Prior to each and every game, Phil Jackson takes some time to address assembled media. His roughly six-minute conversation in Detroit is summarized below:
On his message to the L.A. beat writers that couldn’t make it out of the East Coast snowstorm:
Jackson: Too bad, so sorry. They’ll have to write about it from New York.
On the team’s energy level:
Jackson: We got a run out of our second unit in the second quarter last night, kind of saved our starters for the second half (in New Jersey) and hopefully for tonight, so we didn’t burn them out. We’ll see how it goes.
Oh his thoughts about the Pistons:
Jackson: They’re on a little bit of a losing spell, they have to come out and stand up and we know that. They’ve been winning at home … they’re a physical team, an aggressive team, they play a physical game so we have to meet that physicality in the game.
On if seeing the Pistons a month ago without Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton helps prepare for Detroit despite limited time:
Jackson: They’re starting (Chucky) Atkins and (Jason) Maxiell, so they put different guys in the starting lineup and we have to be prepared for that. We anticipate that (Ben) Gordon might play tonight – I’m not sure what it’s going to crank out to be. Hamilton’s been in and out, we were anticipating perhaps he might be (ready) for this game. But we have to be prepared for drive and screen roll, those are the things that are going to be at us tonight.
On how Kobe’s finger continues to affect him:
Jackson: He said last night it bothered him more than it did two games ago, the game prior to that. Those are the kind of things where if he gets hit, it irritates him, but he’s found a way to play through it.
On how big of a factor Pau Gasol has been:
Jackson: He just gives us so many options. He’s a great passer, and when he plays a power forward role with Andrew (Bynum) in the game, he’s capable of playing outside guys, inside big players … his speed is good enough to get back on defense so we don’t get hurt transition wise, and his screen-roll defense is very good for a big guy. When Andrew goes out and he moves over to the post, he can play a variety of things from high post to low post. It changes up our offense, makes us really flexible.
On if this is as complete a starting five as he’s had:
Jackson: Well, we’re a little clumsy. We lost speed with (Ron) Artest, we don’t have that outright speed or fastbreak that we had, the capability of breaking games like that. But Ron gives us a defensive player that really is a lock-down guy. He can get on a guy and limit his touches, limit his offensive productivity, so that’s a whole different aspect of our game. Trevor (Ariza) was a good defensive player, good at (getting steals), but Ron is good on bodies and getting to guys, so that’s a great aspect for our team.