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1999 NBA Playoffs

Officer on deck

CNN/SI's Vince Cellini goes 1-on-1 with David Robinson

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Posted: Thursday June 24, 1999 02:49 AM

  David Robinson: "This is a great opportunity. We're a very good road team, but we've got to come in and be focused and play our game."

NEW YORK (CNN/SI) -- Talk about your two-man game. David Robinson and Tim Duncan outrebounded the Knicks by themselves, 35-34. After the game, Robinson sat down with CNN/SI's Vince Cellini after the Spurs moved one win away from their first NBA championship.

VC: What does it feel like to be on the brink of that ring?

DR: It feels good, but it doesn't feel like you think it's going to feel. For us, it's been about playing day by day, quarter by quarter. Even at this point, we're just thinking about getting better. Tonight we made a lot of dumb mistakes. We're right at the brink and you can't be making those kind of mistakes -- throwing the ball away on an in-bounds play, all kinds of little stupid things. So we're still thinking about getting better. And that's a good thing. I think that's going to keep us focused to go out in the next game and get it done.

VC: To your credit, you showed a lot of poise as a team. Talk about coming out early and being aggressive and attacking the Knicks' shooters as they get close to the basket -- much like you did in Game 1, changing shots and blocking shots.

DR: That was huge. We sent to the line a lot last game, fouling jump shooters, and that's a big mistake. You can't be doing that. We did a much better jump of funneling to the big guys and we challenged every dunk, every layup. And that's good because they may make some, but they're going to think about when they come again. That was a much better effort all around defensively.

VC: You were very active with nine offensive rebounds. Were you determined to do that on the glass? Were you going to be that force?

DR: No question. Coach [Gregg] Popovich has been talking to me about it. He's been saying 'Tim's been getting to the boards, you need to be getting to the boards more.' That's where they hurt us last game so I knew that would play a big role for us this game.

VC: The rest of the starters were hurting after last game. No one really played well. But what a team effort by the Spurs in this one.

DR: I thought everybody came out really focused in this one. We've done that after every loss this year. I knew it because coming into the shootaround this morning, everybody was grumpy. Avery [Johnson] was his ornery self. So I knew they were going to come out focused. Avery did a great job in the beginning really controlling the pace. He hit some big shots for us. That helps us tremendously. We get out and get off to a good start and don't get down by 11, it's a different game.

VC: The longer a series goes, the more dangerous it is. So I imagine when you go back to San Antonio, you want it to be for a parade and not for more games.

DR: This is a great opportunity. We're a very good road team, but we've got to come in and be focused and play our game. We have to give ourselves a chance. We'll be ready I think.

Related information
Defense dooms Knicks in Game 4
Spurs hold off Knicks, take 3-1 lead in Finals
Elie brings his game to the Garden this time
A Closer Look: Spurs' fourth-quarter 'D' wins the day
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