Quotes from the Lakers-Sonics game 4/10/00 Volume 1 Issue 9

Quotes from the Lakers-Sonics game 4/10/00 Volume 1 Issue 9

Post by Garret Okamo » Wed, 12 Apr 2000 04:00:00

Quote of the day:
About how it is obvious to him that they can beat the
Lakers, Ruben Patterson said:
"It's obvious we can beat this team. Everybody is saying
they don't want to see the Lakers in the first round.
But we don't mind seeing them." (TNT)

AP   = Associated Press            USA = USA Today
LADN = LA Daily News               LAT = LA Times
TNT  = Tacoma News Tribune         ST  = Seattle Times
SPI  = Seattle Post-Intelligencer  
LBPT = Long Beach Press-Telegram

No quotes in the OCR story today for some reason.

There was an interesting contrast in this game.  The
Sonics really seemed to feel that they needed the
win--they had been quite clear that they didn't want
the Lakers in the 1st round.  The Lakers had much
less to play for...but hadn't shown they could win
a game that Shaq missed.  The Sonics dropped to 1.5
games behind Sac for the #7 seed with this loss.
Not only do the Sonics want to avoid the Lakers in the
1st round, but ST points out that they have beaten
the Jazz (who the #7 seed will play) twice this season.

The Lakers outrebounded the Sonics 56-49.  The Lakers
made 26-30 FTs, the Sonics just 16-28 FTs.  Those two
things are difference-makers in this win.

Kobe was 2-12 in the 1st half, including missing his
last 6 shots in the half, but was 7-9 with 16 pts
in the 3rd quarter.  Jackson made the adjustment and
had someone else defend Payton after halftime, which
might have helped Kobe get untracked. He made some
amazing shots, like his shot in the middle of a ton
of traffic in OT. Kobe was 11-17 after the 1st half.

Rice had 13 points (on 3-7 shooting and a bunch of
FTs) in 14 minutes in the 1st half when it seemed
that the rest of the team was struggling (only 26
points from everyone else). Rice scored the Lakers'
final 8 points in regulation. He also drove and
kicked the ball out to Fox for a 3pt shot in OT.
IMHO, that shot by Fox was the biggest shot in OT.

Instead of taking advantage of Shaq's absense, Vin
Baker got into quick foul trouble and scored 3pts.
Nice job by Salley and the rest.

Shaq will have had 7 days of rest if he returns vs Sac
on Friday.  LAT reports that the injury flared up imme-
diately after the Lakers clinched homecourt advantage,
is not considered serious, and is unofficially the
perfect way to get Shaq some rest. I don't think this
is a faked injury since Shaq has been spending hours
each day working with the trainers. But it is nice to
give his ankle, hamstring, and sore shoulder some rest.
SPI reports that Shaq didn't go to his locker before
the game, instead spending that time on the trainer's

Yesterday, I passed along the info from the meeting
between the LA Kings' season-ticket holders and the
Pres of the Staples Center (I left out the comments
by the GM of the Kings because that was off topic).
I should NOT have passed along the comment by the
fan who sent me the info and added that the SC is
the only place using a ticket scanning system.
Patricia Bender was nice enough to point out that
the Dallas Mavs have used the hand-held scanners
(which the questioner at the meeting said worked
better) for awhile now.  Sorry for the wrong info.

About the tribute to Wilt before the game:
"The Lakers paid homage to departed NBA great Wilt
Chamberlain with a 10-minute presentation that
included video highlights just before tipoff. It was
the Lakers' official celebration of Chamberlain, who
passed away just before the regular-season started." (SPI)

"The family of the late Wilt Chamberlain walked to
midcourt before the game as the NBA legend was
honored by the Lakers." (ST)
Note: I think that it is shameful that the Seattle
papers had these details and the LA papers ignored
it. Only one LA paper mentioned a short ceremony
for Wilt, but no details like the above were given.

"Last Sunday's s***with Chris Childs demonstrated
that Kobe Bryant is extremely Jordanesque in his
ability to swing and miss." (LBPT)

"When reporters asked him about his injury before
Monday's game, the likely MVP of the league responded
in a child-like way sticking his fingers in his ears
while singing 'la-la-la-la-la.' " (DB)

Before the game, Phil hoped they would come out strong:
"Obviously, I'd like our players to come out and show
their competitive nature. We've got a couple guys that
are gimpy, in (Derek) Fisher and (Robert) Horry... and
the rest of the team, we want them to play like this
is a game which is important for Seattle,which it is.
It's important for us to win every game, because
that's just the way you should play the game." (LADN)
Note: I know that Horry has problems with his knees,
but I Fisher's bone spurs in his left ankle (RPE) was
an injury that I hadn't heard much about before.

