Lakers Head Coach 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.
Kobe looked really aggressive. Was that part of the plan, or was that Grant Hill bumping him or was Kobe just ready for this?
Well, 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.
Does Kobe look like he's kind of taking this personally?
Yeah, I don't know about that, but I would say that he was going to shoulder the game on his ‑‑ he was going to take it on.
Is this how you envisioned your game playing on the inside, and if this is what you can do without a big contribution from Andrew, what are the possibilities if you guys are at full strength inside?
Well, we need him defensively. I 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.
Kobe sat out the whole week. You would think that having a week off, things would seem to get better, but it seemed to get worse. What exactly was this past week like for him, and was there a major concern? He had the knee sleeve on going into the game.
No. 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.
Can you talk a little bit about what it means to the team when Lamar had that big a game that early on, sort of setting a tone that quickly?
Well, it 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.
What impressed you the most in this big victory over Phoenix?
Well, I would say that the amount of points we scored, obviously. 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.
One of Phoenix's strengths was their bench. It seemed like Lamar was able to carry that whole second unit, and you guys were able to turn it into a strength tonight. Can you talk about that.
Yeah, 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.
The consensus was the team would struggle in Utah or struggle this first game after the long break. The way they're playing right now, is this surprising to you?
Yes, I would say it's pleasing, no doubt about it. Maybe ‑‑ 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.
It's kind of unusual for you to leave Kobe in with the lead at the start of the fourth quarter at home. What went into that decision?
Well, they left Richardson out there and put him at the three spot, and I know that's a high‑powered unit. Barbosa, Dragic and Richardson can really score points. And with Frye out there as an added three‑point shooter, we knew that lead was not that safe, and so we wanted to carry some of that momentum into the fourth.
We know that Phoenix shot the three ball the best in the regular season, tonight not so much. Was it more what you had to do or did they just miss shots?
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.
What adjustments are you anticipating by the Suns for Game 2?
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.
Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant
Big third quarter, seven for ten, six for six from the free‑throw line, 21 points. Were you sending a message, because if you were it was a dominant one, or what were you seeing that enabled you to take control of that quarter?
Just being aggressive, being aggressive, just playing my game, got shots, took them, got lanes to the basket, took them.
Just talk about this past week, took the week off, came to the game today with the yellow sleeve on. It seemed like there was something going on. What was the real deal, if any, with your knee, and how did it feel tonight?
It 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.
To steal a line from one of your buddies, practice, do you really need practice after this week? It was unbelievable. How do you score 40 points after not practicing for a week?
Well, 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.
It looked like Grant Hill was trying to be very physical with you, and you also looked very, very aggressive. Was that making it more emotional for you? Was that spurring the challenge?
No. It was enjoyable.
Looking at the big picture in these playoffs, you guys probably didn't finish the regular season as well as you would have liked. It's 2‑2 against Oklahoma City, they blew it out in Game 4. Since then you've won seven in a row. Was that game a wake‑up call or what's changed with this Laker outfit since then?
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.
It seemed like you guys did a good job especially in the first half of keeping Phoenix out of the lane, making their shots a little tougher. What were you doing defensively that worked for you?
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.
Watching you and Grant go at it for a while, I couldn't help but wonder, sometimes does it help to make it personal?
It's never personal with me (smiling).
Having a teammate as talented as Lamar that can basically show up with a 20‑20 game out of nowhere ‑‑
He'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.
Was this one of the most efficient games of your playoff career, 40 points, 35 minutes on just 23 shots?
Probably. Probably. It was one of them, for sure.
How did having your knee drained, how has that sort of made it feel and impacted your performance?
Just lost weight. (Laughter).
Is there any discomfort?
I feel a couple pounds lighter.
The past week of rest that you've had, what part of your game tonight do you think benefitted the most from that rest?
Well, I think my legs benefitted a lot. I was just able to take some time off and just get stronger, get my legs stronger, get my upper body stronger. It's just kind of like a training camp all over again where I didn't do much on the court, but I was in the weight room doing what I needed to do.
Can you talk about the ‑‑ we've discussed in every series points in the paint being huge, and you outscored them by 20 in this one. Do you feel like if you just keep doing that, you're going to be tough to beat?
Yeah, because it gives you easy opportunities. You try to live in the paint as much as you possibly can, and Phoenix is a very deceptive team because you automatically look at the amount of threes that they take and they make. But once they get you looking there, then they start killing you in the paint with lay‑ups and things of that nature, so you've really got to be careful.
How important was it for you to come out aggressive and lead your team to this Game 1 victory?
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.
