Friday, April 25, 2008

Avery: The men are ready

Avery Johnson appeared relaxed and in good spirits this morning with the most important game of the season looming tonight. Asked about any lineup changes he might have in store, the General quipped: “We’re going to start Damp at small forward and Juwan at point guard, Howard that is.”

Here are a few more of his musings after shootaround:

Mind-set going into Game 3: “We’re ready to go and the men are clear on what we’re doing. Minds are free and bodies are ready and we’re back home, and hopefully a combination of all of those things and New Orleans maybe not showing up. Maybe they’ll stay at the hotel. That’ll help us.”

Changes needed: “The way you turn things around, we have to be much more physical, much more alert, hustle a little bit more, be much more efficient on offense and try to make things just more difficult on them. I think they’ve had it too easy pretty much the whole series.”

Two-day break too long: “Not really. I think we needed that time. We needed to go back and take a look at a few things. That’s what the playoffs are all about. I’m kind of glad at the same time going back at looking at it that we had the two days in between. I think for our basketball club I think that’s going to be very beneficial for us. We were able to get our legs back on one day and then have a good practice, and now let’s just come out and play ball.”

Difference between home and road performance: “I don’t think anybody in the NBA has really kicked butt as much this year as they have in the past on the road, except for Boston probably. There seem to be pretty good home teams this year.”

Playing at the right pace: “When we need to be patient, we haven’t been patient at all in this series. We’ve kind of been in a hurry. You can play at a fast pace, but when you’re in hurry and you don’t really change gears, especially on the off end, we’re not as effective.”

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