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Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant: Game 1 Postgame Quotes

June 4, 2009 | 10:46 pm

Postgame quotes from Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant after LA's 100-75 Game 1 win in the NBA Finals.

Click below for the verbal magic.



Q: Can you explain how (the blowout) happened?  Was it just the veteran players were so energized?
    PHIL JACKSON:  Things just didn't go right for them tonight.  They didn't get things in rhythm and they didn't get things in the paint that they normally get, and those situations change the complexity of the game.  The first half was nip and tuck right up until the end of the second quarter.  We were able to come out and play with a different type of an attitude the second half.

Q.  Can you describe Kobe's will and what you saw from him, especially in the second and third quarters?
    PHIL JACKSON:  Well, he had the smell, and he found kind of the angle what he wanted to do out there on the floor and carried that game into the second half, just carried the game his way.  I thought we went there a little bit too often, but he said, "keep coming back.  I'm okay."  So we did.

Q.  What kind of defense did you put in your game plan tonight?

    PHIL JACKSON:  We were trying to stop penetration.  That's what you always do every single night, try and stop penetration.  They have a variety of ways of doing it, especially with as many guys as handle the ball, Alston and Jameer and obviously Turkoglu.  But we were able to stop that part of the penetration fairly well tonight.  Their inside game, which was a big part of their game, we were exceptional tonight on that.  A lot of fouls for Dwight, but nothing really in the lane.

Q.  Defensively Lakers, you must have been pleased with the effort.  It kind of reminded me a little bit of how your team lost that first game to the Rockets in that you had some time off and you went from the Utah Jazz who weren't really getting to you defensively, then you switched to a team that had a much different mindset.  Do you think that might have been in play with the Magic tonight?
    PHIL JACKSON:  You know, I don't know if I can explain it in those terms.  Things turn on a trifle in this game.  There were a couple plays that kind of changed that up.  They had a five point lead in the second period, they were kind of rolling against our bench mob out there, and we made some changes, called a time out, and it flipped, the switch flipped all of a sudden.  And these guys went from that five point deficit to a ten point lead.
    But there were a lot of little things that happened, tipped balls, missed shots.  They had some wide open threes they didn't hit.  We got some rebounds that were good, solid plays.  We had more offensive opportunities.  Those things happened for us.

Q.  You've admitted that the Magic probably could not have played worse in this basketball game.  Can the Lakers play better than what they played?
    PHIL JACKSON:  Well, you always think they can.  You always want to see that.  Here's two teams that came in The Finals that have a total of 17 turnovers for the game, which is a limited number.  So turnover wise it was a tight game.
    Our exceptional part of it tonight was Kobe's drive.  I think he didn't shoot great, 16 for 34, but his energy in the game carried it.

Q.  What did you think of Bynum and the match up against Howard?
    PHIL JACKSON:  He had some times out there that I thought he played him really well.  He did a good job defensively to try and cover the screen roll.  Offensively he had some opportunities that he converted on, which we like.  There was a couple plays that he could have probably powered through for some lay ups that didn't happen for him, but those are going to happen.

Q.  Kobe said earlier in the playoffs that there is no such thing as momentum, you have to remake it game after game.  How do you sustain what you saw in terms of energy tonight?  What can you do between now and Sunday?
    PHIL JACKSON:  Well, there's two days off between these games, so it's a big opportunity for them to reset themselves and get themselves back in form.  For us it's always    coaching staff, we always think the team that has to make the adjustments has the advantage.  We have to find a way to anticipate what they're going to come back and do against us, see what we can do to eliminate the mistakes we made tonight, and play even better defensively than we played tonight.
    I think offensively there's some things we can learn about this team.

Q.  What are you going to tell the team and what are you going to work on over the next two days to have the best chances of winning again on Sunday?
    PHIL JACKSON:  Well, most of it is the intention, their intention, what they're looking for is what I think you have to find as a team.  To know the mindset of what's going on with their basketball club.  They're a really disciplined team and you have to know where they're going with the ball when they start out, and that's what I think we're looking to do.

Q.  Can you talk about the decision to double Dwight on some of those defensive possessions, and how you felt it was effective?

    PHIL JACKSON:  Well, if we were in the territory we knew we wanted to come help on him.  We got a couple opportunities to come back and snap at the ball or keep him from having rhythm to get into the basket.  But for the most part, we had mostly good individual defense in situations that he either lost the ball or didn't make a shot on it.
    The rest of it were fouls.  16 times at the foul line is quite a bit.

