Fire up the quote machine: Derek Fisher and more!
Quotes gathered in the wake of LA's 115-111 win over the Hornets Friday night at Staples, the bulk from Derek Fisher (starting immediately below), but with a smattering of others as well below the jump. Read in good health.
On the play that sent the game to OT:
"The play is drawn up that way, but obviously we're not going to look at me as a first option. The play is designed to read it- all our plays are designed to read the defense. Pau did an excellent job reading the defense. Both guys stayed with Kobe, which happens a lot, obviously because it's Kobe. I was open and he made the read. And I was happy for the team more so than anything that I knocked the shot down."
On having had a poor shooting night (2-8, I believe) to that point:
"Some of the shots that I missed earlier in the game were good looks, they just didn't go in. There will be nights like that where it seems like no matter what's going on, the shot doesn't fall for you. And when you're defending a guy like Chris Paul every possession, offense is not necessarily going to be your focus. You're barely going to have enough legs to be active offensively, which is why a lot of times the best players don't guard each other, to try to save some legs for offense.
I always know the sacrifice for me is going to be offensively, depending on the matchups. I had a good look a couple minutes before that one but it was just a little bit long. So when I got (the one that tied the game) I felt confident I could knock it in."
On wiping the slate clean after picking up a critical offensive foul with 2:43 remaining, and turning things around to pick up a charge on CP3 with 20 seconds to go (Note: the whole exchange amounted to a great roundball-karmic balancing act. When Fish drove the lane late in the fourth, James Posey had a heel in the restricted area. Should have been a block. On the other hand, the whistle that went against Paul could have easily been called on Fisher, though Paul's decision to drive was so bad he couldn't complain about the result.):
"That was a big play, in terms of momentum. (When Posey drew the charge) I felt like I had gone into my shooting motion before he was actually set. Sometimes those calls go the other way. I was fortunate to get the one on Chris Paul. I wasn't sure he was going to pull the ball back out since there was no shot clock. I was just trying to read the situation. Had he pulled it out I was going to have to foul, but when he made the commitment to go to the basket I just took a shot at it and was able to get back in front of him and pick up the offensive foul."
When the whistle blew, did you know the ball was going the other way?
"No. You never know, really. I took a quick look when the whistle blew and saw him pointing the other way, and obviously I was pleased. Those are bang-bang plays and they can go either way, and the officials will tell you that. Those are the toughest plays for them to call. Sometimes they miss them and you have to live with that, but we were fortunate to get that call at that time because had he either pulled it out and we had to foul or had it been a blocking play, that could have really sealed the game for them.
On the value of OT games:
"I think they're good for you as a team in terms of understanding certain things you need to do down the stretch in a game. Taking pride in taking care of the basketball, not turning it over, being able to get key defensive stops and then get secure the rebounds. Those are things that you learn in overtime. Other than the Charlotte game, I think we've come out pretty decent."
You don't like the questions that imply you're an old man, but when Jordan Farmar was out there were concerns about your minutes. With him back, your PT seems more manageable. Do you feel the difference?
"The biggest difference is not really in the game, it's those in between days. And even before the game, the morning of shootaround. When Jordan's in the lineup, it allows me to spend more time on some of the individual things I like to do. Additional shooting, weightlifting, some of the things that I feel help keep me sharp out on the floor. So when the minutes go up to 40-plus, it's hard to put the energy into practices and some of the things in between that I feel like keep me in rhythm, keep me feeling like I can go into the game and always be ready to play.
So in addition to our team needing Jordan, I need him as well. He helps me be a better player. I think we help each other by playing against each other in practice every day, and it allows us to perform better as a team."
On the challenge of chasing Paul all over the floor:
"You just have to be patient, and understand that you're not the only guy and you're not the only team he does those things to. We're talking about a guy who finished close to second in the MVP race last season and is going to be an All Star every year that he's healthy enough to play in the game. You don't try to take things too personal in terms of him having success out there. The main thing is that defensively as a team, you're doing the things that you practice doing to try and slow them down as a team.
If one guy or two guys have great nights offensively it looks great on the stat sheet but we win the game, that's what most people will remember. So when you're playing against the best players in the league that's what you have to keep in mind. The goal is to win the game, and if your team wins, who cares how many points they scored?"
Hornets coach Byron Scott, on his team's decision making late:
"We tried to get to the basket a little bit more, but (Paul) didn't. I wasn't happy with the fact that with 22 seconds left when we got the steal, the first thing I did was look up at the clock and start yelling "No shot!" but obviously with the crowd yelling and screaming he went down to get an offensive call. At that point we were up three so if we get the foul and send a couple of our best free throw shooters, Chris, David (West) or Peja (Stojakovic) to the line there's a good possibility to be up five with 14 seconds left in the game. We just made some mistakes. The last thing I said in the huddle was don't gie up open three's. Two's can't beat us, but we gave a three to Fisher. Bottom line, we gave them a win."
Lamar Odom: Nothing on the game, but given how much time we've spent on the economy over the last few days, I wanted to get his perspective on the deadline and this summer's FA period. I asked him a couple Q's on the issue before the tip:
So much of the deadline talk was about money, franchise health, teams looking to shed payroll, and so on. Is that something that players talk about?
"It's something that's out of your control. It's up or down, it's out of your control. Our job is to come out here and take care of our business. That's to perform and entertain on the court. that's our part of the bargain.
Does it make it more nerve wracking as a guy who will be a free agent this summer?
No. I'm blessed, we're blessed. We make good money. Everyone will. Everyone who is involved in the league will. It's different if you're a coal miner, you know what I'm saying?
Earlier in the month, when asked if he'd take less to stay in LA, Odom replied "Less is still a lot," he said before the game. "I've been blessed. Basketball has given me everything I wanted, and I'm far from greedy." It's a far cry from Patrick Ewing's "We might make a lot of money, but we also spend a lot money."