Mavericks guard Steve Nash, one of our NBA.commentators for NBA Playoffs 2001, answered questions from fans on the off day following the Mavericks' 88-86 Game 1 loss to the Jazz. The Mavericks are down in the series 0-1 to the Jazz in the Western Conference first round.
Is there any difference in feeling each year that you make the playoffs and in particular, this year being the first playoff appearance for the Mavs in over 10 years? In other words, is the atmosphere during the playoffs different between teams(Phoenix and Dallas)?
Not really, we had veteran players in Phoenix and we have that here who have played in the postseason. It is a new season and you have to adjust to playoff basketball.
I think you're a great player and have a great team around you. I took this opportunity to write you because I am so proud that a Canadian is making such an impact in the NBA. I was wondering when in your basketball career did you realize that you were talented enough to play in the NBA?
Corner Brook, Newfoundland
I always thought I could play in the NBA. It is hard to point to one exact moment but as my college career progressed I felt I had the skills to play at this level.
How will the new players like Juwan Howard and Wang Zhizhi impact the team chemistry in the playoffs? Will their arrival disturb the chemistry of the rest of the team?
Juwan Howard has been a great addition to our team. He is a great player and a great person. I don't really know how many minutes Wang will play in the playoffs but he has fit in nicely so far.
Steve: How much has Don Nelson's battle with cancer has helped the team? The way you have been playing, it seems like all the egos are checked in at the door. It's great to see the Mavs in the playoffs. Good Luck.
We are all glad Nellie is healthy, that's the first thing. We all enjoy playing for him so it is good to have him back on the bench. Donnie did a great job with us when Nellie was out so we have to thank him as well.
How are your teammates preparing for the playoffs this year? Do they have any pre-game rituals?
We all have little things that we do before games. We are preparing for these games just as we would for regular season games and just trying to keep everything as normal as possible.
How is it being one of the four Canadian players in the league? And in my opinion the best of the four.
I'm glad we have some of my national teammates in the NBA -- that's a great boost to basketball in Canada. Thanks for the compliment.