Oh, Robin. We love you and your fiery intensity and impatience with the media. If his mood today was any indication, you'd think that he was done for the season, but fortunately that's not the case.
Here's a snap shot of Robin's verbosity after reportedly looking good in a full five-on-five practice:
Question: "It's not the easiest front line to shake the rust off, is it?"
Robin's answer: "No. They're talented."
Listen for yourself: Robin Lopez practice 051210
Robin's first workout on Saturday in San Antonio left observers wondering if he was going to make it back at all, but according to sources he looked much much better today in practice, which Coach Gentry alluded to, as well.
"I think he's gotten better. He continues to improve ... I'll be shocked if he doesn't play, but we'll see what happens in the next four days," Gentry said.
Steve Nash was asked if he worried about the team's flow if Robin is reinserted into the starting lineup as expected, "I'm not worried about the flow, I'm only worried about him -- if he's OK to play and if he's healthy enough to sustain the intensity it's going to take."
The Suns had a full, intense practice today with everyone except Nash participating. His eye looks fine but there's just no reason for him to risk injury in a practice situation at this point. Nash, Amare, JRich and Hill will all get the day off tomorrow while the rest of the younger guys practice again. Friday and/or Saturday should be another hard scrimmage to gear up for Game 1.
Quotes of the Day:
JRich on the atmosphere with this team:
"We are looking at this like a final four. When guys get along off the court and hang out, it brings a lot of camaraderie on the court ... Definitely bring out a lot of memories going back to Michigan State days."
Channing Frye about being the underdogs:
"We just want to stay humble in the fact that everybody counts us out. What do we have to lose? I think it makes us the most dangerous team out there. We're that team that nobody -- no matter what we do -- gives any credit to. I think we like it."
Frye talking about being four wins away from the finals:
"It doesn't even feel like it's the Western Conference Playoffs because I feel like I am more focused on how we can get get better as a team. If you focus on what's going around you, you don't focus on yourself and what you can do for the team.
So for me personally, it's definitely about how can I become better and how can I take advantage of this situation. I love the fact that we are going to the Western Conference Playoffs, but do I dwell on that? Nah, I dwell on this opportunity I've had and having the complete blessing of playing with this team this year."
Dudley on being four wins away from the Finals:
"Feels like it's a long ways and we've got a lot of work to do ... four is a long way from now."
Other Interview Notes and Audio
- Want to get them up and down. Don't think Bynum is as agile as he once was. Gasol, don't know if he can keep up with us as far as foot speed. Gonna be tough for them to guard us, but both teams going to have their hands full
- Rather play (Game 1) at home for sure, but playing in LA is a great opportunity to steal one. We're going to be the underdog so we have to be ready to go
- I don't feel like every time I step on the court, I need to get 20 points
- Everybody needs to be a factor to beat LA. Rebounding is going to be important
- I know I am a pretty good scorer, but Kobe is a phenomenal scorer. He can score in many ways
- Don't want to let Kobe get rest on the defensive end. We'll try and be aggressive, move him around come off screens so he doesn't have that much energy on the offensive end
- It brings out the best in guys. Everybody plays hard so you have to go hard
- Adversity in regular season helping now. We felt like we stayed together and be a successful team
- "When it's the postseason, everything is new. Everything is a beginning. People can say I put up bad numbers against the Lakes in the regular season, but that doesn't matter because it's the postseason."
- It's not about what the Lakers do. It's about what we do and can we execute the game plan
- Regular season has no bearing on the playoffs. All that stuff doesn't matter. We've gotten a lot better since the last time we played them
- Bench has been huge. In the games we won against good teams, everybody stepped up. That's what happens when you have a team that genuinely wants to win and win the right way
- Bench brings energy and change of pace
- It does feel like a college team. Everyone is on the same page. We enjoy playing with each other so much that it overshadows what situation we're in
- It's going to be crucial to push the pace. Gasol and Bynum don't want to run
- When they get set they zone it up and they can front the post and play angles
- Even if they score doing high pick and rolls fast is important
- Jared thinks starting Robin was a turning point in the season. After seeing him get 14-18 points without having plays called for him was when he thought this team would be really good
- Important for Robin to play in the paint and match size for size w/ Bynum
- "Have to use Steve in a high screen and roll. It can be Fisher or Farmar guarding him with either Bynum or Gasol they're not really good off the screen and roll."
- Have to get JRich going to make Kobe work
- "We know if we play our game, we should win."
- You have to be on top of your game to beat a team of that stature
- Every series, have to raise your game. The focus they came in for Spurs is highest since I've been here. Will be same against the Lakers