Crunch Time For Us

We’re in the middle of a back-to-back with the Nets, one of the most talented teams in the NBA.


Last night, they got us in overtime on a shot by Joe Johnson. He’s a phenomenal player and this is not the first time he’s made a shot like this. We tried our best to win that game and we fought hard, but we get to play them again and a chance to redeem ourselves.

When we played them earlier in the season, we played them pretty well. But since then, they went through kind of the same thing we did, changing coaches and they’ve been playing better. That makes preparation a little different. Still, I think if we can come out and play the way we play, move the ball offensively and stay solid defensively, we should give ourselves a chance.

It’s definitely a big game, but when you’re in this situation of fighting for playoff position, every game is a big game. You have to approach it with the mentality that this could be your last game because you don’t want to be looking back at the end of the season and feeling like there were a couple of games that you really didn’t play up to your ability.

Every game you can win, you should win. That’s why it’s crucial that guys approach the game that way and play with urgency. It’s about coming into each game with a big game mentality and big game intensity.

All the games that we play from here on out are going to be very key games. You can’t afford to lose games that you’re supposed to win and you also have to try to steal some games against the really good teams.

We’re in our second month with coach Boylan in charge after taking over for coach Skiles and it’s going well. It’s pretty much the same philosophy because coach Boylan had been with coach Skiles for many years. But I think having a change can be good for the team. Sometimes a change is something that brings a boost. When the change happened we went on a roll where we won a lot of games.

Our problem is we’ve slipped defensively. We need to get back to playing at a high level on defense. Every time we play at a high level on that end, it really helps us. We’re able to create turnovers, get out in transition and do things that have worked really well for our team.

If we can move the ball instead of letting it stick on the perimeter, we’ll have offensive success (Getty Images).

But the story of our year has kind of been the way we’ve played offensively. We have a lot of good potential but sometimes, for some reason, the ball gets stagnant. When we’re not moving the ball well, it really hurts our team. So we’ve made it a point of emphasis to move the ball and get everybody involved.

I think the All-Star break should help us. Some teams come out of the All-Star break playing at a high level and some teams come out still in vacation mode. But I think we’ve taken the first approach and come out of it with a lot of energy. We’re trying to turn things around, so hopefully guys are rested and ready to close this second part of the season out.

Physically, I’m doing pretty well. I’m still not where I’d like to be. I’m still figuring it out, coming back and all that stuff. But I think I’m getting stronger. There’s still a lot of season left, so I’m hoping to continue to get stronger and peak here soon.