through the kind of series that we've been through, hopefully our experience will carry us through.
Q: Now that you are a veteran in the playoffs, do you still feel all the hype that is happening around you?
-- Alex (Oceanside, Calif.)
Kittles: Sure. I look at the game just like I did when I was a kid. I'm a huge fan of the game and I really enjoy playing the sport. It's fun. It's work, but it's fun.
Q: You've been a part of the Nets since 1997, how does it feel to climb from the bottom of the league, to top, being one of the most powerful and most feared teams in the NBA?
-- Madd Hops (Paramus, N.J.)
Kittles: It's a great feeling. I think you can definitely appreciate it more. You appreciate the winning teams and the confidence of going into the games now knowing you can win rather than before knowing you were outmatched most nights.
Q: Congratulations on making it to the post season. Does guarding the best two guards in the league have any effect on you ability to score consistently?
-- Dnet (New York, N.Y.)
Kittles: No, I don't think so. I've been doing it for years now and it hasn't affected me.