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OKC Thunder: Q&A with Derek Fisher

Veteran guard Derek Fisher has upped his play considerably in the postseason compared to the regular season.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Published: May 10, 2013

Veteran guard Derek Fisher has upped his play considerably in the postseason compared to the regular season.

The 38-year-old Fisher averaged 4.1 points, shot 33.3 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from 3-point range in the regular season. So far this postseason, he has averaged 9.5 points, shot 54.3 percent from the floor and 61.3 percent on 3-pointers.

Q: You seem more comfortable and confident as the playoffs go on. Do you feel that as well, especially on the offensive end?

Fisher: “As you continue to spend time on and off the court with your teammates, you learn each other's strengths, tendencies and weaknesses. You try to find ways to keep getting better, keep helping the team. That's what I'm trying to do right now, especially with us being a man down (Russell Westbrook sidelined). We all kind of have to pick it up.”

Talk about defending Memphis point guard Mike Conley. He obviously made a huge difference in Game 2 with 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. What do you guys have to do differently against him?

“I think he was more assertive and more aggressive in Game 2 compared Game 1. I thought in the first game we were better at the point of the screen in terms of impacting the ball and not allowing penetration. I thought the second game they were better in how they spaced the floor, how they kind of manipulated our defense to take advantage of some things. So as much as the focus is about Gasol and Randolph, we have to respect the fact that Mike Conley makes them go. We have to defend him that way and try to cut into his production.”

How do you do that?

“They're one of the best teams in the league at scoring off of turnovers. We turned the basketball over too many times in Game 2. It's tough to turn the ball over 20 times in the playoffs and expect to win, and that's what we did. On the road, you have to be even more careful with the basketball. And so that's something in order to impact not just Mike Conley, but all of their perimeter players, we have to keep from turning the basketball over and give ourselves a chance to get back and get our defense set.”

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