Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol: Game 1 Postgame Quotes
Postgame comments from Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom after LA's 100-75 win in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
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PAU GASOL & LAMAR ODOM
Q. Lamar, rebounds and points in the paint seemed to be the difference. Can you talk about your game personally and about how you guys were able to control that?
LAMAR ODOM: Started from the inside out, wanted to work my way to the basket. I was able to do that the first two possessions. One of them was a tip dunk. We wanted to get the ball into Andrew and to Pau, let them work. We were able to do the same thing offensively and defensively, they would dig the ball out from the right. Andrew and Pau did an awesome job, getting in front of him, protecting the basket, making them take hard shots. And of course Pau was efficient again, 16 points, 7 for 12, eight rebounds, does what he always does, three assists.
We were able to control the game from the inside and that was because of Pau and Andrew, how they started the game, myself, Trevor got down there and myself, and everyone made an effort to rebound and even get some blocks. Kobe had a big time block on Dwight Howard, and it was just a team effort.
Q. Pau, did you think with this victory, with a 25 point win, that it would come this easy?
PAU GASOL: I didn't really have a pre idea of what was going to happen or how we were going to win tonight, but definitely what was on my mind was to play extremely hard and to give my best effort, and we really gave a very nice effort tonight. I didn't expect a large win, but I expected to win because we want to win this thing, and we started off tonight, did what we were supposed to do tonight, got the first win at home. Now we've got to make adjustments to get even better as a team, be ready for Game 2 and try and do the same thing. We don't expect to beat this team by a large amount of points, but we still want to continue to push ourselves through the game and continue to work hard, continue to work together, and we'll be fine.
Q. Do you think you've set a tone for the series with this win?
PAU GASOL: I think we kind of did. I think we worked really hard. Defensively we did an outstanding job of keeping them under 30 percent shooting from the field, keeping their main guys shooting very low percentage, and that's something remarkable. We've got to keep it up. We just can't relax, no let ups here. This is just the first game. There's a lot of work that's going to need to be done for the rest of the series.
Q. We've talked a lot about defending Dwight Howard in the low post. Can you give some examples of what you guys were doing in the low post to keep Dwight Howard from taking over this game?
PAU GASOL: Well, first of all, we've got to try not to make it comfortable for him. You've got to make sure you mix it up with him, keep a body on him at all times and try to make a catch a little farther off the low post and then move your feet. I was able to move my feet well around him, don't allow him to feel me, get a feel for me. And he digs in a lot in the lane and rolls hard into the lane. You have to be able to move around because if you let him hit you with his body, he's going to gain ground, and he's going to get that position.
It was a good game. Had a good feel for what it was going to be. Obviously we expect him to be more aggressive next game, and it's going to be hard. It's a tough match up for anybody.
Q. Lamar, what was it like in that third quarter playing with Kobe? What was he like?
LAMAR ODOM: Offensively he was amazing. Defensively, as well. When he gets it going, he's one of the best players of all time, especially with the basketball. There isn't anything he can't do.
Q. The last couple days he seemed real short with everyone, kind of the game face. When he's like that can you feel games like this coming from him?
LAMAR ODOM: Kobe?
LAMAR ODOM: I mean, offensively there isn't anything that he can't do. If he's serious before the game, if he's talkative or playful, with him it doesn't matter. We understand how much he wants this, how bad he wants to win this championship. We all want it. Of course Kobe is a focused person.
Q. Has it been as serious as he appeared? At least to us he appears pretty serious.
LAMAR ODOM: He's cool. He does have his game face on. He's ready. He's prepared.
Q. This is to both Pau and Lamar: Since Game 5 of the Denver series, it appears this team has taken a turn. The close out game against Denver was obviously a corker and then you start The Finals like this. Have you guys finally figured it out?
PAU GASOL: Game 5 against Denver, it was a game that we had to win. It was a must win, and I think we understood that if we did certain things on the floor and worked really hard on the defensive end, we could be an extremely tough team to beat. Yeah, we kind of got on the same page. We weren't sloppy, we were moving the ball, we were sharing the ball, understanding our weapons on the floor. It's not just one or two guys; we have five guys out there that can be effective and be a factor. So we understood that. We did that well. Game 6, the close out game, very important again. We did that excellent. And tonight we did that pretty well.
We've got to continue to play together and play hard as a team. I think we understand the importance of what we're playing for right now, and we just want to take advantage of it.
LAMAR ODOM: We've got 12 guys that can play, 12, 13, 14 guys that get along. As our camaraderie off the court picks up, we start to push each other more on the court. We've got so many guys that can play, the sky is the limit as far as how far we can go and for how long we can be really good.
Q. I'm sure you've heard when you're right and when you go that this team is unbeatable. How is the back? How are you feeling at this point? And do you feel that this team is unbeatable?
LAMAR ODOM: I feel a lot better. I'm a lot more active, and I want it. I'm just pushing myself. It's never enough, you know.
Q. Lamar, two part question: First of all, was there a veto on candy today or you ate it and this was the result? And then last year was obviously a difficult ending of the season, and the Magic pulled ahead a little bit. Do you think there is some serious carryover from last year, the pain of the loss?
LAMAR ODOM: Let me answer the last part first: Of course. There's something we've talked about since training camp. We still feel that.
And there's always a little bit of candy involved, good game or bad game.
Q. Question for Pau and Lamar: The last nine quarters that the Lakers have played almost in an enlightened state, are these the best nine quarters of basketball you've played all year?
PAU GASOL: We played really good basketball. We talked about it, the last three games we really are playing at another level, and we are looking forward to maintaining this, staying at this level. That's the most important part of what we need to do as a team, as a group, is understand what have we done and how well we're playing and what we need to do to keep that up. We don't need any distractions, any relaxation. Right now it's go time. We understand that, and we're thinking about Sunday. This victory was good, felt good. Now it's Game 2.