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DET/CLE Game 2 Post Game Pressers

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by roscoe36, May 25, 2007.

  1. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Game Two
    May 24, 2007

    Rasheed Wallace


    Q. In your opinion have you ever played defense this well before?

    Rasheed Wallace: (Laughing) Is that a real question, man?



    Q. That's a real question.

    Rasheed Wallace: Yes.



    Q. Yes?

    Rasheed Wallace: Yes. It's not the first time.



    Q. The last play, a lot of contact, could have went either way. Benefit of the home crowd, the home calls?

    Rasheed Wallace: Probably, probably. Like you said, it could have went either way. It could have been a foul on Rip or it could have been a foul on LeBron with that off arm. I mean, it was just a playoff call, I'll say that. It was a good no-call.



    Q. Tell me what happens to this team in the fourth quarter. Where do you get the poise and the confidence that you're going to win?

    Rasheed Wallace: It's hard. You know, the guys in that locker room, we don't give up, no matter what the deficit is. If we lose, okay, we will deal with losing, but if we go hard and losing then it's fine. But it's just resilience with the guys in that locker room. Veterans, guys that don't want to lose.



    Q. Could you talk about Maxiell in the first half? He really seemed to give you guys that nice boost and lift you guys needed.

    Rasheed Wallace: Actually I just told Jason that this might have been his best game all year. Even though he's had some pretty big games throughout the regular season, had a big game in Milwaukee, but I don't think the meaning of that game wasn't like the one tonight. He showed up big tonight, a couple rebounds and blocks, was running the floor, got a couple offensive rebounds for dunks, got some open dunks.
    Just my opinion, that might have been Maxiell's best game so far this year.



    Q. In addition to the points that you put on the board when you scored, what do you see as your role in giving the team an emotional lift when you got the shots you did in the fourth quarter?

    Rasheed Wallace: Just playing. Every shot is big. We came down in that last minute and a half. I did a bone head play by turning it over trying to pass to Chauncey. Chauncey made a bad play. But the thing about it is, like I mentioned before, we had that resilience. We turned the ball over, and it's that man's job, who turned it over, to get it back, and that's what we're trying to do.



    Q. What about when you make the shot that you did in that third quarter before crunch time, the rest of the guys seem to feed off that. What do you see as your role emotionally?

    Rasheed Wallace: I just told my wife the other night, I'm their megaphone. I'm the loudspeaker. If they got something they want to say is happening out there, I'm going to say it. There again, it's just resilience. I don't want to lose, I don't like to lose, and same thing for the other guys in the locker room.



    Q. Talk about you just came out so strong and intense in the beginning but then the two fouls when you come out. Talk about how you maintain that intensity and how you're able to be there at the end and how you have to fight to come out.

    Rasheed Wallace: Unfortunately I didn't want to come out, but I didn't have fouls for that second half. If I do get in foul trouble, we have guys like Dyess and Nazr and Jason on that bench coming in to fill for the things that I do, just trying to keep that fire. I can't let the two early fouls get me down or myself get in a slump, then we're all in a slump. Just got to keep that fire lit.



    Q. Could you talk a little bit about your battles with Varejao. Seemed like every time up and down the court --

    Rasheed Wallace: It ain't no battles. That kid ain't old enough to be in what you'd want to call a battle. They ain't had no battles yet. All that flopping, they need to make that a technical foul for next year. They did everything else do give me technical fouls. That's not defense in the fourth quarter, and I'm glad we have veteran officials to see that.



    Q. What did you do differently in the third quarter second straight game you guys came out, blitzed them and could say that's where the game was really won tonight. What did you do in the third quarter to adjust?

    Rasheed Wallace: Just played a little bit harder. That first half we played somewhat hard, but that second half, the first five, six minutes in that third quarter we came out and had to play hard. They were up 12. We couldn't let that get any higher. We couldn't let that move to 18 or 20 and so on. It's like, hey, we've got to go out there the first five minutes, take what they give us and just be aggressive.



    Q. Could you talk about what you anticipate when you guys go down to Cleveland. Two close games here at the Palace. They're probably feeling like they can do some things when they get home.

    Rasheed Wallace: Definitely. I'm sure that's how some of those guys feel. It's going to be a good game. I know their crowd is going to be ready and it's going to be rocking over there. That's what we like. We like the crowd on our backs and on our necks. That just makes us step up a little bit more.
     
