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Shaquille O'Neal Interview




/ May 24, 2005

Shaquille O'NealThe Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat are battling it out in the Eastern Conference finals of the 2005 NBA playoffs. Detroit took Game 1, in Miami. Here's what Miami Heat superstar center Shaquille O'Neal said to various media the day after Game 1:

Q. Tell us how you feel today.

Shaquille O'Neal: Well, today we just watched a film, watched the many mistakes that we made in Game 1, and now we've just got to pick it up.

Q. How is it going to respond after two days' rest?

Shaquille O'Neal: I don't know, we've just got to go out and play. We're not making any big issue. We are on with or without me next game, so we're just going to be ready either way.

Q. Do you guys feel confident after Game 1?

Shaquille O'Neal: Yeah. It's our first loss in the post season, and we made a lot of mental mistakes, made a lot of mistakes, period, especially in the fourth quarter. So if we limit our mistakes and do what we're supposed to do, we'll be fine.

Q. Do you feel any pressure that you don't want to go down 2 0 and then go to Detroit?

Shaquille O'Neal: We're just going to come out and play. We know that we're supposed to win all the games, but if we don't, we just have to take the next game and focus on what we did wrong in the game before and just try to do better at the next game.

Q. Can you talk about Dwyane's frustration out there, not hitting shots.

Shaquille O'Neal: I don't think it was their defense, I just think he was playing a little bit too fast. I know tomorrow that he's going to let the game come to him and he's going to have a better game. He's just missing shots. He was playing great the first two periods, and he had an off night. It happens to the best of them.

Q. What adjustment will he make for Game 2?

Shaquille O'Neal: He'll just have to let the game come to him. He knows what he has to do. Like I said, he just had a bad game and it happens to the best of them.

Q. The defense didn't frustrate him?

Shaquille O'Neal: No, we knew they were a tough defensive team, and we just played into their hands at time. We just need to limit our mistakes. If we do that, then I like our chances.

Q. Is it a matter of adjusting or is it really just playing more your game?

Shaquille O'Neal: A little bit of both, a matter of adjustments, playing a little harder, playing our game and playing with a little more enthusiasm and intensity.

Q. How did your thigh feel today?

Shaquille O'Neal: It feels all right.

Q. Do you think the injury might have affected your stamina? How did you feel last night?

Shaquille O'Neal: I felt okay. I felt I was too far away from the basket and my jump hook was a little short, but nothing will affect my stamina. If I'm on the court, I'll do what I do. We just made too many mistakes.

Q. Are you going to be able to dominate or do you think this will be a grind it out series?

Shaquille O'Neal: A little bit of both. I think if I can continue to get the high percentage shots, I'm going to make most of them. Like I said, second half made too many miscues, but we'll just have to limit our mistakes. We missed our last eight shots, so we just have to get better shots, get more opportune shots and get a little closer to the basket.

Q. Would you consider Game 2 a must win for you guys?

Shaquille O'Neal: Every game is a must win. Like I say, we had a pretty good post season so far. We went 8 0 and this is our first loss, so we'll just learn from this one. The great teams always have to go through this. This is another challenge that we accept, and we've just got to do what we're supposed to do.

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