Jerry Stackhouse Interview
In the 2006 NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks are up 2-0 over the Miami Heat. Here's what Mavs swingman Jerry Stackhouse said in Game 2's post-game press conference:
Q. If you could just talk about that run that you guys went on in the second quarter, especially, and how big was that for you guys to really put them on the defensive?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: Well, yeah, it was great to get a little distance going into halftime. We started out pretty good in the first quarter, and then all of a sudden everything kind of got stagnant and we looked up and the score was 16-16 and 16-18, and we knew that couldn't be our game. We had to force the issue, make it a little more of a tempo game. Fortunately we were able to hit a few threes in that stretch to end the half. I think our defense picked up in the second half and we were still able to make shots. We knew even what 20-, 30-point lead, a team like that that has capable three-point shooters are going to be able to make a run, but we held them off.
Q. Can you talk about just as far as I think you guys ended up with five players in double figures, can you talk about the offensive balance you guys had tonight?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: Yeah, we just moved the ball. I think sometimes, you know, when you move the ball, certain guys are going to be the ones that are consistently open. Tonight it just kind of spread open. Tonight we moved the ball around the horn, we ran our plays when they came and double-teamed. Like every time tonight, we made the right play. But obviously we had a few turnovers when we were trying to force the issue a little bit. But for the most part, we were just playing together like we have all year.
Q. What impact has it had on your career a few years ago when you became a sixth man and minutes went down, opportunities went down, do you think that's lengthened or enhanced your career in any way?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: No, I don't think so. I think my pattern has been my pattern. It's been a great ride for me. I've been from a team that won 18 games my rookie year to a team that's playing in the World Finals. And a lot of highs and a few lows in between.
But, you know, it's all been worth it. I think everything that I've gone to and gone through has, you know, helped me be able to be in this role now. I think even the Washington situation, I was always aggressive and aggressive, aggressive, and aggressive, attacking. And I think you watched it, when I was hurting to slow down a little bit and I think that's probably when my game really, you know, changed for the better because I couldn't really go at the pace that I wanted to. And then when I got healthy again, I had both speed; I had the speed to still go and get 30, and the speed to try to bait them to move the ball. And it worked out perfectly with this team. I think Avery believed in me, not only as a player, but as a person and I think that that's -- and these guys trust me with their lives. It can't be a better situation for me.
Q. You're known more as a driver and not as a 3-point shooter. What do you think the difference was tonight?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: I mean, I think that's what you guys say. (Laughter). I felt tonight was -- the way they have been playing and how they have been slacking off in the corners, it was a good opportunity for me to go in the gym last night late and work on some 3s and it paid off. I just thank God for allowing it to go in for me tonight. I am a slasher and I am a guy that gets to the basket. I would even consider myself a streak shooter, too. You have a few that might not go in, but I feel that any time when I'm feeling good that they can go -- that they can go down for me. I just try to stay aggressive. Like I said, my teammates were always encouraging whenever I'm in the game and got an open look, they shoot it, especially certain spots on the floor.
Q. With that streakiness, do you feel like you're a guy that if that first one goes in, the next few are a whole lot easier for you?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: That's what this game is all about, confidence, and seeing the ball go in is huge. Like I said, last night and coming in, working on it, obviously when I stepped on the floor tonight and the first one was a long 2, went down, you know, my mechanics were right and I felt I was doing the things I needed to do to have a good shooting night. Obviously I wanted to set those shots up and still be able to drive and get to the basket, and I still was focused on trying to get to the paint, get to the basket, put pressure on their defense. But tonight was one of those nights for me from the line, but I don't know what it's going to be next time.
Like I said, we're a team that tries to take whatever the defense gives us and we feel that we've got a lot of people that's capable of stepping and up and having big nights on any given night.
Q. How late were you in the gym last night, and when you get into that kind of a zone does it start feeding the energy to know it's just going to go in when it leaves your hands?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: Well, you never know it's going to go in until it's through the hole. But it definitely felt -- the ball felt good leaving my hand tonight. Last night I was -- we got a lot of guys that come in and put the work in. You know, Dirk, J.T., those guys are always in the gym late. I bump into them. I'm thinking I'm letting them do all what they do and kind of sneak in behind them but Dirk is still hanging around the gym last night when I got here. We feel that this is an opportunity for us and we want to do all we can to prepare ourselves to be able to fulfill a dream of ours and fulfill the dream of our city, fulfill the dream of our organization, and we're one more step closer to that.
Q. Curious, 10-points in a little over a minute, when you go into the locker room at the half, what do the guys say to you, and when is the last time you put up 10 points in about a minute?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: It possibly happened at some point in the season. You know, you guys really started taking notice of us once we got to the playoffs and started making some noise.
We have been a team that have competed and done things like that all year, off the bench, and my role coming in. And bringing energy; I think everybody that looks as my role as coming in as a scorer off the bench, but I feel that with my presence, a lot of times it's drawing double-teams and maybe not even getting assists, making the pass out of the double-team that moves to the next pass that gets a guy a good open shot.
It's about sacrificing and giving up yourself. Avery talks about that all the time. Give yourself up for the next guy to give a good shot and I think all of our guys have bought into that, and that's why we are where we are.
Q. Just talk about that stretch real quick, just how much did you do you want it at that point when you are feeling it like that at the end of the half?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: They double-teamed Dirk. My guy was leaving, like I said, after I shot the first one, there was no hesitation once I caught it the second time. I was probably three feet behind the 3-point line on the second one. You know, when you're feeling good, you let it ride.
But, like I said, tomorrow is a different day. Maybe my time to be on the block hopefully with what I've done this half, same thing with Jason last half. They were a little more conscious of him tonight, and maybe they will be a little more conscious of both of us in the next game and there will and another guy; it will be Josh or Marquis or Keith or Devin, another one of our guys will step up and have another big night for us, because everyone on our team is capable.