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Game Two
    May 24, 2007

    Flip Saunders



    Q. Could you just talk a little bit about Rasheed Wallace down the stretch not only scoring but also his defense.

    Coach Flip Saunders: Well, Sheed has been, as I said since we started the playoffs, he's been extremely locked in, extremely motivated, and down the stretch he wanted the ball, in a lot of situations to make plays. He made some big plays in the fourth quarter.

    I thought both teams, that was definitely an Eastern Conference grind-it-out game, where both teams were hitting each other, battling. I thought it was like Ground Hog Day. I thought it was almost the same game as before and the scoring ends up the same and I thought how the teams played, it was just a matter of who was going to make a few plays down the stretch.

    He made a great shot on the baseline. I thought Varejao defended well, he just made a great shot.



    Q. How did you see the last play with LeBron driving the basket?

    Coach Flip Saunders: I mean, I'd have to take another look. I think that -- I thought Rip did a pretty good job getting in front. A lot of times when you get in a situation and you drive and you turn your back, sometimes even the refs can't see if there's any contact or not, so I don't know. But I thought Rip did as good a job as he did trying to keep him in front of him, trying to contest, and there were ten guys in there fighting for that last play, and it was tipping -- I thought two of their tips were right there to go in, but they didn't squeeze in there.

    You know, LeBron -- they came back. They went with a small line-up. They had a smaller line-up in there with Donyell, where they could spread the floor and he made a good play, it just didn't go in.



    Q. How long do you feel it'll be up two games to none especially with a questionable call to end this game?

    Coach Flip Saunders: Well, you're fortunate you're up because I thought they played well. They took control of the game as far as in the first half and got off to a great lead. But we have done two things: We've really defended the second half of both games, and tonight we gave up 13 and 13 in the third and fourth quarter and we put the onus on them to try to make plays.

    But I thought both teams played hard, and I think the whole series is going to be like this. I don't think anyone is going to run away from either team. Right now I think the first team to 80 is going to win because no one really seems to be able to get there right now.



    Q. Could you talk about Maxiell in the first half. He seemed to give you that spark that you needed.

    Coach Flip Saunders: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is that I think that you saw the success that Varejao has had against us with us giving a lot of help off a big man to try to shade LeBron as much as we can. You know, them trying to shade Chauncey gave Maxie freedom at the rim a few times, and that's basically what he did, he played hard, got to open spots, ran the floor well and made good plays. You've just got to get him to make free throws so he can stay on the floor more in the fourth quarter.



    Q. You knew in the last few plays that they were trying to get LeBron shots. Can you break down how you guys defended him when he had the kick-out to Sasha and also when he went out to the basket himself.

    Coach Flip Saunders: We wanted to try to take him away one way and force him another way if we can. We tried to have a lot of bodies and eyes looking at him, and try to have him make a play where he had to make a play over somebody and not make a play to the rim with no one in between him. That's why we made a decision to go with Rip a little quicker laterally because LeBron is so strong, if he gets even with you it's like him being ahead and he can use his body and keep on going and create space to him. So we needed to create space as much as we could.



    Q. You guys were on 18 to 2 runs at the start of the third quarter on the last two games, what do you attribute that to? Is it battle-tested, hardwood? What is it?

    Coach Flip Saunders: Like I said, Ground Hog Day, same game, both. They played well and they kicked our butts the first half. I think one thing this team does have, our guys have pride. They take pride in the fact of our defense. They scored over 50 on us in the first half, and so I think our players were disappointed as far as how we played. And we locked down to try to get control back of the game as quick as we could in the third quarter.



    Q. You guys got off pretty lucky considering how many point blank shots you missed and you were still able to come off with a win.

    Coach Flip Saunders: I'm sure we feel lucky and they feel unlucky because both teams had opportunities to win. It's one of those games, you know, the ball bounces funny ways, and that's why what you have to do is you want to put yourself in a position to have an opportunity to win. But they've -- like I said, they've played extremely well both games, and we know Sunday is going to be a heck of a game. We know our players -- we seem to play better on the road. I think we play a little bit looser, but we know it's going to be a good challenge for us going in there and they'll be ready to play.
     
  3. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Game Two
    May 24, 2007

    Mike Brown


    Q. Can you describe your feelings right now, being in position to win both of these games and to come up short?

    Coach Mike Brown: Tough ballgame, two tough ballgames. Down the stretch, both teams played well defensively and they came up with the win, with both of them.



    Q. Talk about your view on the last play, whether there was a foul on LeBron or not.

    Coach Mike Brown: The officials get paid a lot of money, and that's their job. If they don't see anything, they don't see anything. We're a no-excuse team. We've got to get ready for Game 3.