With this being a lopsided win, what do you think the focus should be going into Game 2 not to give them any momentum?
Just look at the things that we did poorly, the rotations that we missed and the open shots that they had and try to cut those down because they'll make those shots in Game 2.
Can you give me an assessment on the way the bench played tonight?
They played extremely well. I think defensively they did a good job. It was tough to gauge because of the amount of points that we won by, but I felt like they did a good job in that stretch of holding the lead. Obviously Lamar carried the bulk of the scoring for that group, but I felt defensively they did a good job.
Playing a team that was coming in here on a roll, scoring a lot of points, playing real free, did you ‑‑ what part of your mindset was to hit them right out of the gate here and kind of knock them out of their comfort zone, let them know what they were in for if they want to win in this building?
Well, yeah. Part of it was to show them that we're a different team than the one that they faced. We have different match‑ups, and it was important Game 1 to show them that this was going to be a fight.
You've exposed some mismatches, again, you've beat them four out of five times this year. Do you feel if you just play that way that you guys will be in good shape, especially down low?
Oh, yeah. We've got to play our style. It's easier said than done. They make adjustments and force us to do other things, and we just have to continue to adjust to those adjustments. That's when kind of the chess match comes into play.
Can you talk about just the rhythm you've been in over the past five games and what's been the key to keep scoring such a high volume?
Old age. (Laughter).
No. Just being in good rhythm. I've done a lot of work during the season. You've seen me before games working on my shooting all the time with Chuck and just working on different things. Now I feel like I have two legs to play with. I have a better balance on my shot, so my shots aren't going short anymore. They're going in. I think it's a combination of those two things.
So, Kobe, in the second half when the Lakers went up big on the Suns, the fans started chanting "We want Boston." Did you hear that, and what's your reaction to that?
I have zero reaction to that.
You obviously want seven more wins in this postseason, but at this point do you feel like the team is playing as best as they can right now?
We're playing as best as we've played all year right now, but we still have a lot, a lot of work to do.
Phoenix led the NBA in three‑point shooting during the regular season. Tonight you look ‑‑ you guys shot 47 percent. I know they missed a lot of shots that they're going to probably make. What did you guys do that contributed to shooting the three ball so well?
Well, I mean, it's ‑‑ we just shot the ball well tonight. We normally shoot nowhere near as good as Phoenix does. I think the lead that we had makes it a little easier to take those shots, too. So it's a little misleading, but that's not something that we count on or rely on.
After the game Phil said that the Suns had gone after Brandon Roy by double‑teaming him just to get the ball out of his hands and that might be something that you could be looking toward especially if you're scoring at this level. Is that something that the team is prepared for? Is that something that is easy to transition to from the way you've been playing?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we just move the ball to an open guy. They send two guys at me, I've done my job. I've made them make adjustments and get easy opportunities for my teammates. Yeah, we'll be ready if that happens.
Lakers’ Andrew Bynum on the reason for Lakers dominant performance:
“We’re having great practices. We had practice Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We were rested but at the same time didn’t get rusty.”
On his health:
“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.”
Lakers’ Pau Gasol on the Lakers dominance tonight:
“We just played a very good game on both ends of the floor. We were really active 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.”
On the adjustments the Phoenix Suns will make before Game 2:
“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.”
On the Lakers coming out with a sense of urgency in Game 2 despite their dominant performance tonight:
“That’s the reality of it. You got to keep that in mind and I’m just saying how important is Game 2 and going with that advantage to Phoenix instead of tied series.”
Lakers Forward Lamar Odom
Lamar, with Drew obviously not quite himself tonight and for the last few games, do you feel that much more of an onus on you to get out there and get the team going as a sixth man?
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.
The Suns play sort of an open style. That seems to suit your game. Before Pau got here when you went up against the Suns back to back years, you were a pretty big part of that team. Is this just the right series for you right now, the right team, the way they play?
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.
You called out the bench in the Utah series. You needed to maintain leads. Before this series we were all talking about Phoenix's bench and how productive they are. Was that a point leading into this game last week?
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.
You came out quicker tonight, I think. There were times when you were aggressive, but tonight you were aggressive maybe a little faster than you sometimes are. What was going on?
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.
The talk this week with the layoff, they were talking about Phoenix's speed and how you guys were going to have a problem with Phoenix's speed. What did you do to help neutralize Nash and the other components?
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.
Was there any concern after Kobe had sat out a week of practice what he could do tonight ‑‑
No. He 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.
Playoff career high, 19 boards, career high on the offensive boards. How did you redevelop that hunger so quickly after the layoff to rediscover the way so quickly?
It was always there. 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.
