NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS May 21, 2007 Flip Saunders DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Game One Q. First of all, talk about the first half performance when you guys came out real sluggish. It looked almost like last year's conference semifinals. And then what do you think you did at halftime to get going a little bit? Coach Flip Saunders: I think we were sluggish because we missed some shots early. I thought that we started playing a little bit individualistic and didn't play together as much as a team. Each guy individually wanted to do it on his own and didn't set things up for the other people. When we play like that, we got bogged down, when we start playing one-on-one. That's what we did early and couldn't get momentum. Point blank, two of our key players as far as keying what we do, not turning the ball over, is Chauncey and Tay, and they both struggled tonight offensively. Defensively I thought they were good, but offensively they struggled in areas. Chauncey has the ball as much as he does in our offense and struggles like he did, we're going to look out of sync. I thought the second half our bigs started getting a little more aggressive to the basket. You know, we played now, I guess, 11 games, or how many in the playoffs so far. I told our guys whoever is the most aggressive team during the game is going to have success. I thought tonight we let them come at us and be the aggressor and we were not the aggressor until the last six or seven minutes when we did what we did. Q. Defensively the game plan going in against LeBron, how well do you think your team executed that defensive game plan? Coach Flip Saunders: Well, the only thing we didn't do, which I was disappointed, was we didn't rebound, and they jumped out and got a big rebound late, so we dodged a bullet there. But I thought that we limited LeBron's number of open opportunities against us. I thought we put more pressure on our defense by the number of turnovers they had offensively to give them some open floor as far as opportunities. I thought Ilgauskas was great tonight. You know, the idea is to try to contain LeBron as much as you can. Q. LeBron is not a factor in the first half, yet you're down by six, did you still feel good? You still wanted LeBron that inactive, or were you worried -- Coach Flip Saunders: It was both. I was happy we were only down six the way we played, but I was concerned because LeBron hadn't got going yet, and I knew that he might start putting some pressure on us a bit more. The big thing is that I'm not happy the way we played. I don't think any of the guys in our locker room are happy. You've got to give some credit. Cleveland was the aggressor and they did some very good things as far as defensively, but one thing we did is continue to defend. We came out and got ourselves back in the game in the third quarter, which we've done in Chicago in Game 4, the other game, and then the other thing we did is we got ourselves where defensively the second half we gave up 35 points, so we did a fairly good job defensively in the second half. Q. When you look at Chauncey's seven turnovers and his low scoring until the fourth quarter, do you credit the way they were trapping him up on top? Coach Flip Saunders: I think it was both. I think trapping caught him a little bit. They were extremely aggressive and caught him a little bit off guard. He just didn't seem to have his -- even in the end he missed a block-out assignment. When they got the rebound, he had another opportunity at the end of the game and he was kind of shaking his head. He just didn't have it tonight. We dodged one, there's no question. We can't afford to have him especially and our other guys be in that situation where they've got to be locked in totally. Q. You mentioned that you limited LeBron's open opportunities, what specifically were you doing to achieve that? Coach Flip Saunders: We'll have to watch the tape on that.