Postgame Quotes: Suns vs Lakers Round 3, Game 1


Head Coach Alvin Gentry

Steve Nash

Amare Stoudemire

Robin Lopez

Grant Hill

Channing Frye

Jason Richardson

Jared Dudley

Phil Jackson

Kobe Bryant

Lamar Odom

Pau Gasol

Ron Artest

Andrew Bynum

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Head Coach Alvin Gentry

You've got to give them credit. They played great I thought, I thought one of the best games I've seen them play in the playoffs this season, really. They shot the ball well. Kobe kind of controlled the whole game. I thought that we could have withstood the game that he had because the shots that he was making, you can't do anything about. It doesn't matter. The only other option you have is to go double team him right away before he gets over half court. But when he's making his jumper like that, there's not a whole lot you can do about it. We've just got to do a better job, I think, on the points in the paint. We can't give up 56 points in the paint, and then we've got to go a better job on Gasol, and then I thought Lamar Odom was really kind of the difference in the game. He came in, and we had a nice little start, but I thought Lamar came in and really kind of changed the whole game. He finished with 19 points, 19 rebounds. He dominated the boards, and I just thought he gave them that extra burst of energy to kind of get them over the hump.

to be honest with you guys, it wasn't exactly the post up plays and the big guys. It was the middle drives and the perimeter players driving in the paint more so than it was Gasol had a great game and had some good post up moves, but for the most part it was them breaking down our perimeter defense and driving in the paint and creating situations that way. So that's an area that I think we can get a little bit better. And from the standpoint of just throwing over the top and scoring, they didn't really do that a whole lot against us. Lamar came up with offensive rebound after offensive rebound. But I think as you watch the tape, and we'll look at that tonight, I thought the middle drives by Kobe and by Fish and by Shannon Brown and even Farmar, I thought they got into the teeth of our defense much, much too often and too easy and that created situations where now we're kind of in rotation and that's where a lot of the points in the paint came.

I still think we can withstand the 40 that Kobe got. The way he got those points, when he's in that zone like he is tonight, there's really not a whole lot you can do about it. So we have to do a better job on the other guys. We've played them before, Kobe has had 40 before against us, and we won the game. When he's in the zone like he is tonight, there's not a whole lot you can do about it other than just completely running off a guy and trying to get the ball out of his hands, then you totally break down everything. We've just got to do a better job on our perimeter defense, I think. We didn't do a very good job guarding the perimeter, and we got broken down way too often on the perimeter, which in turn them breaks down the interior of your whole defense.

They do a good job. They do a really good job of running you off three point shots. We have struggled some against them from the three point line. Some of it we didn't make the shots. We had a lot of shots available to us that we didn't make. Obviously they do a good job of closing out. They're No. 1 in three point percentage defense in the league, so they do a good job of closing out on that.

I thought Robin played well for us. I thought he did a good job. First game back in six weeks, you know, he still doesn't have his legs under him. He's a much better athlete than he showed out there tonight. But I thought he was real solid and played well, and hopefully he'll continue to get better in the series.

I think every time Kobe plays somebody, he takes it personal. I mean, that's his motivation, so I didn't see anything wrong with it. I don't think he was trash talking or anything like that. He just he understands how important this first game is, and I just thought he played at a real, real high level. He's one of those guys when he's playing and he's in the zone like he is tonight, you can't do a whole lot about it. I'm just disappointed in other phases of our game that we have to get better, and obviously the rebounding part and the middle drives, the perimeter defense has to get a little bit better. They had guys that stepped up. I thought Farmar played solid for them. Artest did a good job for them. We can withstand Kobe and Pau having the games that they had, but when other guys step up, especially Lamar with 19 and 19, then that gets to be really tough, and if you add one more guy to the mix, then they're almost impossible to beat when they add that fourth guy in that plays well. We'll just have to do a better job. I can stand up here and say that the layoff helped them and hurt us, but we'll see what happens on Wednesday. We'll come back and One thing about our guys, they're a pretty resilient bunch, and when we go through a situation like this, we usually find a way to regroup and come back and play well. Hopefully that will happen on Wednesday.

