Kukoc Struggling from Afar but Stays Confident

By McDill, Kent | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 6, 1996 | Go to article overview

Kukoc Struggling from Afar but Stays Confident


McDill, Kent, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Kent McDill Daily Herald Sports Writer

Toni Kukoc is 18 of 45 from the field in the playoffs, and 1 of 20 from 3-point range. Those numbers are not representative of Kukoc's talent, and he knows it.

"The shots are wide open," said Kukoc, who was 1 of 8 from the field Sunday but made 5 free throws to score 7 points. "The last month and a half, I was hitting the threes, maybe 40 percent. I think I have to keep shooting the open shots. If I'm going to pass up the open look, that is not good, and is not a part of my game. I just need one or two of them to go in."

Kukoc said he was unaffected by coach Phil Jackson's decision to start Dennis Rodman at power forward in the New York series. Kukoc started at the "4" spot in the Miami series.

"I'm trying to find myself as soon as I can out on the floor.," Kukoc said. "I had 30 (actually 28) tonight, so that is nothing to complain about. The minutes are there, and they are the most important thing. (Jackson) is not taking me out after five or six minutes. He is giving me a chance to play."

- Ron Harper was responsible for keeping an eye on John Starks Sunday, and Starks was 0 of 9 from the field.

"I was just trying to make sure he didn't get any easy shots," Harper said. "John can definitely shoot the ball. He is a guy that if you let him get off early, you are going to be in for a very long night. …

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