DET/CLE Game 4 Post Game Pressers

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by roscoe36, May 30, 2007.

  1. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Game Four
    May 29, 2007

    Coach Flip Saunders


    Q. Flip, earlier in the fourth quarter it looked like you guys were on a good roll there and all of the sudden, Cleveland hit you with a 9-0 run, why do you think the game shifted at that point?

    Coach Flip Saunders: A lot of emotion in the game and we probably would have to look at the tape to see totally. LeBron made a few plays at that time, and, you know, we had some good opportunities, turned down some shots, had open looks, they did a good job of running us off threes, running us off shots and we turned down some shots that we had and put ourselves in a tougher situation.



    Q. Chauncey got going in the first half, you used him as a shooting guard and point guard in that first half, and what do you think happened after that because he only scored five after halftime?

    Coach Flip Saunders: Rip got going a little bit, Tay got going a little bit, they put LeBron on him a little bit and Chauncey took what they gave him and he turned down some open looks and put himself in a couple of bad situations. But I thought he ended up being our leading rebounder, he did a lot of good things in the game and got us going early.



    Q. Can you explain the technical on Rasheed. He threw the headband toward the bench. You talked about emotion, do you think you guys --

    Coach Flip Saunders: First of all, I thought the T, he was upset with Rip, you know, he was upset because he tipped the ball back and he didn't field it. Rip didn't know that Pavlovic was behind him, and he went after the ball not with full force and Pavlovic got it and gets the lay-up. So his headband toss was more out of frustration at his teammate, that's why I thought it was a terrible call as far as at that time of the game. And we went through a stretch at that time, when that happened where there was a lot of emotion.

    We fought back and gave ourselves an opportunity, but dug ourselves too much in a hole at that point.



    Q. Talk a little bit about Daniel Gibson and how big he was for them tonight.

    Coach Flip Saunders: We couldn't keep in front of him in the first half, got to the free-throw line, made 12 in a row, shot really well. Both him and Gooden were the difference makers as far as in the things that they did. Gooden made big shots in the first half, Gibson, the same thing, and, you know, they both -- he played great. Gibson played unbelievable.
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Game Four

    May 29, 2007

    Rip Hamilton




    Q. Rip, could you talk about the fourth quarter, which is a time when you guys in the past have shown poise and patience, but you guys struggled with that. Could you talk about what's going on?

    Rip Hamilton: I think the last two games here we had -- we were bad down the stretch. The most important thing was we actually turned the ball over, not getting shots up and we're a better team than that. We thrive on taking our time getting into what we want to get in to and getting a play and getting a shot up.



    Q. And it seems bad decisions down the stretch have come with Chauncey, could you talk about him because this is not the usual Chauncey Billups down the stretch.

    Rip Hamilton: Things happen, it's nothing that we put our head down on, as long as we're out there being aggressive.

    Like I said, a couple of times -- they're mixing it up with him and the one thing -- like I said, coming down the stretch, we can't turn the ball over, we have to put it up on the backboard, where our bigs can get tip-ins, but we can't turn the ball over, especially late in the game.



    Q. Rip, what was going on on the foul line there with LeBron? Was that shades of last year with Gilbert? That's what he thought, that you were bumping him, trying to say a few things to him.

    Rip Hamilton: Nothing really. Part of the game, trying to stall him a little bit, hopefully he'll miss a shot, but tonight he stepped up and knocked down two free-throws.



    Q. Rip, what do you guys need to do to win the next game?

    Rip Hamilton: Like I said, we've been getting ourselves in a hole, you know. Every game we haven't had more than a five-point lead, I think our biggest thing is turning the ball over. We're a lot better team than that, especially in the fourth quarter and we turned the ball over so many times and we have to get better than that.



    Q. 2-2 a year ago, Game 5 at home you guys lost that game, is there anymore sense of urgency going home this time? These have been four games that could have gone either way.

    Rip Hamilton: The series 2-2, we've got to go home and get a win in front of our fans. We're confident in that, you know, but we've got to be better, bottom line. Like I said, turnovers, coming out of the gate early and playing just to stay in the game, no, we've got to play harder to get a lead and keep a lead.



    Q. Hey, Rip, the mental game of this team is in Cleveland's court, can you talk about what that is to you guys.

    Rip Hamilton: This ain't nothing new for us. I think this is the same old story. The first couple rounds we've been great with it, 2-2, we get an opportunity to go home and get a win, our confidence is still the same, we have to take one game at a time, but this is nothing new for us.



    Q. Could you talk about Daniel Gibson a little bit. He had a great game in Game 3 and what he did tonight, can you talk about him.

    Rip Hamilton: He came off the bench, he was aggressive, shot 12 free-throws, we've got to do a better job of recognizing where he's at, take away his penetration and things like that, you know. But he played well for them.