Wanting to have a better flow in their offense when
forced (like in this game) to play w/o Shaq, Jackson:
"This is a game in which we try to get more flow in
our offense than we had on Saturday, because we
obviously play with Shaq as such an important part
of our offense. I thought our offense was lethargic
with him not there. We spent too much time analyzing
what was going on rather than moving the basketball
and looking for our own individual chances rather
than for working the ball on the offense so that
the action itself would create the shots."  (RPE, LADN)

About his players in this game, Jackson said:
"I think they wanted to step up and play like they
believed in themselves tonight, and I think they
felt good about themselves." (LAT)

About Rice's 28 points, Jackson said:
"I just think that he steps into the vacuum whenever
there's an opportunity for him to." (LAT)

About how Seattle had been tough on them this year, Phil:
"We've had some very difficult games with (Seattle).
We're very respectful of this team." (LADN)

"We're very respectful of this team <the Sonics>.
We know they have some very talented guys and a
very competitive team." (DB)

"They've run away from us because of their speed and
agility. We caught them, reeled them in and beat them.
. . . We know that they do have some very talented
guys. But, matchup-wise, we have an advantage because
they're small." (SPI)

"We've had some very difficult games with (Seattle).
They ran out away from us because of their speed a
couple of games up in Seattle, and we caught them,
reeled them in and beat them. Then they managed to
play a nip-and-tuck game with us here and beat us on
our home court with a last-possession shot by Gary
Payton. So we're very respectful of this team. We
know that they have some very talented guys and it's
a very competitive team. So matchup-wise, they have
an advantage of their small, outside center and power
forward in Horace Grant and Vin Baker as opposed to a
Sacramento team, which the last couple of years has
been befuddling the Lakers. Seattle seems to be a
better team for us right off the bat." (RPE, SPI, LADN)

About preferring to play Seattle in the 1st round, Phil:
"Sacramento is a team that has for the last couple
years been pummeling the Lakers." (DB)

About how it looks like they will have to open the 1st
round on Saturday 4/22 at the SC, Jackson said:
"I think Sunday is obviously better. A Thursday practice
would not be something that we'd love to have--you have
back-to-back games to finish the season [and have to fly
back home], you'd certainly like to have a day off
before you start practicing." (LAT)
Note: If they didn't practice on Thursday, they would
have just one day of practice before starting the play-
offs. But flying back from SA after a btb and practicing
the next day (Thursday) would seem a negative also.
Note: The Kings' game is at noon, so the Lakers could
play Sunday night at their normal time...but NBC is
expected to ask the NBA to schedule the Lakers' first
game for an afternoon start. (DB)

About SA's title during the "asterisk season", Jackson:
"They showed their moxie last year in an abbreviated
season, winning the asterisk season. It'll always go
into the books. But you don't know what a team has
until it has played an 82-game season and you come out
in the end." (SPI)
Note: This quote was from before the SA game and I
think that the last sentence might have been missed
by the other papers I cited.

Asked if the Lakers schedule (with 3 off days before
their next game) played into the decision not to play
Shaq, Jackson smiled and said:
"Funny how that works out, isn't it?" (LAT, RPE)
Note: By taking advantage of the Lakers' relatively
light schedule, Shaq will have been able to have had
7 days off while missing just 2 games.

Asked if Shaq would play if the game was one that
the Lakers needed to win, Phil said before the game:
"Absolutely." (DB)

Asked if giving Shaq these games off was a reward to
him for playing so many minutes, Jackson said:
"Is that a reward? I don't consider that a reward at
all. I think it behooves a player to play 82 (games).
You're being paid to play 82, you play 82. That's the
philosophy I hold. When I played, that's the way I
wanted to play it as a player." (RPE)

Jackson said that Shaq told him yesterday during
their morning shootaround that his ankle was:
"still bothering him." (DB)

Before the game, Shaq released this statement:
"[Trainer Gary] Vitti's doing a great job. The ankle's
making progress. I hope to be ready on Friday." (LAT)

About how it was important to win a game w/o Shaq, Kobe:
"I think we needed a game like this, especially without
Shaquille in the lineup. I think it was important for us
to get the win down the stretch with him out.  We
expected them to play their hearts out.  Going down the
stretch it was going back and forth and we knew whichever
team got the last possession would win." (USA)

About his jumper to send the game into OT, Rice said:
"It was a little bit of luck, but we all need a little
luck. I just went to the corner, squared up and fortu-
nately things were on our side.  One of the things
Seattle did down the stretch that made the game go into
overtime was that they allowed me to get the ball and I
was able to turn around and sink a hot one for us."

