Head Coach Alvin Gentry
We believe in our bench. And although they weren't scoring, I thought they played well.
You know, the thing that kind of hurt the most is that they've been coming into the games where we're down nine, down 11, and they play pretty good. But it was an uphill battle for them. So tonight when they came in, you know, tie score. I thought they played about as well as they could play.
I thought they were much better defensively than they were offensively, and I thought they were great offensively. We just did a good job. I think the thing about us is that we're a good team.
And on nights where they take things away from us, we're unselfish enough that we'll try to take what the defense gives us. And, you know, Amar'e didn't get a whole lot of touches. When he got touches, they were in. And he was willing to sacrifice his game to get guys open shots.
We like to try to get to the seven minute mark, then we put Steve and those guys back in. To tell you the truth, they were going so well we've done it before where we hadn't put the starters back in.
And really I think Steve went back in with a little over three minutes to go, and, you know, J Rich went in with about two and a half or something or three minutes to go. But we believe in those guys.
And they really believe in themselves, and they're a really cohesive unit. And they just do a good job of playing well together.
only thing we said to our guys was he was in such a rhythm, even in our zone, we said you'll have to get right up into him, make him a driver. Then if he drives, then we've got to make sure we don't foul him on jump shots. And we thought that if we give up two to really have an opportunity to maybe get three or get another easy basket, that's what we'd try to do.
I mean, the guy made some phenomenal shots. Lou guarded him three straight times where he was right in his face. He rose over him and made jumpers. There's nothing you can do about that.
Robin turned and said, I should come back, because he made a couple of shots. And that's the other thing about this team. I'll tell you guys, they're so unselfish. They're so unselfish in what we do.
And if a guy is going well it's like J Rich. J Rich sat over there, L.B. made a couple of plays and I started to put him in. He said, he's going great, let's leave him in.
I think that's another reason why we've been successful as a team. It's really different than most NBA teams. We're really more like a college team, to be honest with you, the way guys are. But like I said, I think we got great chemistry and that really helps.
The only thing that we tried to do is that we tried to look at the tape, and we tried to look at it as if we were the Lakers. And we said, okay, where would you attack us? And we saw some areas where we thought we were real vulnerable in those areas.
And so we talked to our guys about being well aware of that. One of them was the high screen and roll with Kobe. We thought we would have to get up and at least make him a driver, not have him come off and just rise up and shoot the ball.
We also thought that they would try to pound the ball inside a lot more. So we were going to have to be inside and then close out the shooters. And I thought we did a good job with that.
Although it's a zone, we really try to match up. Initially everyone has to have a man. And then from there, you know, we tried to pass guys off and we tried to stay in our zone.
I thought our guys did a good job tonight of communicating. And then a couple of times we let guys get behind us. But for the most part, you know, early on, once again, guys, they were making jump shots. And I think we have to live with the jump shots.
At the end of the night, they still had 42 points in the paint. But a lot of those came you know, near the end of the game where they drove and we decided to stay with the three point shooters and give up a basket in the lane rather than a 3 point shot.
bench was fantastic. You know, they made a lot of plays offensively, but defensively they were great in the zone. They scrambled. They were intelligent. They made good decisions. And, you know, they were by far easily the difference tonight. And, you know, we're just real proud and excited for them.
And, you know, we're not the most talented team, but we've got depth and we've got to make that a staple of our success. We need those guys to come and do a great job.
The first unit was okay tonight. We fought. We hustled, did what we could. And the second unit was really efficient.
There's going to be nights like that where we need to have them like that especially in a series like this. And it was fantastic to watch. And we all had a blast over there cheering them on. And win four games in the series, we're going to need them.
I don't really party too much anymore. But, you know, it was fun in the locker room. Everyone enjoyed the game tonight. And we have a special group of guys who play well together. Really are supporting each other. Rooting for each other. Happy for each other. And that's why I think we've had as much success as we've had.
Everyone's been saying after Game 3 and down 2 0 you haven't shot the ball well yet. So it was nice to feel it kind of open up and the 3s start going in. Particularly for Channing.
But the second unit went on a nice run there and made a bunch of 3s that was about as exciting a stretch as I've seen sitting on the side line in my team here.
So it was fun to see the shots go. But we gotta continue to do the little things to win in LA especially we've got to prove it either in game 5 or 7 that we can win in LA.
So all we've done is earned ourselves a great opportunity to go and try to win in LA.
In Game 1 we started out pretty well. In Game 2, maybe not. But both games by the end of the first quarter they had given themselves a 10 point lead. I think, important for us is not the offense as much. Our offense was pretty good in LA. Not as good as maybe tonight. Or even Game 3. But not bad. 109 points, 50 percent both games. But we've got to slow them down.
And that's more than anything what we've done at home is slowed them down. Obviously the zone is a big part of that. But we expect more from them. We expect them to play better. And we've got to match it.
