Dozier rues Alaska’s poor start: ‘You can’t start off the Finals like that’

Rob Dozier rued the bad start which he felt took Alaska out of the game.

The Aces trailed the Elastopainters, 24-10, early in game one of the finals and while they managed to keep in step for the rest of the game, Dozier felt they couldn’t afford a slow start like that.

“You can’t start off the Finals like that,” he said. “The first four minutes, we played without thinking, we turned the ball a lot, and they took advantage. That was pretty much the game.”

Dozier unleashed 41 points and 15 rebounds for the game, but that wasn’t able to save Alaska from a 105-97 defeat to Rain or Shine early in the best-of-seven series.

“I just think we just got to come out with a better focus. It’s that simple: we got to be focused from the jump and not wait until we get behind like we’ve done this playoffs before we show our true colors. We just got to play from the beginning,” he said.

Despite the import’s disappointment on the outcome, coach Alex Compton was happy to see Dozier’s outside game is finally clicking.

“I think he’s been working on it for years,” he said as Dozier went 4-of-6 from three in the duel. “When you go to Europe and play a lot, you know the Euro style, you got to be a stretch four, and you got to be able to shoot it. Rob was always a good medium range shooter, he’s extended his range, and the thing I like is he usually takes the right ones. He doesn’t fall in love with it.”

The American coach commended his import for picking the right spots resulting to an efficient shooting night.

“Sometimes, when you’re trying to add a new skill or develop something, you overemphasize it. I think he took the right ones. He was 4-for-6. He didn’t take a lot of bad ones. It won’t be often actually that even takes six. But he was just hot tonight and we got him some good clean looks.”

While he is known for his bulldozing ways inside the paint, Dozier doesn’t mind dropping those long bombs when he sees daylight.

“I don’t shoot them at a high rate, but if you’re going to leave me wide open, I’m definitely going to shoot them,” he said. “I’ve worked on it, but I’ve always been known as a pick-and-pop three-point shooter or mid-range jump shooter, so it’s nothing new.”

But Dozier and the Aces are not hung up on their offensive game with their focus now on keeping their mistakes to a minimum.

“I think we played okay offensively, we didn’t have an issue offensively. I think it was on the defensive end and we turned the ball over the first four minutes,” the former Best Import said. “We’ll try to get better and try to play for four quarters.”

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