2006 ECF Game 5 Postgame Interviews

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  1. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    2006 EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
    DETROIT, MICHIGAN


    ~Postgame Interviews~

    May 31, 2006

    Miami - 78
    Detroit - 91
     
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    COACH PAT RILEY

    Q. Pat, is it just inexplicable in a game that meant this much that guys go 6 for 18 from the line?

    PAT RILEY: I thought it was 6 for 20. That's what I showed on my stat sheet. They played the game with super energy, and even though that was a factor, the loose balls, their plays and the shot clock. I thought the biggest play of the night was at 79-76 Shaquille blocks and Tayshaun hits a three. There were a number of those situations that in a game like this you've got to come up with on the defensive end, and we didn't. It's a Game 6.

    Q. Does losing tonight make Game 6 almost a must-win for you guys because of the difficulty --

    PAT RILEY: I don't want to get into that, but obviously you want to win so it's at home. When you go into a seven-game series and you don't have the home court advantage, the blue book says one win; one, two, try to get them in five, and then you're set up for what you did. That's what we have in front of us. We're playing the game at our place.

    Q. Tayshaun Prince obviously carried the Pistons tonight. He shot about 64 percent. The rest of the starters shot 34 percent. What makes him to difficult to guard?

    PAT RILEY: He's unorthodox in a way. He reminds me a lot of a player that I coached, Jamal Wilkes, had a very sort of -- a way about him that didn't look like he was doing something, and before you look at the stat sheet he's got 29. His shot comes from out here. Jamal used to wind up but it was like snow falling off a bamboo leaf, it was so smooth. The other night he had 11 points in the first quarter and didn't score the rest of the game but four points, but he had a monster game. We have to find a better answer for him.

    Q. Coach, can you just talk about how the Pistons came out, definitely the best game of the series, and haven't played that great really -- not that tonight was great, but to this point this is probably the best basketball you've seen.

    PAT RILEY: We know each other real well right now, and it will come down to -- effort plays will come down to who's making free throws, it will come down to who's rebounding the ball, not making turnovers. It will come down to those kinds of factors, at least that's been my experience. They played extremely well tonight in those areas.

    Q. Can you talk about what happened in the fourth quarter a bit, 13 points, Shaq and Dwyane were the only people who scored?

    PAT RILEY: Well, they took it to another level, they just did. They took their defense up to another level, and it was very intense. They were denying, they trapped Dwyane. I think we had some looks at the basket. You've got to make everything count. I think Shaquille had two or three point winning shots inside that didn't go down. I think we were 1 for 8 or on whatever fouls we did get, we were 1 for 7 or 8, so I think 13 points is indicative of a number of things.

    Q. Have you ever seen Shaquille stuff before?

    PAT RILEY: Not too often. I can't remember too often. There are some times when he puts it behind him. I think that's when Ben caught him. It was a hell of a play.
     
  3. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    DWYANE WADE

    Q. Were they doing anything different to you defensively tonight than they did the first four games?


    DWYANE WADE: No, not really, nothing different, just trapping more to make me get off the ball. That's it.

    Q. Just talk about the challenge you have having to win one of these next two?

    DWYANE WADE: We did what we had to do. We'll go back to Game 6. We need one game to win. That's all we've got to do back at home. We know what we have to do. We got the split up here the first time so we're in the position we need to be in, and come out and give it all in Game 6 and see what happens.

    Q. What happened tonight with the free throws? It kept you out of the game, the lack of production from the free throw line. Is that something that's been two games in a row now?

    DWYANE WADE: I can't control the free throw line. I can't control that. We did what we always do on offense, got the shots that we wanted. We miss some, hit some at the free throw line. We can't control that part of the game.

    Q. Do you feel that there's a lot of pressure -- all the pressure is on you guys now to win Game 6 so you don't have to come back here?

    DWYANE WADE: There's no pressure on us at all. We don't look at this as pressure. We've got a golden opportunity to win Game 6 at home on our home floor. It's another game. We don't look at nothing as pressure. These are the conference champions. There's no pressure on us.

    Q. You talked yesterday about how you like to set the tone in these sort of games and get off and have guys follow you. With them not letting you do that with the trapping and then Shaq in foul trouble, did that throw you guys off as far as the start you wanted tonight?