We've got to play some zone against them for sure, you know? We've got to continue to adjust and be intelligent in the zone. Make good decisions. And at the same time we've got to sprinkle in other looks. We've got to be able to play man for stretches like we did tonight in the first half.
And, you know, we've got to fight. They're bigger than us. Most people can make an argument that they're better than us. But we've got to have a lot of heart and a lot of determination and find ways to win the little battles.
Did a great job on the screen and rolls and taking the roll guy away. Was able to find open shooters in the perimeter. Did a great job knocking down shots. So it's going to be nice like that where they try to take me out of the game and that's when the second unit did a great job of carrying us there for a while.
And they did a great job of knocking down open shots when they were open.
Had to match Kobe every time he make a move, I had to make one, because going into the third quarter, you know he's going to try to carry his team and start a run.
So I wanted to make sure that we counter his run. And we did a great job of scoring, also trying to get stops, but Kobe had some tough shots out there, I'll tell you. But definitely wanted to try to match his intensity in the third quarter.
It's going to be tough going to LA and trying to get Game 5, is a very, very important game. We both know it. Both teams knows how important this game is. We have to make sure we bring the intensity from the start and do what we did here at home if not better. And try to get a win.
Every game is a different game. Different game plan for the Lakers every night. The game plan tonight was to take me out, contain the roll guy. I was able to get a few ISOs and throw some fouls, got to the free throw line.
But Game 5 is not sure what they're going to do. At this point we pretty much saw everything and they saw everything that we have. So it's a matter of will now going into Game 5 and the rest of the way. So just gotta make sure we have determination and focus and see if we can get one.
They did a phenomenal job for us. The second unit has been great for us all year. For those guys to come out and play as well as they did, crash the boards, they got stops. They shot the ball well. Energy was high. When Shannon hit his first 3, the crowd went out of control.
And that just carried the momentum over. And the second unit did a great job of living off our fans. The fans was great tonight. So great effort from their part.
Feels great. Confidence is high. Feel we have a chance of winning the series. It's never an easy win in LA.
We have to make sure we bring our determination. The will factor comes into play now. We have to make sure we're ready to go.
We're doing great. All five rebounding now. We're all trying to get a shot and rebound. Knowing these guys, their length is always a factor and good on offensive boards.
With that being said, all five of us are going in there trying to board, and we're boxing out, and we know if we get stops we have a better chance of running and getting out on fast breaks.
So that's the mentality is go get the boards, get some stops and off to the offense.
Yeah, they came out and hit a number of 3s, and that second quarter got real excited inside, the fans. We knew we'd have to weather some storm in this sequence of games at some level.
We were hoping it was just going to be in the second quarter. But they came back and hit three in the fourth and you open that game back open again when we took the lead. That was the problem. The second quarter was the second quarter. We understand that they're going to have a hot spell. A lot of those guys haven't had any success out there. So it's exciting for them to get it.
But we didn't shut them down in the fourth, and that's the time we have to do it.
We thought we could come here and get a game. And unfortunately you know we weren't up to the task. But we outscored them from the field I think both games. Shot better than they did. Did a lot of things very good and still wasn't enough to win the game. They beat us at the foul line both nights, and that's the difference in the margin of the game. And we have to do a better job on that activity.
Our defense could have been much better, I think. You know coming up here, we lost a sense of urgency defensively. I think our concentration was focused on how to attack the zone.
And I think it kind of flipped our attention to detail defensively. Our focus was on the other side of the floor, which doesn't win championships. So we need to get back to ground zero when it comes to that.
We didn't lose the game because of that. We lost the game because our defense sucked.
I mean, they have a great bench. They performed well. They've been performing well in the second half of the season for them. Channing Frye was bound to get some shots. He's a great shooter.
Like I said, we've got to do a much better job defensively. Paying attention to those guys, all of them, and staying in front of your man and things like that.
it was an important game for us that we wanted to win. And obviously when you lose it and you don't reach your goal, obviously it's frustrating.
So obviously we're not happy about the way the game turned out tonight. But things happen like that. And now we've got to be ready for Game 5. And make sure we come out extremely, extremely hard and take the lead again in the series.
The zone has had an impact, you could say. But defensively you have to be really on top of your game plan and be aggressive.
But they shot the ball really well, I think, tonight for the most part. And I think one of the key points is definitely the rebounding difference.
18 offensive boards. Way too many. And 15 rebounds differential. I think that's probably one of the biggest keys of the game.
They play well together. They play well together, obviously. And they're accustomed to play that way. And they're very effective. They give a good spark to the game when they come in. So you've got to be aggressive. You've got to make sure you take away the strengths of their players.
Dragic playing a pick and roll really hurt, couldn't stop it from getting into the lane and then started driving and kicking, and they made big shots on the kick outs.
So it's something that we have to figure out. I understand we've got to get the ball off the paint and we've got to be aggressive, and at times tonight it just didn't happen. We were again a little late on screen and rolls.