We're not a real fastbreak team, and I think that's kind of a misnomer about our team. We've never been in the top ten in fastbreak points in the league. We play with a rhythm, and we didn't really get into that rhythm tonight. You have to give them some credit. They did a good job defensively in some areas right there. But there's also some areas where I think we'll be better on Wednesday than we were tonight. It's just I don't want to take anything away from them because they played great. It's as well as I think I've seen them play in the playoffs this year, and when they're making shots and then moving the basketball like they did, it gets to be a little it gets to be real difficult.

You knew at some stage Kobe would try to take the game over. That's what he does. He's a great player. I mean, he has the focus on one area, and that's to try to win a championship, and we have to try to do a better job of trying to take one of those guys out of the game. We've got to do something like I said, two of them, Pau and Kobe, are pretty consistent. We've got to take that third guy out. You know, 19 points, 19 rebounds by Lamar, those are the kind of games that really kind of get them over the hump. I thought we were within striking distance there, and we had a couple of bad possessions. We had a chance to go into the fourth quarter where it could have been a single digit lead, and we stepped out of bounds on the play. We've just got to do a lot better job of executing, and then we've got to do a much better job defensively of trying to slow them down. 128 points we can't defend.

I think our attitude was fine. We ran into a guy that is a great player. I'm pretty sure we're not the first team that he scored 40 against. I'll go back and look, but I'm pretty sure that not even in the playoffs do I think we're the only team that he scored 40 against. So they had a great night. You've got to give them credit. The way we look at it, it's one game down and they've got to beat us three more times and we think we'll play better. That's the attitude that we have to have.

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Steve Nash

I felt fine. My eye was the least of my concerns tonight.

Kobe had it going. He hit a bunch of shots. He hit a bunch of long range shots. If he's going to score on you, if he's going to get shots up, you want him to take long range shots. I haven't seen the box score, but I didn't feel like we put him in the line a ton. I didn't feel like we let him get inside a ton, but he made a ton of shots. You've got to tip your hat to the kind of performance he put on out there tonight.

You know, I think our room for error is small. They're a lot bigger than we are. They had a lot of points in the paint. They're probably going to continue to be taller than us as the series goes on (laughter), so we've got to try to cut down on some of those transition buckets, offensive rebounds, you know, defensive lapses, whatever it is. We've got to play really, really solid defensively, try to make everything as tough as possible, try to limit the paint touches and catches and offensive rebounds. I thought tonight we gave a few too many of those obviously but also a few too many breakdowns. We played hard. We didn't make enough shots, and we had a few too many breakdowns to counteract their size.

It's not like we're going to hang our heads and not try to win Game 2. You know, we've just got to play better. If we play better, opportunities with our movement is obviously going to be pivotal.

had some success on pick and rolls tonight, but they also do a good job at times defending it because they can clog up the paint and use their length. It's our bread and butter. That's how we create movement, and we create opportunities for ourselves, so we're definitely going to keep going to it. But we have to have other dimensions to our game, as well, to keep them off balance. If we give them a steady diet, that's when they really zone up and use their size and make it hard. We've got to be efficient in a few different areas so that we don't just rely on one thing and they can get kind of hip to that game.

I thought the bench did a really good job in spurts and then in other stretches maybe struggled. I think you could say the same about the first unit. I don't think that we can really pin this loss on the first unit or the second unit. I thought we both needed to play better. We both had success in stretches, but we couldn't sustain it. We'll look to have a better effort for the entirety of Game 2.

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Amare Stoudemire

we didn’t play well. We gave up too many drives and couldn’t quite close out well on the shooters. Ron Artest and Lamar Odom had a couple of unexpected threes out there so we’ve got a better job defending.

Odom did a great job in the first half. I think in the second half, we did a pretty good job on him offensively. We just had to get some boards. He comes in and he’s long. If you reach over the top, you’ll get a few boards. We just have to do a better job of keeping these guys off the boards on Wednesday.

Well Kobe’s gonna get his numbers. He’s gonna do that. We just have to try to eliminate the other guys. Lamar [Odom] had a great game. We have to do a better job on Ron Artest. Pau Gasol had a solid game. So we just have to contain those guys. Kobe is gonna get his numbers, we know that. But we have to contain the rest of the guys.

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Robin Lopez

We didn’t play well offensively. We didn’t play well defensively, you know. They got too many offensive rebounds. We left them wide open.