So follow up on that a little bit, we talked a lot about Bynum and Bryant's needs this past week. You were pretty beat up going into the regular season the first two rounds. Did this do something for you physically, having these six days?
It was perfect. I got a lot of treatment, got to work on my shot and my individual game, and it was exactly what I needed.
Is the knot from the play with Dragic ‑‑
No. He caught me in the eye. It was towards the end of the game. Amundson caught me a little bit and gave me a nice little goodbye knot. But I'll be all right with a little ice.
Can you talk about the way the bench played tonight?
Focused I think was the most important. 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.
Lakers’ Ron Artest on the ease of tonight’s win:
“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.”
On what to take from this game:
“I thought we could have did some things better. As a team we played pretty good. We just try to do better.”
Lakers’ Shannon Brown on the play of the Lakers’ bench tonight:
“We always get criticized about our bench not taking care of business, but tonight we came out and we did that. Granted, we still got three more games to win. It’s only game one. We’ve got to prepare now for game two.”
On what worked for the Lakers tonight:
“We just tried to rebound the ball, tried to get back in transition. We were together on defense, talking, not letting them get too many open looks. We was getting hands in passing lanes.”
Lakers’ Jordan Farmar on:
“We controlled the tempo of the game and got on some runs to give us a little cushion. It’s going to be a lot tougher the second game.”
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.
Is there anything you can do to address that points in the paint problem, or is it just their size and it is what it is?
No, but 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'm just wondering what adjustments will you make on Kobe? He went for 40 tonight, had a big night. Anything that stands out to you this early after the game?
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.
You guys were 5 for 22, 23 percent from the three‑point line. Was that more just missing shots, or was it Lakers contesting ‑‑
No. It was a combination of both. 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.
What did you take away from Robin's contributions?
Well, I mean, I thought he 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.
Kobe looked really emotional out there, waving his arms a lot, and he was talking to Grant and got a technical. Did you get the impression that he was super aggressive or taking it personally?
No, I think every time he 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.
You guys got to the line, I think, 19 times in the first half. Overall do you feel like you generated enough easy points, obviously not much on the break, but even in the half court?
Yeah, but 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.
Kobe took the week off of practice, came out in a sleeve, didn't hit a field goal until late in the first. Did you think much maybe at the beginning, maybe there was something there the way he started with everything about him being out and talk of his knee injury?
I have never, since he walked into the league, I don't think I've ever underestimated him. You knew at some stage he 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.
Was this a failure defensively of execution or attitude?
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.
Steve, can you comment on how you physically feel? I see your eye is still healing. Did that hinder you in any way tonight?
No, I felt fine. That was the least of my concerns tonight.
Talk about just Kobe's night. Was there anything really you guys could do to defend him? Was it just one of those nights with him?
Yeah, he 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.
What was the most of your concerns 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.
They've been tough for you guys over the last three seasons. Playing them now, getting hammered in the first game, does that present a problem beyond one game?
Well, we'll see. 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.
You tried to run a pick‑and‑roll a couple of times, and basically that was one of the problems Lakers had throughout the season to defend pick‑and‑rolls. Do you think you'll try to do that more in Game 2?
Well, yes and no. We 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.
A lot of your success has been this season I felt the bench contributed. You guys have done your job. They've done their job. Tonight any comments on the contribution from your bench?
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.
Your bench has been outstanding all season. Were you surprised at the production from the Laker bench tonight?
Is that a New York accent?
A little bit.
It's just disappointing you've got a Lakers top on. That's all I'm going to say.
You're in our town, my brother.
New Yorker, this is our town? Okay, what was that again?
Your bench, outstanding all season?
Our bench wasn't great tonight. Our starters weren't great tonight. We've got to all play better. I think there's just no way around it. We didn't earn it tonight. We didn't deserve it. They played better than us, and we've got to come out and play a lot better in Game 2. I know that's probably not the most exciting answer you guys want to hear, but that's the gist of it.
Suns’ Forward Amar’e Stoudemire on the Suns’ defense tonight:
“Yea 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.”
On Lamar Odom’s performance tonight:
“He 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.”
On containing Kobe Bryant:
“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.”
Suns’ Guard Jason Richardson on the Lakers performance tonight:
“It 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.”
On playing against Kobe Bryant:
“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.”
Suns’ Grant Hill on tonight’s game:
“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.”
On the Lakers:
“[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.”
Suns’ Robin Lopez on their performance tonight:
“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.”
On whether this loss will damage their performance in the upcoming games of this series:
“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.”
Suns’ Forward Jared Dudley on tonight’s game:
“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.”
On playing the Lakers:
“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