    Q. Again, the third quarter, the ending like deja-vu, the third quarter, like deja-vu, what seems to be the problem? Who's the blame on there, the coaches, the players? Why the struggles in the third quarter?

    Coach Mike Brown: Because it's a good team. It's a good team. They come out of the locker room and they're ready to rock and roll.



    Q. Can you break down what happened with LeBron getting trapped in the middle and then kicking out to Sasha and then also what happened with him going to the basket, what didn't work for you guys?

    Coach Mike Brown: He got trapped, he passed the ball to Sasha who was open, Sasha jumped in the air, let the ball go, the ball bounced and the referee called travel. Last play he drove to the hole, he missed the shot, I think Larry missed the rebound and then Andy missed the tip-in and they won the game.



    Q. I guess I was more asking about the decision making, what you thought of what your guys did out on the floor.

    Coach Mike Brown: Those particular plays? The right play, LeBron drove it hard, tried to get to the rim, shot the ball. That was the right play.
    And the other time he drove it, he got triple-teamed and he kicked it to Sasha, Sasha was wide open. That was the right play, also.



    Q. You used Daniel Gibson a lot tonight, were you pleased with those minutes you got from him?

    Coach Mike Brown: Yeah, he was solid coming off the bench. I thought both defensively and offensively he was solid for us. Not only that, he stuck his nose in there, he got some big rebounds for us, came up with some terrific loose balls, and he gave us some energy.



    Q. What did you tell your team after tonight's game, and what did you tell LeBron if he's not going to get the calls when it looks like he gets fouled? Where does he go? What does he do?

    Coach Mike Brown: I haven't told LeBron anything. We just have got to keep attacking. We're a no-excuse team. I told the guys that we've got to get ready for Game 3. We didn't play good enough, I guess, today to get a win.



    Q. I'm not asking you to make excuses, but from where you were standing can you describe what you saw on that final possession when LeBron was going up against Rip?

    Coach Mike Brown: LeBron drove the ball, he shot it, he missed it. I think Larry got the rebound. He shot it, he missed it. Andy tipped it, they came up with the rebound and we fouled them.



    Q. Why did you get so upset afterwards?

    Coach Mike Brown: Just emotions. Tough game.
     
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Game Two
    May 24, 2007

    LeBron James


    Q. Describe the last 24 seconds of the game.

    LeBron James: Just wanted to try to get the best shots possible to try to either give us the lead, get fouled, go to the line and try to send us home with a win.



    Q. Do you feel you got fouled on the last play?

    LeBron James: I believe there was some contact, but there's been a lot of contact throughout this series. We're a no-excuse team, you know, and we can't look at the last play as why we lost. We've just got to get better. But I do feel there was some contact.



    Q. Enough to force you to miss the shot?

    LeBron James: I think so.



    Q. When you're kicking that ball out to Sasha, I mean, Flip used the expression "Ground Hog Day," how much did it feel like, wow, here we go again with the same play that ended the game?

    LeBron James: That was definitely a good look. I thought Sasha had the opportunity to shoot the ball, and I guess he seen Chauncey closing out and he couldn't get the shot up. It was a tough play for Sasha, tough play for us but we had to try to at least get the ball up at the rim. We can't have a turnover.



    Q. How did you feel in general about your performance?

    LeBron James: I played pretty good. I can play a lot better. At the end of the day we didn't win. You know, we gave ourselves a chance to win the game, when it came down to the final possessions and we can't make the right plays and we didn't get the stop that we needed to win the ballgame.



    Q. Your body language was looking pretty frustrated all night, kind of slumping your shoulders, rolling your eyes and looking at your bench. Was that call-related or --

    LeBron James: That was just me wanting to win the basketball game. I never felt frustrated. I just wanted to execute as best we can on the offensive and on the defensive end trying to get stops.

    No frustrations at all, though, in my teammates. I can't be frustrated out there me trying to be a leader. I just want to win the ballgame.



    Q. After that final Cleveland possession after the clock stopped with one second left, we could see you saying something to the referees, what were you saying?

    LeBron James: That's over and done with. Me and the ref had a good conversation, and I've moved on as a player.



    Q. This is the second game in a row where the Pistons came out of the locker room and really made a difference at the beginning of the third quarter, what do you think happens there that causes that problem?

    LeBron James: I'm not sure. They've definitely got a good plan coming out in the third quarter. That's something as a team we've got to figure it out, but they do a great job in the third quarter of coming out and putting the pressure on you. We haven't been a good third quarter team all year. I don't know why. That's something we'll have to figure out very soon or we're going home.
     