"I barely got it off. I feel pretty good about it. It
was a big-time shot, gave the team a chance go to into
overtime and win the game. I knew it was going in, it's
sweet. Those are things that you cherish for a lifetime.
It's definitely a lift for me. Shaq is a very important
player to the team, obviously we miss him. I think it
was very important that we got a win without him in the
lineup." (AP)
Note: Jelani McCoy and Gary Payton were double-teaming
Rice when he made the shot. After he made the shot,
Payton looked up at the scoreboard in disbelief. (TNT)

About how he made a bad pass right just before making
the jumper to send the game into OT, Rice said:
"Thank God it went in. I really wanted to make up for
that pass. Tonight is a strong indication of what I
can do, and expect to do, for the rest of the season." (DB)

About the win, Harper said:
"It was a pretty nice win. Glen's a guy who we know can
shoot the basketball. Glen had fun tonight, he had the
hot hand." (AP)

Harper smiled as he referred to facing Seattle in the
1st round:
"We would love to see them early." (AP)

About Jackson's statement that he is injured, Fisher:
"I don't know what he's talking about. I'm fine." (RPE)

About how he is used differently now as compared to how
he was used during his rookie year, Knight said:
"When I was a rookie, I was running around all the time
and I played the 'four' (power forward) spot. Now, I'm
playing center. My back is to the basket." (RPE)

About learning the triangle offense, Knight said:
"I've learned a lot in this offense. The triangle
forces you to learn. It's a different style than I've
ever played." (RPE)

Happy with their play in the 2nd half and OT, Westphal:
"I'm very proud of the effort our guys gave in the second
half and overtime. It ended up being a fantastic game to
watch, the only thing bad about it from our perspective,
is that the wrong team won." (USA, SPI)

About the surprising nature of the game, Westphal said:
"There were some fantastic performances by both teams.
Individual efforts were just incredible. Who would have
thought it would be a shootout between Shammond Williams
and Lazaro Borrell against Kobe Bryant and Glen Rice?"

Drained by the loss, Westphal said:
"I'm pretty drained by it. Our team is drained by it,
but that's the way it is in the NBA. You play your guts
out, and you got to go back the next time and do it
again." (ST, SPI)

About how they feel they should have beaten the Lakers
when they didn't have Shaq, Horace Grant said:
"I felt we should have won the game without the big guy
in there. We should have hit the boards a little harder.
I guess we should have done a lot of things. It's a
rustrating loss for us." (ST)

"If the outcome of this game had been different, it would
have given us a good lift, but we're not going to quit.
We feel we should have won the game without the big guy
in there. We just needed to hit the boards a little
harder." (USA)

About how they needed this win, Grant said:
"We need Dr. Joyce Brothers, I don't know. The psyche of
this team is not good right now. I guess the antidote is
to get a win. If the outcome was different, it would have
given us a good lift, a big lift going into the next
game. But as it is, it dropped down our confidence a
little bit more." (ST, SPI)

About how they are struggling, Vin Baker said:
"It's a tough situation, especially because of the way
we've lost some of these games. I think its a situation
where guys on the floor are lacking a little bit of
confidence. You definitely don't want to go into a
playoff series on a losing streak. We have four or five
games to get it turned around." (TNT)

About how Payton challenged him at halftime during the
Denver game (on Saturday), leading to a loud exchange
of words that the Nugget players could hear, Baker:
"It's just frustration. It's the worst time of the year
to be struggling. And frustration sets in." (ST)

After his 3pt, 1-8 FG night, Baker said:
"My confidence level isn't high right now. And I've
just got to fight through it. I can't get down on
myself or feel sorry for myself. I just have to fight
threw it. That's where I'm at right now." (ST)
Note: ST reports that Baker has been bothered recently
by a personal family matter.