    Q. Rip, when Sheed took the T, was he frustrated that you didn't get back on the ball before Sasha laid it in?

    Rip Hamilton: I didn't know why he got a technical foul, to tell the truth, but it happens. We still felt we had the opportunity to win the basketball game, you know, but we've got to be better in those tight situations, we can't give up technicals, give them free points. We've got to be better with it.



    Q. With a minute to go, LeBron went to the free-throw line to ice the game and we saw you walk over and say something in his ear, was that Scottie Pippen or Gilbert Arenas from last year?

    Rip Hamilton: You just try to stall the shooter. LeBron knocked down two free-throws, hopefully they miss but he did a great job of knocking them down.
  3. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Game Four
    May 29, 2007

    Daniel Gibson
    LeBron James




    Q. 2-2 now going back to Detroit, very similar two last year. Can you take me through the mindset of this team able to get back to this point and make this a whole new series?

    LeBron James: We were definitely a much better team going into Detroit last year. We won the game just because we have more playoff experience. Last year was based on us making the playoffs; this year is based on us getting to the championships, and we have to approach it with the same mentality that we had. Honestly for the first four games we only have two games to show for it.



    Q. LeBron, earlier in the playoffs you were talking about the team in the fourth quarter and how you felt good about fourth quarter situations. The last two games were won the game in the fourth quarter.

    LeBron James: Have to clean up that third quarter. Good in the fourth, but that third quarter is going to catch up to us sooner or later, and I don't know what we're going to do about it. We'll have to put our finger on it some way, some how, but we got stops down the stretch and executed on the offensive end and made big shots and that's what it's about.



    Q. LeBron, Daniel stepping up big for you guys in key points. Can you talk about what he meant to the team and the spark he provided.

    LeBron James: He definitely gave us a lift throughout the whole game of attacking and getting to the rim. You know, a lot of guys don't understand that Daniel is much better than shooting an outside shot, which I told you guys after Game 3. He got to the line 12 times, made technical free-throws, and it's different when everybody else is up there. It's about talent, I should be a GM someday, I guess.



    Q. LeBron, with four seconds left, you're on the line. What are your thoughts that are going through your head?

    LeBron James: Make both and the game is over. You know, I don't want to make the first one, I wanted to make both and there is no way they can win the game with four seconds, and we're smart enough to know if we go up four, don't foul anyone and don't contest, we win the game.

    I've definitely stepped up with my free-throw percentage and it was something I had to get over with.



    Q. Was Rip bothering you? What was he doing there?

    LeBron James: The same thing I did to Gilbert last year. I invented that -- no, no, Scottie Pippen invented that to Karl Malone. But he tried to mess with me and I have to stay focused.



    Q. I am going to ask you to put your scouting GM hat already: Break down what was going on with you in the third quarter versus break down what you did so well and what worked for you in the third quarter.

    LeBron James: I missed a lot of shots I usually make in the third quarter, I missed two lay-ups, I missed a wide-open baseline shot, but in the fourth quarter the game is on the line and I live for the fourth quarter. I love the fourth quarter and I told my teammates, get me to the fourth and it's close, and I'll try my best to win the game and I was able to do that.



    Q. Daniel, if you were as happy as you were Sunday with nine points, how happy are you with 21?

    Daniel Gibson: It definitely feels good but it's not over yet. We handled our business and took care of home, but we have more games to go to get where we want to be.



    Q. Questions for both of you: Drew got called for the technical on Rasheed, how big was that, Drew responding to Rasheed?

    LeBron James: I think besides Drew grabbing eight rebounds and 18 points, what he did on Rasheed was big; he was able to front him and the way he played defense on Rasheed allowed us on the backside not to double Rasheed, and allowed us to stay home, and he did a heck of a job. And to be able to guard Rasheed and score and get the rebound, it was a big inspiration to our team today.



    Q. Daniel, it wasn't too long ago that you were mimicking Chauncey Billups and trying to be like him, and now you are here on the stage playing key minutes. What's it like being out there and everything being so amplified?

    Daniel Gibson: Those times prepared me for now. The reason he was trying to do the things he was doing is because of the type of player he is in big-time games, so I tried to emulate that as well. I know this is a big series for us and we got big games and I just tried to step and do some of those things he does.



    Q. LeBron, how surprised were you that Larry gutted it out, started, give you what he could, and can you talk about what that meant to the team.

    LeBron James: I was very surprised, because I know Larry's history of injuries and -- but when I seen him in the training room with his uniform on, I asked him was he going to give it a go and he said "yeah," and that showed me this is more about the team more than anything, and he did what he could.

    I mean, he came out there -- just being him out on the court and gutting it through. What he's going through right now was an inspiration for us because we know he could have easily sat out tonight. But him being on the court and saying, "who cares about my injury. It's about this team." And it don't get no bigger than that.



    Q. Daniel, when LeBron says, "Get me to the fourth quarter and I'm going to push you guys," and you know what he can do, what goes through your mind?