I think we’re gonna watch some film, come back more focused, and give a better effort. In the first series Portland got the win [in Game 1]. In the first series, we lost Game 1 but came back and won the series. We are gonna put in some work, come back focused and see what happens.

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Grant Hill

There were some tough shots there in the first quarter. There were a couple of fouls there. It is what it is. It’s just one game.

[Kobe] is the best player in the game and he’s gonna get points. I don’t know exactly what we did wrong or right tonight. We just have to look at the tape tomorrow and talk about making some adjustments. I give credit to them. They made their shots and made plays. Everybody from them played well. [Ron] Artest made some shots. Lamar Odom came in and was great. They beat us.

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Channing Frye

It was tough tonight and they [Lakers] did a good job of taking advantage of that and they just kept putting it on us and that second unit really had a lot of energy. They really forced us to shoot and like I said we were making a lot of mental mistakes. Usually it is not like that but tonight was just one of those nights.

Everyone is worrying about us getting back and the easy shots we gave the Lakers. But that is all the mental part of the game. We just need to be more mentally focused. You know it [losses] happens.

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Jason Richardson

is just one of those games. We didn’t really do everything we were supposed to do but I can’t take a win away from them [Lakers]. They came in a played a great game. Lamar came in off the bench and scored 19, which is huge for him. Pau Gasol had a good night and you know that Kobe had 40-points so they did everything they were supposed to do to win a game.

I think we all played pretty good defense on Kobe but he is just the best player in the league right now. He went out there and willed himself for his team, had some big shots for them and he had a big night. We just have to do a better job making it tough for him.

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Jared Dudley

They came in and did what they were supposed to do. They took their home court advantage. Our goal is to try and come back and steal it.

We played a great team and we have to respect what they can do. Now we have to go back to the drawing board. Come back with a lot of energy on Wednesday. Our backs are against the wall a little bit, be we are down only one game so we have to come back and steal the next one

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Phil Jackson

Well, you know, this is a surprise for us. We thought this was going to be a close game, and we were able to jump away from them a little bit in the third quarter. Kobe had an outstanding night. There were some guys that played great tonight. Pau played a fine game and so did Lamar. We got some help off the bench.

We talked about being aggressive obviously and coming out and trying to carry it and they beat us to the punch right off the bat, got a little seven point lead there in the first quarter. Lamar came in and kind of gave us an added boost. Kobe carried a lot of the offense tonight. There's no doubt.

think that's a big part of it is rebounding, defensive, offensive rebounds. You know, guys that makes their defense have to hover, so they have to control that paint. After the game he said he didn't feel quite up to his normal, and that's obvious for us. But we were able to survive it actually without him having a big contribution tonight.

He's been very optimistic through the whole week. He felt like he got exactly what he had to have, the amount of rest and the amount of shooting that he had to have. He did eliminate practices, but he took some shooting practice out there and stayed on top of what we were trying to get done in practice. He was attentive to it and I thought involved. Yeah, we were concerned that maybe his shooting wouldn't be as keen or everything wouldn't be his reactive time was going to be a little bit off, but it wasn't.

Well, Lamar jump started us, no doubt about it. It got us started that first quarter and really got us into the ballgame quick. His rebounding the second half was very instrumental.

We're not that high powered an offensive team. We're in the lowly 100s as an average team, not in the 110s like the Phoenix Suns, but the pace, we got involved in the pace and kept playing and got some easy baskets toward the end of the game.

They got some open looks, some of their guys, Frye, Dudley, they're three point shooters. That was one of the things that we were able to hold them down a little bit in that area even though defensively I wasn't totally pleased with the game.

I think their attentiveness has been great. I think their focus has been very good. They're trying to do things that we're trying to get operated out there on the floor, so those things are good. I think we're taking good quality shots a lot of the times, so that helps.

I think mostly they missed shots. They had a good look. They were a couple times we kept them off balance some of their three point shooters, but for the most part I think they'll be back on beam come Wednesday night.

Well, I watched their Portland series. I saw them double team Brandon Roy almost immediately when he caught the ball a lot of times. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to do that with Kobe and get him out of the ball. He was extremely aggressive tonight and made some things happen for us.

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Kobe Bryant

Just being aggressive, being aggressive, just playing my game, got shots, took them, got lanes to the basket, took them.