  5. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Game Two
    May 24, 2007

    Chauncey Billups


    Q. Again, they were successful at limiting your shots, six the first game and seven tonight. Was there an adjustment that you tried to make, and if it didn't work was there a reason?

    Chauncey Billups: Well, we had a couple things in mind. Didn't end up having to use them because we had it going in the fourth quarter. A couple guys had it going, so we really didn't have to use it. We just kind of got away from it.

    Second half started to get a little more aggressive, not waiting for the plays to happen, just kind of bringing it on myself, getting a little more energy, and I was able to turn the tide a little bit personally, and as a team we started to step it up and play a little better, a little faster, a little more aggressive.



    Q. This is the second game in a row neither team has broken 80 points. You're obviously playing very hard and very talented, what do you attribute the low scoring to?

    Chauncey Billups: Well, I would just speak for our team, I think we're playing great defensively and limiting those guys and trying to do what we have to do. Offensively we haven't played good in either game. In either game we haven't played good. You know, we look to try to turn that around, but try to keep our defense the same.

    One thing about our team is we can win both ways. We can win in the 80s, we can win in the 105 to 110 range. That's just how versatile we are. We're used to games like this where our defense has to carry us. We've done it for years.



    Q. Coming into tonight's game everybody knew LeBron was going to step his game up a notch from Game 1, how do you guys feel you handled his aggressiveness? Obviously he took more shots.

    Chauncey Billups: I thought we did good. We knew he was going to be more aggressive attacking the basket and we did that. We had guys helping and guys in position to be there and help. He still did a good job. He still had 19 points, had a chance to go up one late in the game, and Rip I thought made a great defensive play on him. I thought our defense was great.



    Q. Again, after kind of a flat last half of the second quarter, you guys came out in the third quarter and just were gangbusters and turned the game around. What's happening that, A, you're going flat, and B, when you're coming out after halftime?

    Chauncey Billups: Well, our offense has just not been very good, and of course when you're at home, when your offense is good, it's a lot of energy in the building, you know, you can kind of feed off of that. Our offense hasn't been good, so we have not given our fans a lot to cheer about in these two games with the exception of our defense. So at halftime we come in down 12, mad, angry, but knowing what the problem is, and we made a couple adjustments, and like I said, stepped it up and was a little more aggressive. We was able to get back into the game.



    Q. Two things: One, they're not doing anything schematic to throw you guys off with their defense. Is there anything you're not used to seeing?

    Chauncey Billups: No, they're definitely doing some different things defensively. I mean, first and foremost, they are trapping on pick and rolls with me. They pretty much said, we're going to take him out of it, take him away from it. Second, when Rip is coming down they're soft trapping him, as well.

    Yeah, I think they're doing some really good things to us defensively, and for us to try to make some adjustments to.



    Q. The other thing is, just comment on Rasheed. You've seen him play where he's taken over games before, but that stretch in the fourth quarter, that was pretty special.

    Chauncey Billups: Sheed, man, he just never ceases to amaze me. When he's focused and he's trying to take a game over, there's nobody that can stop him. He scores in so many different ways, he's a great defender, he doesn't get a lot of press for the way that he defends guys, and his help defense, his man defense. He's a well-rounded player. He lives for moments like that. He lives for the playoffs and tight-game situations as a few of us on the team do.



    Q. What is it about him emotionally, too, that sparks you guys? How does that work? What does he say to you guys?

    Chauncey Billups: Well, it's not nothing that he really says, it's how the game is going, how the refs are calling it. When he feels like he's getting a tough whistle, he's more inspired and he's more motivated. We don't like to see him get them call bad calls on him, but when they do do that it works in our advantage because when he feels like everybody is against him, he's ready to rock and roll. That's what you seen tonight.



    Q. Just to follow up, at the end of the game, how much did you know exactly what the Cavs were trying to do with LeBron?

    Chauncey Billups: They can't surprise us really at the end of games. They go to LeBron. I can't blame them. He's an unbelievable player. We've just got to stay locked in. Like I said, at the end of Game 1, we weren't as locked in as we should have been, giving Donyell an open look. Tonight, same situation, unbelievable, same situation; Rip plays great defense on him, makes him take a tough shot, he misses it. Ball's in the air, we're trying to rebound and we finally get the rebound and secure the game.



    Q. And the same situation with you, same situation with him kicking out to Sasha?

    Chauncey Billups: Yeah, that was a little bit earlier. It wasn't like the second situation, but I kind of knew once he got in there, and Rasheed is just so long that Sasha was in the corner, so I was kind of cheating to him, and he was going to have to make a tough, tough shot.
     

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