    DWYANE WADE: Well, we got the shots that we wanted. We can't complain about that. Guys just didn't make the shots that we normally make. I'm confident in my teammates that we'll get an opportunity in Game 6 and we'll make them. We can't ask for better shots. They came out like we knew they was going to come out, pressure and energy, and we took the first couple punches and we still was there. Tonight they beat us to a lot of loose balls, tip-off. Give them credit, they played hard, they played like a desperate team.
     
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    COACH FLIP SAUNDERS

    Q. Can you just talk about what was going through your mind before the game knowing this was the first do-or-die situation?

    FLIP SAUNDERS: It's very similar, I think, to Game 6 we had in Cleveland. I think there was a calmness with me, I think calmness with our players, and I think we knew what was at hand, what we had to do. I told the players I felt comfortable because I felt the players were focused. I thought tonight both teams came out and played hard.

    Q. There have been some people questioning throughout the series whether Ben has been Ben. Can you just talk about tonight, whether Ben was Ben?

    FLIP SAUNDERS: Ben was Ben. He was extremely active. He worked hard on Shaquille, changed his looks defensively, attacked him more aggressively as far as offensively, getting involved, reading situations when Shaq was trying to get to open areas. I think there's no question, our whole team has been challenged here over the last 14 days, and Ben accepted the challenge at hand and got involved.

    Q. The fourth quarter defense, 13 points allowed, I think three points in the last seven minutes or something crazy like that. Any adjustments that you made, or was it just effort getting back to --

    FLIP SAUNDERS: I think we finally got to the point where we put a little bit of pressure on them. We trapped Wade some, we were more aggressive in our carry defense, we were energetic, we had Tay guarding Wade at times, Chauncey guarding him at times. We gave him a lot of different looks so he just really couldn't get in a total comfort level.

    We did normally what we did over the regular season. In the fourth quarter we had the ability to turn it up. As I told our guys prior to the game, I said, we've been in a funk here for two weeks, it's time to get out of it and start playing. I thought the fourth quarter was the one situation defensively where we were in that mode, and we had some good success.

    Q. How much better is this team offensively when Tayshaun gets in a rhythm like that?

    FLIP SAUNDERS: Well, he carried us a lot. I think that any time you have a guy that makes as many -- he made a lot of shots and a lot of shots that were tough shots. There's no question if you have any player that can lead your team, can carry a team over stretches, he did for 48 minutes, it makes it easier for the other players to play off it. I thought we did something better tonight, our offense, we moved better. I think both teams struggled in the fourth quarter because like I said, both teams played so hard, exerted so much energy that sometimes the shot goes a little bit. We still had a couple guys we haven't gotten going, and that's going to be our main focus going down to Miami on Friday.

    Q. You guys are now 11 and 2 in elimination games. What is it about this group of players that can respond even when they look like they might be dead?

    FLIP SAUNDERS: Well, I think that they understand what's at hand, and I think that you can't be afraid to lose, afraid to fail. I think if you're looking at it where you're going to be afraid to fail, then usually you play timid, and this team has really not done that in these type of situations.
     
  5. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    BEN WALLACE

    Q. Ben, could you just talk about the energy level that you in particular came out with tonight, just seemed a little bit more energized than we've seen you the last couple games.


    BEN WALLACE: You know, it was easy for us to come out with energy tonight. You either find a way to get a win or you go home. We came out with a lot of energy, executed our sets, got stops on the defensive end, got good looks on the offensive end and were able to get a get.

    Q. Could you talk about your approach to defending Shaq? It seemed like you took him out of his rhythm early on tonight.

    BEN WALLACE: I wanted to mix it up on him, played behind sometimes, sometimes front, tried to keep the ball out of his hands. For the most part we just wanted to keep a body on him and not allow him to get too many dunks or layups.

    Q. There were a lot of reports about dissention in the Piston locker room. Was anything said tonight before the game that maybe changed the attitude or solidified you guys a little bit to perform like you did?

    BEN WALLACE: That's one thing I never really had to worry about. Since I've been a Piston is going out there and not having everybody on the team out there willing to fight for every inch of the court.

    As far as dissention in the locker room and all that, we're going to play until the end, and that's what it's all about. We don't worry about what they say or what people think is going on. You know, we're here to play basketball. That's our job and that's what we try to come out and do every night.