My knee felt fine. I've been wearing the sleeve the entire playoffs. Now people are so observant, they pick up on it tonight. I've got ones that are purple and yellow. The knee felt fine. It felt fine.

I practice so much during the season, and in the off season I work a lot. So to take a week off, I'm not going to lose all the work that I put in prior to that.

I think we've just gotten better. We've just improved as a team. That's what the playoffs is about. You try to get better from game to game or from round to round if you're lucky. That's what we've been doing a good job of so far, and we've got to keep it going.

To be honest, they missed a lot of shots that they've been making this entire postseason. I mean, that's really we did a good job defensively. We rotated pretty well, but also they missed a lot of threes that they've been making. We've got to do a much better job in Game 2 and the rest of the series.

Lamar's capable of doing that as a starter. You've all seen the numbers that he puts up when he starts for us. But it sends a great message to the rest of our team that he's accepted the role of coming off the bench. He's had games where people have criticized him, but it's really just the amount of time that he's on the floor, and for him to accept that role makes us that much of a better team because he can have moments like this and have games like this.

When you have these days off, you can kind of sit back and I didn't want to not do come out too passive to start this game because of the time that we had off. I wanted to make sure we got off to a good start in that first quarter.


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Lamar Odom

I had a pretty rough first two series offensively, and I just spent some time in the gym. I knew my opportunity would come, especially with them always sagging on Drew, always sagging on Pau and Kobe, as well. So I just tried to be more efficient, you know, where I shoot the ball from and how I get my shot and rebound the ball as much as possible.

Match ups on Pau are important. I feel like because of my ability I can match up basically with anybody. But, you know, the game is up and down. Of course, sometimes you're going to get your numbers when a game is like that.

Take it as a challenge to perform at a high level and to help the team out. We're aware of that. We're aware that next game they're going to shoot the ball a lot better, and we're going to have to continue to make plays, especially on the defensive end.

I didn't really want to wait. I said to myself, if I'm going to have a bad game, I'm going to have a bad game going out swinging. I'm not going to wait for the game to come to me tonight. I'm going to try to attack, and if a jump shot is there, I'm going to take it.

We're a pretty quick team, even when we go big. I think we have the personnel that we can match up with basically any team in the league. After we come out of pick and roll, we just try to get back to the basket, try to contest the three point shooters, and if you offensive rebound, you can slow them down just a little bit, and I think we did that tonight.

Kobe got 40 after sitting out. You understand that he can go on those spurts. He's the best scorer in the league. You've got guys fadeaways and of course gets out on the break and plays with his back to the basket, inside, outside, shoots the ball with his left hand when his right hand is broke. Time off was exactly what he needed.

You know, we're playing to get back to the championship for the third time. We have a lot of pride in that, and we're a pretty focused group. The layoff was exactly what we needed. We've got some guys that are beat up, as well as myself, so it's exactly what we needed.

Amundson caught me a little bit and gave me a nice little goodbye knot. But I'll be all right with a little ice.

I think defensively we had to play well tonight, and we did that. We took them out of their offense, and we have to expect for them to come out really firing, really on. They missed a lot of shots that they normally make, and I'm pretty sure the next game they'll make them, and we have to be prepared to take their best punch, and we will be.

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Pau Gasol

defensively. We made plays, gave ourselves a chance. We shot the ball really well. We ran the ball down the court well. We finished well. We shot the ball at a very high percentage. So far the series is going the way we want to. We only want one game. We got to get ready for Game 2, get better for it and adjust.

Obviously we anticipate that they’re going to come out firing, with a sense of urgency and try to win the Game 2. We got to come out aggressive in the game and make sure we continue to improve, continue doing what we’re doing, continue to get better and continue to get wins.

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Ron Artest

It wasn’t easy. It’s never easy. If it was easy, you lose. We played hard, put it together, executed. It’s only one game. Win or lose – win by one, win by 30 – it’s just a win.

I thought we could have did some things better. As a team we played pretty good. We just try to do better.

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Andrew Bynum

We’re having great practices. We had practice Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We were rested but at the same time didn’t get rusty.

I’m alright. It’s more mental, I think. Just trusting myself and trying to dunk the ball instead of trying to lay stuff up.

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