Vitaly Fridzon:
We Won Because Of Good Defense

One of the biggest heroes in CSKA's win over Khimki, Vitaly Fridzon, called Moscow Region home for nine seasons before signing with the Army Men in 2013.

Fridzon sat down with VTB-League.com to talk about the victory, his relationship with the Khimki fans, NBA 2K16 and more...

- If someone had told you three years ago that you would star for CSKA in a win over Khimki, would you have believed them?
- You know, I really don't like to guess about the future. And, to be honest, there weren't any stars today, only a team. We didn't start very well and gave up 30 points in a quarter, but we managed to regroup. We didn't let Khimki score easy baskets, battled on the glass and shut down the perimeter. Everyone played a role in today's win.

- Did you do anything special to prepare for today's game?
- We carefully analyzed our last game against Khimki in the Euroleague and broke down all of our mistakes. But we still couldn't slow their offense in the beginning. They couldn't miss. In the second half, though, we were noticeably better on defense. We stopped letting our opponent get out in transition and forced them to play in the halfcourt. As a result, we had a comfortable lead by the middle of the 4th quarter.

- During the final period, you hit some shots to help CSKA pull away...
- I wouldn't single myself out. First of all, my teammates got me the ball in good spots. Plus, they scored a lot, too--Kurbanov, for example. The most important thing, though, is that we didn't win because of my baskets. We won because of good defense.

- This is the first time you've defeated Khimki on the road in the regular season...
- Yeah, it's a big moment. I spent nine years in this arena and it's always nice to return.

- The Russians on the court played very well today. What's the reason? Were you trying to prove who's better?
- A lot of us have already proved to each other what we can do. We've known each other for a long time and play together on the national team. That's true for everyone except the youngest guys. We were playing for team pride. I think that's the main reason.

- Did getting named the league's top Russian player in January give you extra motivation? (Fridzon received his prize prior to the game)
- When you play against teams like Khimki you don't need any extra motivation. But it was very nice for the league to notice my play in January.

- Do you feel like you have a special relationship with the local fans?
- When I'm on the court, I don't pay attention to the spectators. But it was really nice when even the Khimki fans applauded during the awards ceremony.

- You recently posted a picture of your NBA 2K16 avatar on your Instagram...
- No, no, no. I haven't played a Playstation for about two years now. It's gathering dust on the shelf. I don't turn it on. I must be getting older. I'm already 30 and don't care as much for computer games. A friend of mine just sent me the picture.