    Q. You had a play in the 3rd where Shaq got underneath you and you were able to stuff it and get the jump ball. Can you talk about how difficult that is, to be able to stop his forward momentum like that? Do you think that seemed to energize your teammates towards the fourth quarter defensive?

    BEN WALLACE: You know, it's a tough task to go down there and try to fight with Shaq for 48 minutes. I don't know how much of that was skill or determination, you know, but we all get lucky sometimes.

    Q. It seems like in this series we keep hearing the winning team say "we had more energy," and I was wondering is there some magic elixir or maybe something you can come up with before a game to get that energy, or how does this happen, this whole series, I guess?

    BEN WALLACE: It just happens. It's one of those things where you can't coach it, you can't draw plays for it or anything like that. It just happens. You just step out on the floor and you're either energized and ready to play, or you're not. That's one thing about energy is it's effort. You can't coach effort. If you come out and give that type of effort and that type of energy, then it's tough to beat.

    Q. Could you just talk about the mentality of the team going into the game knowing it was lose or you're done, and also the challenge of trying to win two more?

    BEN WALLACE: Right now we've approaching every game like a tournament. You lose and you go home. That's how we try and take it, just one game at a time, one possession at a time, try to get one stop at a time and execute on the offensive end. That's how we came out and approached the game tonight, and that's how we're going to approach every game from here on out.

    Q. Does this put all the pressure on them now to win Game 6 because it's very highly unlikely they could come back here and win Game 7?

    BEN WALLACE: You know, I don't think they have too much pressure on them. They're still up. We've still got to come out and play desperate. They're still up, and everybody knows any team in this league likes to play from the front, and it's tough to play from behind. Right now we're playing from behind, and all the pressure is still on us. We've got to go out as a team and take care of business.

    Q. Are you aware that people are saying that you haven't quite been Ben Wallace and that your effort hasn't been what it's been in the past?

    BEN WALLACE: I don't worry about what people say. That's one thing I learned a long time ago; you can't tell people what to say about you and you can't overreact to what people say about you. You know, I am who I am. I come out and do whatever I can do to help this team win. Of course we're all human. All nights it might not be enough, and like tonight it was probably just enough. I don't worry about what people say to me. That doesn't bother me and doesn't affect my game, doesn't change who I am.

    Q. Ben, what does winning tonight, not only winning but the way you guys won, playing the way people are accustomed to seeing the Pistons play, what does it do for your confidence going into Game 6?

    BEN WALLACE: This team never had a lack of confidence, but it was good to see everybody come out and be on the same page energized and ready to play. I think everybody came into the game, were ready to contribute, and they were doing things. That's what it's about. We're not asking anybody about come out and score 30, 40 points. We're just asking people to be ready to do the little things that make a big difference.
     
  6. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    TAYSHAUN PRINCE

    Q. Tayshaun, tonight you were over 60 percent in your shooting, and McDyess was 5 for 5. The rest of the team was under 30 percent again. What can the team do to improve that shooting, and how badly hurt is Rasheed that he's having a tough time?


    TAYSHAUN PRINCE: Rasheed is having a tough time with his ankle. On two or three separate occasions he kept tweaking it. But at the same time he's playing well. I mean, he's giving us energy and effort for the most part, and that's what we need. But as far as the first question, as far as the majority of the team shooting around 30 something percent, it didn't really matter tonight because the energy and the effort was there on both ends of the floor.

    If you're not shooting the ball well and you're playing with a lot of energy and effort and you get defensive stops and things like that and you hold the other team to a low percentage even though they've been shooting the ball extremely well, it kind of helps out.

    Like you said, McDyess had a magnificent game tonight, shooting 5 for 5 on his free throws, and just a game that we needed.

    Q. Defense in the fourth quarter, I think you held them to about 13 points the whole quarter. Can you talk about that, and can you also talk about the play where Ben stuffed Shaq? Is that something that even the players on the team kind of say "wow" about?

    TAYSHAUN PRINCE: The thing about it, it gets the crowd into the game when stuff like that happens. When you're at home, I think it gets the energy going and the adrenaline, and that's what happened. Dwyane hit a couple tough shots there at the start of the quarter, and after that we started playing some good solid defense.