Q.  You said before the game that you didn't necessarily change your defensive game plan to account for (Jameer) Nelson.  Did you see enough from him tonight, he had four assists in the first few minutes, to maybe game plan for him a little bit going forward?

    PHIL JACKSON:  Well, I think he had an effect in the ballgame.  I think he came in, he was effective in penetration and finding guys.  It looked like he was back in the format of what he wanted to get accomplished.  Obviously his shooting wasn't quite there, although he hit a couple shots, but we anticipate he'll be out there more.


Q.  Can you talk about the defensive intensity you guys played with tonight?

    KOBE BRYANT:  We played very well.  We played with a lot of energy.  Guys are working hard.  That's all you can ask for when you played against the Orlando Magic because they do a great job of spacing you out, and everybody on the floor has to be willing to work.

Q.  Was there a different way you played them tonight as opposed to the two games in the regular season?
    KOBE BRYANT:  No, I just think we did a better job, did a better job staying alert, and like I said, man 1 through 5, everybody was dedicated to working hard, came back in transition, did a pretty good job.

Q.  You had a career Finals high with 40 points.  What can you do to take this into Game 2?

    KOBE BRYANT:  I think the best thing we can do is just forget about it.  That's the best thing we can do.  This is a resilient Orlando Magic team.  They've been through a lot of adverse situations before.  This is nothing to them.  They'll be ready to go Game 2, and we've just got to forget about this and move on.

Q.  The camera is catching you with bared teeth all the time now.  They started to show it last couple games, Denver and here.  Are you aware you're doing it?  And secondarily, your expressiveness has gone up another level.  You've been a hard driving leader for a long time, but it seems like you've really cut it loose now.

    KOBE BRYANT:  I just want it so bad, that's all.  I just want it really bad.  You just put everything you have into the game and your emotions kind of flow out of you.

Q.  We've talked a lot about the offense of you guys tonight, but the defense was spectacular, too.  Can you talk about some things you guys were doing to keep them from getting a lot of open shots?

    KOBE BRYANT:  We just had to work hard.  Just worked hard.  We scrambled.  We were very active, our bigs were very active, and that's what you have to do against a team like Orlando.  You've got to work your tail off 24 seconds.

Q.  What's the rest of your life like right now?  Are you completely focused on this right now?  We talked a lot before in the Denver series about how much or how little you're sleeping.  Is this completely all you're focused on right now?
    KOBE BRYANT:  Pretty much.  Pretty much.  I'm a bit of a    my kids call me Grumpy from the Seven Dwarfs.  That's how I've been at home, just a grouch.

 Q.  You talked about you want it so badly.  Not to suggest that you didn't want it badly in 2000 and 2001 and 2002, but the fact that you've lost the last two times you've been in The Finals, the fact that there's been a gap, has that created this more intense hunger that we just have from you right now?
    KOBE BRYANT:  It's a bit of everything.  It's a lot of motivation, a lot of motivation.  I'm using it all right now.

Q.  At times the offense departed from trying to win the high pick and roll by offense.  Was that by design?  Were you seeing things?
    KOBE BRYANT:  That was by design.  We saw something that at the moment in the game we needed a little bit of scoring, so I took it upon myself to use that play, come off, put a couple points on the board, tried to gear up some momentum.

Q.  Can you talk about what you got from Fisher and Bynum versus Rafer and Dwight?
    KOBE BRYANT:  Well, we got consistent effort.  Fish is always    they didn't leave Fish too much.  As the series goes on, maybe that will change.  But the shots that he did have he knocked down.  Defensively his effort was outstanding, and the same with Andrew.  I thought Andrew came out with a lot of energy to start the ballgame, which really helped get us off to a good start and did a good job as you can on Dwight.
    I felt like he did a good job.

Q.  Orlando, when you saw the rookie Lee guarding you, it's not like you're playing in the series with Houston.  Do you feel like you can take advantage of this guy at any opportunity that you so choose?

    KOBE BRYANT:  No, I don't think so.  I think that's doing him a tremendous discredit because even though he's a rookie, he's a very, very solid defensive player.  I think he's proven that all year long.  He's proven that in the playoffs, and Pietrus as well.