This is the time to talk about expectations in a new season. After a year that can hardly be characterized as unsuccessful, what are the goals for you and your teammates in the new one?
Vladimir Radmanovic: We can’t say that the last season was unsuccessful, but it certainly wasn’t successful enough. We came to the Finals, but couldn’t pick up the trophy. Therefore, our ambitions for this year are certainly to go back where we were the last season, but then to do much more in the Finals then it was the case last year.
What do Trevor Ariza and Andrew Bynum, the two players that were injured in the last year’s playoffs, bring to this team?
VR: We will simply be a much better team with them. They bring so much more versatility to our squad and so many more scoring options in offense.
You said you contemplated a lot what went wrong in the last year’s Finals. Does Boston’s dominance in that series still surprise you four months after the Finals?
VR: I don’t want to take anything away from Boston. I’m not going to say that we didn’t play as good as we can, since the way they play defense, and offense, for that matter, disrupted quite a bit the set plays in our offense. However, the loss on our own court after being 26 points up was something that simply crushed us and from which we just couldn’t recover. No amount of expectations and good will were sufficient after such a devastating defeat to mentally come back in that series. It’s certainly different to come to Boston being up 3-2 in a series than losing 3-2, but that’s all water under the bridge now.
Keep blaming LO for not winning the championship last season.