Portland, Ore. — Below is a transcript of Mike D’Antoni’s post-game press conference on the Lakers’ 113-106 win Wednesday over the Portland Trail Blazers.
On Pau Gasol
Pau had another good game. He and Dwight are playing pretty well. Steve Blake came up with two great rebounds to get the steal and the clear path. He’s the one who deflected the ball.
On Damian Lillard
Lillard was unbelievable. The game he had was terrific. They had the shooters. They were good.
On Gasol playing heavy minutes
Pau has been resting for six weeks (laughs). He’s fine. We have to get him in shape.
On his recently strong play
The biggest thing is he’s healthier. He was playing well before he got hurt. He was going. Since January he plyed well, earlier he was hurt. The system was screwed up. We’res trying to figure things out. I’m trying to figure things out where to play him & how to play him. I think we have lot more confidence in him now. He’s been playing great.
On two-man game with Kobe Bryant and Gasol
It has an affect no doubt. They won championships with it. But I think it’ll carry over. Steve will have the same thing when he gets back. Pau and Dwight will be throwing it at the rim. Little things are getting better. Chemistry is getting better. The biggest thing is as long we come out really determined defensively, we’ll be okay.
He’s about as good as you can get, even better than most rookies I’ve ever seen. It looks like he’s played 10 years in the league at the highest level.
On how Bryant musters up the energy to play so many minutes
He’s just determined to get us into the playoffs. That’s what happens when you open your mouth and guarantee we’ll get in the playoffs. Now he’s got to do it. It’s phenomenal what he’s doing is great. Talking to him, he wants to play. He’s out there and he’s got it and it’s hard to take him out. It really is.
On what it means to be one game ahead of Utah for the eighth playoff spot
Everything. We still don’t have to depend on them. That’s the way we want to keep it. We have three games at home. We got to do it.
On the day off on Thursday
We’ve been resting for a while. That’s really important. They have to recover and some guys will come into the training room and get some treatment. Other than that, we’ll be ready for them.
On whether Bryant’s aggressiveness is predetermined or if he simply reacts to the defense
Probably a little bit of both. He probably wanted to come out and be really aggressive. We talked about slow starts. I didn’t think Portland would go crazy. We did get 41 points the first quarter. Normally that would be a good start. But they got 40. That’s not real good. I think it’s everything. He’s a determined guy. So is everybody else. These guys have been playng must win games for a bout a month. We have to have it.
If Steve Nash will play against Golden State
It’s too early to say, but I’m always hopeful
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