    But we played some good defense in the fourth quarter. We had some careless turnovers here and there, shot clock violation, but overall it was a good fourth quarter, and like I said, when you're not shooting the ball well, the energy was there, and that's what kind of helped us out.

    Q. How far does this win go in repairing whatever was broke either mentally or system-wise?

    TAYSHAUN PRINCE: The thing about it, hopefully this win and the way we played will give us some momentum going on the road. Obviously Miami is playing extremely well at home, so hopefully this win here will give us some momentum going into the next game. But going back to tonight's game, it was a situation where we faced elimination and we played hard and left it all out on the line. That's what we'll have to do in Miami.

    Q. You've got guys who are a little bit hurt and struggling. Do you feel more responsibility to be the one who steps up?

    TAYSHAUN PRINCE: Well, I've got responsibility if I'm having a good night. I've got to continue to try to carry them. But there's situations where Chauncey carries us, Rip carries us, guys carry us on our team. I was just in a good rhythm tonight. When you're in a good rhythm you try to help your team as much as possible. That's just the situation. That's basically it.

    Q. Chauncey said after the game that he thinks all the pressure now is on Miami because they're going to want to finish it in 6 without having to come back here. Do you agree with that?

    TAYSHAUN PRINCE: The pressure is on them and us because we don't want to go home after Game 6, so I think the pressure is both ways. Like I said before, they've been playing great at home. It's going to be a tough situation.

    We know the atmosphere is going to be rowdy, but in a situation where you're on the road, everybody in that blue jersey is all we have to worry about. Hopefully we can go out there and have fun. Most important thing is just leave it all out on the line because we're facing elimination.

    Q. All throughout the series you've been having very strong first quarters. What goes on in the first quarter that is giving you more shots and more opportunities?

    TAYSHAUN PRINCE: Well, tonight I don't think I scored in the first five or six minutes. I believe we was trying to get the ball inside to Rasheed, make some plays, get Ben some pick-and-rolls and make some stuff happen. Then they got the penalty early, got to the foul line, made those two free throws, and there was a situation where there was some switches and I got open and made some shots, so after that I kind of got a rhythm going. That was the case in the game tonight, but overall in the first quarters I've been getting off to great starts just trying to attack the baskets, get some inside baskets first before I start trying to shoot some jump shots.
     
  7. Dumars4Ever

    Dumars4Ever Bench Warmer

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    I wonder what this is all about:

    Sounds like he's calling out his teammates at the beginning there, i.e. "I can't control it if my teammates choke on their free throws." Of course, Wade himself bricked two of them when it was close in the 4th quarter. But then he says "we can't control that part of the game" at the end...huh? That makes no sense.
     
  8. jammertime

    jammertime Starter 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I was thinking the same thing last night when I listened to it. I'm guessing he's talking about him not being able to control what his teammates do at the line, but like you said, Wade bricked a couple in crunch time as well. As Pastor might say, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".
     
  9. jammertime

    jammertime Starter 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    P.S. Thanks for posting all of these interviews Micro. No doubt it takes a fair amount of work, but its much appreciated.

    :thumb:
     
  10. Dumars4Ever

    Dumars4Ever Bench Warmer

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    Yeah, though I'm still confused by the last bit where he says "we can't control that part of the game," i.e. "we can't control our own inability to hit free throws." Maybe he just realized all of a sudden that he had kind of thrown his teammates under the bus, so he decided to shift gears, but ended up substituting "we" for "I" without realizing that it made no sense whatsoever.
     
  11. jammertime

    jammertime Starter 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I think the "we" was to soften the blow. The "we" was really "my teammates". The attempt was there, but his choice of wording didn't make sense, because obviously you can control your ability to hit free throws, but are powerless to control your teammates ability.

    He could have said "We need to do a better job at the line" or something like that, which would have made more sense, while not pointing the finger at anyone specifically, and still be able to include himself in that group (since he did miss several himself).

    Not a big deal, just a bad choice of words and an attempt to be politically correct while venting a bit of his frustration at the way "they" lost.
     
  12. armygirl

    armygirl Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    Thanks much micro for posting the interviews. I don't have NBA TV anymore, therefore, I miss all of the post game interviews.

    You are definitely the man.
     
  13. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Thanks for the kudos folks. With some luck, I should have the practice interviews today. For whatever reason, I could not get the media scrum droppings between Games 4 & 5.
     

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