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NBA Finals: Jason Kidd Talks About The Mavs' Game 5 Win

Jason Kidd spoke about the Mavericks' win in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and his team now being up 3-2.

On the adjustments needed for Game 6:

I think we have to play better defense. They shot over 50%. We have to limit them to one tough shot.

On the mood of the team after the win:

We’re happy with our performance, but there’s always room to get better. Defensively, in that fourth quarter we gave up too many layups, and they took the lead. But the big thing is, we know that it’s hard to win on the road, and we have to find a way to win on the road come Sunday.

On their comfort level after a quick start in the first quarter:

It always seems like at the end of one of the quarters or halves they make a halfcourt three, so to get that out of the way in the first was maybe a good sign. We turned the ball over, and they made the three and took the lead.

On his calm demeanor:

The big thing is to not panic. The game is about runs and rhythm, and they made a run on us with layups and we had to stop that. On the other end you have to keep playing when they do score, and guys stepped up and made some big plays down the stretch.

On what was said in the huddle after the Heat’s run:

Just to stay together and keep fighting. The big thing is, defensively, we have to get a stop. Make or miss on the offensive end, we have to find a way to break their rhythm because they were running the pick-and-rolls and they were slipping out and getting layup after layup. Normally, when they do that, you tend to drop your head and not score on the other end, but guys just kept playing and found a way.

On Dwyane Wade leaving with his injury:

I don’t know how my teammates felt, but I felt that he was going to come back. This is the Finals, so we all knew that he would come back at some point. The big thing is LeBron put pressure on us, guys were helping, and he was finding the open guy. Miller made two threes to start that half, so we didn’t get off to a good start. But we knew that at some point D-Wade was going to be back and that he would have a big impact on the game.

On how close he is to his first title and the perserverence required to get there:

I’m just staying in the moment and I know that we have to find a way to win come Sunday. Everything else will fall into place if we can find a way to win. When you come into this league you feel like you can always win a championship. You don’t understand when you’re young just the competition and the level you have to play at as a team. And then there’s the business side of basketball where you can be traded or you lose a teammate. You learn that, but you don’t stop working. You’re never too young or too old to always improve your game. For me at 38 I’ve always felt that I had to improve my shooting if I want to be on the floor and help my teammates out. As I’ve gotten older, it’s just about timing – not so much scoring 20 points or 15 assists or 10 rebounds. It’s just being at the right place at the right time and that your teammates believe in you. And Dirk and JET, JET made a heckuva play driving the ball, throws it out, and [me] being able to knock down that three. But just the trust that he showed that I would knock down that shot.

On Dirk Nowitzk’s focus:

He’s been in this position before, in ‘06. They’ve put teams around Dirk for a while now and he hasn’t gotten back here. So I think he’s enjoying the moment, but he’s also able to focus and understand how hard it is to win a championship. So, his hard work – he works every day on his game – right now he’s just focused on trying to help his team win.

On how Dallas has cut down on live-ball turnovers in the past two games:

Well, I kept it on the floor so that’s a good sign. For some odd reason I’ve been throwing it to the Heat. We understand how important the ball is against this team because if you turn the ball over, by the time you take one step back on defense they’re already gone. Sometimes it doesn’t look like it, but we’re trying to not turn the ball over. You have to give the Heat a lot of credit because they are great on the defensive end.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.