Upset about the offensive foul Rice drew on him in OT
with about a minute left, which wiped out Borrell's
game-tying basket, Patterson said:
"Glen Rice flopped. It was a bad call." (SPI)

Feeling he deserves the Most Improved Player Award,
Patterson said:
"I think I deserve it. I've done a lot for this team
this year. I've tried to show everybody what I can do,
and I really think I deserve it. I am playing well.
But if I get it, I get it. If I don't, I don't. I'm
just going to go on with it." (ST)

After his career-high 28 point game, Shammond Williams:
"Every night I'm not promised I'll get to play. We've
got some good players and some good veterans. You just
have to wait your turn. And when you're called upon,
you just have to try to make the best of the opportu-
nity." (AP)

About how he stayed in Atlanta to be with his wife
after his newborn baby suffered respiratory
complications, Vernon Maxwell said:
"They had her on a respirator because she had
difficulty breathing. But she's fine now." (ST)

Admitting that they blew the call on Ewing's offensive
goaltending of Larry Johnson's 3pt shot, Joey Crawford:
"I screwed the play up. We just watched it. The tape
doesn't lie." (AP)
Note: Crawford was the lead ref in that game.  I
couldn't help but think of Jackson's recent comment
that NY would need help from the refs (like another
4pt play call) to beat Indiana.

Keeping his cool about the blown call, Larry Bird said:
"I was standing right there. I had a better view than
the officials. It has happened to us before in here.
We accept it and move on." (AP)

Not keeping his cool about the call, Reggie Miller:
"They're cheating us now. I don't know if it's being
a small market, but we'll never get the benefit of
the doubt like the big-market teams like New York
and Los Angeles. That's just the league being the
league. Enough is enough." (AP)

Box Score

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Baker           27   1-8   1-4   3-9  1  6    3
Patterson       25   3-5   5-8   1-2  0  2   12
Grant           41  6-11   0-0   2-5  1  3   12
B Barry         29   1-5   2-2   0-2  4  5    5
Payton          51  9-24   3-6  4-12  8  3   22
Lewis           20   1-7   0-2   1-3  2  2    3
Maxwell          3   0-4   0-0   0-0  2  1    0
Mccoy           21   4-6   0-0   1-5  0  4    8
Foster           6   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  1    0
Williams        24  9-17   5-6   1-6  4  2   28
Borrell         18   5-9   0-0   1-4  0  1   10
Stepania       DNP - coach's decision
TOTALS         265 39-96 16-28 14-49 22 30  103

Percentages: FG-.406, FT-.571. 3-Point Goals:
9-23, .391 (Patterson 1-1, B Barry 1-3, Payton
1-7, Lewis 1-2, Maxwell 0-2, Williams 5-8). Team
rebounds: 14. Blocked shots: 3 (Payton, Grant,
Baker). Turnovers: 13 (Baker 2, Grant 2, Lewis 2,
Borrell, Mccoy, Patterson, Payton). Steals: 7
(Payton 3, Baker 2, B Barry, Borrell).

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Green           39   1-2   1-2   0-9  3  1    3
Rice            34  7-18 14-15   2-9  4  2   28
Salley          18   3-7   2-2   3-5  2  4    8
Bryant          45 13-28   7-9  3-10  6  5   33
Harper          21   3-6   0-0   1-4  0  2    6
Fox             24   3-8   0-0   1-5  1  1    7
Knight          18   1-4   0-0   1-2  0  4    2
Horry           15   1-5   2-2   0-3  1  1    4
Shaw            27   2-7   0-0   4-7  6  4    6
George          12   3-6   0-0   1-2  0  1    6
Fisher          12   1-4   0-0   0-0  0  2    3
Oneal          DNP - left ankle sprain
TOTALS         265 38-95 26-30 16-56 23 27  106

Percentages: FG-.400, FT-.867. 3-Point Goals:
4-16, .250 (Rice 0-2, Bryant 0-3, Harper 0-2, Fox
1-1, Horry 0-2, Shaw 2-3, George 0-1, Fisher
1-2). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 1
(Horry). Turnovers: 13 (Harper 3, Horry 2, Knight
2, Bryant, Fisher, Green, Rice, Salley). Steals:
6 (Bryant 2, Fox, Green, Knight, Shaw).
Seattle            22   18   20   34    9  -  103
La Lakers          23   16   34   21   12  -  106
Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: La Lakers
1 (Rice, 10:37 3rd).  A: 18,997. T: 2:42.
Officials: Hugh Evans, Luis Grillo, Violet Palmer.

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