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InsideHoops [NBA Playoffs]

Shaquille O'Neal Interview

 


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| May 25, 2006

Shaquille O'Neal interviewIn NBA Playoffs Game 1 of the Eastern conference finals the beat the Detroit Pistons to go up 1-0. Here's what Shaquille O'Neal said the next day:

Q. Talk about what the focus has to be.

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: We know that the Detroit Pistons have a great team and we know they're going to come ready to play. We're just going to come out with the same intensity, try and take care of the ball and just play smart. That's our focus, to try to win Game 2. We're not going to really change much. We've just got to take care of the ball a little bit better and hopefully we can play at the same level we played at last night. If we do that, then we should be fine.

Q. How was practice today?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: It was good. Coach Riley does a great job of giving us our rest and getting us well prepared. We've been here a couple of hours, so we're ready, ready to go.

Q. So much is made about the time off that you guys had and the turnaround for them. Do you think you were the fresher team yesterday, that you guys had more legs under you?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: We just had a game plan and we stuck to our game plan, and we think we can continue sticking to the game plan and we'll be fine.

Q. What's the motto of this team that's going to start developing?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Motto? "No excuses."

Q. What does that mean to you?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: You've got to stick to the game plan, play together, everyone else will step up, from the starters to the guys coming off the bench. Right now we're playing at a high level and we just have to try to get to an even higher level and just keep playing together.

Q. Why is that the motto for this team?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Because it is. There's nothing to really talk about. We know what we have to go out and do, just go out and do it.

Q. What kind of message does it send with you and D-Wade on the bench in foul trouble and the team extending the lead?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: We just know if our guys coming off the bench can play like that every night, play consistent like that every night, we're going to be a hard team to beat, and they have been playing like that in the playoffs. The whole team needs to continue to play at this high level. If we do that, I like our chances.

Q. If you were the Pistons would you be feeling some serious pressure right now after losing that first game?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: I don't believe in ifs.

Q. Do you expect them to play a lot better?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: I know they will, and we have to be prepared for whatever they throw at us. We just have to continue to play at this high level and just do what we do.

Q. Shaq, there's a lot of flopping in the NBA now. What do you think of that? Has that game been ruined or do you like the old banging style where guys just go at each other?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: In the big man department, I would say it's been ruined. I already know it's getting better if you've got guys like Dirk Nowitzki that can play both inside and out, it makes it a better game, but I don't know.



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