    Daniel Gibson: Just get him to the fourth quarter, we try to go out and play as tough as we can, and play as a unit and we know when it comes down to the end of game, he's going to do whatever it takes for us to win the ballgame. When you have a guy like that, you play with so much comfort and you're so much more relaxed on the floor because you know what he's capable of doing at any given time.
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Game Four
    May 29, 2007

    Coach Mike Brown



    Coach Mike Brown: What a game. I tell you what, first thing I want to acknowledge is our crowd. I thought our crowd was terrific tonight. They were into it the entire ballgame and they really gave us some juice down the stretch so that was great. The whole season, the whole playoff run, they've been great, but tonight especially down the stretch they were huge.

    I mean, I had so many guys contribute tonight. It was a total team effort. Obviously Daniel Gibson, he played well, he did a nice job attacking the rim, he did a nice job trying to be the aggressor on both ends of the floor, and it paid off well.

    I thought Larry Hughes, I thought his minutes were really special, because he gave us a good start and we weren't going into this game one-man short or down. In terms of having him as our starter, he gutted it out and went out there and started the ballgame for us and did some nice things and it allowed us to play our normal way with our rotation.

    I thought Eric Snow was huge. Eric Snow sat for 46 minutes and 55 seconds or something like that, and I called his number, and, you know, if you're 27, 28 years old, you can do that. But he's a veteran, who at times needs to get himself going, but tonight he came in and he made a huge play for us coming up with that loose ball. And then he stepped up and not taking a shot in four, five hours, since the beginning of the game, he knocks down a free-throw to stretch it to four. Not only that he comes in and their first play they went to Tayshaun, and he did a nice job on Tayshaun and we get a turnover out of it. So Eric's minutes were big, huge.

    Drew Gooden, especially in the second half, again, you're not stopping a guy like Rasheed Wallace. The only thing you can do with a guy like Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton, Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince, the only thing you can do with those guys is make them work for their shots, and I thought Drew was good in the second half. I thought he did a nice job making Rasheed Wallace work for his shots and, again, you can't stop him, you've just got to make him work, and Drew did his job by making him work. And then he hit some big baskets. He spaced the floor and waited for them to double-team LeBron, found the open hole, we found him and he knocked down the shots.

    The last guy obviously I want to talk about is LeBron. What a huge night. You know, we had nice production off the bench, Drew put some points up on the board for us, and, you know, we got to the fourth quarter and then he did his thing, took over. Two games in a row where he's taken over that fourth quarter and put us on his big, broad shoulders and said come along for the ride, and two games in a row we went for the ride and he carried us home. Terrific ballgame by him and it was big of him to step to that free-throw line and knock those two free-throws down to seal the deal.

    We said before the game that Rip and Chauncey were going to come out and be aggressive, and they were, and that's what got them going. Both those guys had a tremendous game.



    Q. Coach, fourth quarter, LeBron matched up with Chauncey, and Chauncey was going for a point, how huge was that?

    Coach Mike Brown: It was big. The one thing we felt we could do match-up-wise is we could put LeBron James on Chauncey, because LeBron has guarded point guards in the past. We put him on them actually often because of his length and size, and then if we want to switch pick-and-rolls, we can do that because it switches him as a big guy on to a power forward a lot of times. So it was huge for us but not only that, our other guys had to defend, too, and they did a nice job of doing that.



    Q. Coach, it seems like every third quarter of every game it seems like the Cavaliers go through a lull. Can you explain from what you're looking at what's causing that and what you can do to remedy that?

    Coach Mike Brown: It happened twice against New Jersey and it's happened three times here, but I don't think it's a norm for us. You know, New Jersey is a good team, Detroit is a good team, and the games have all been close and they have veterans, each one of those clubs have veterans on their team that have an inner will that they're not going to give in, and a lot of times that, you know, you want to jump on a team at the beginning of the second half to set a tone. That team is really good at it. Not doing anything tricky, not running any new plays, just stepping up their aggression on both ends of the floor and, you know, we're not responding well to it.

    Only thing we can do is keep going through the experience of it, and hope that we don't get hammered bad enough to lose a ballgame in that third quarter. But the one thing we have to continue to try to do on the offensive end of the floor is we can't settle for jump shots, we have to move the ball, force the issue by attacking the rim and, again, putting the onus on the referee as to whether or not they are going to call a block or a charge.



    Q. Coach, the end result to the first four games of this year is identical to the first four last year against Detroit. Can you talk about mentally and maturity, how this team is different as opposed to last year.

    Coach Mike Brown: Like I said before, defensively we're a little bit better and offensively we're a little bit better. We still got a ways to go on both ends of the floor but we feel like we've made progress, and the last couple of ballgames I think we scored over 90 points in the last two games, and I don't think that's something we did at all last year against these guys, and if we can score some points and continue to defend the way that we're defending, we're going to give ourselves a chance, especially down the stretch if it's close because we have a guy like LeBron.

    But the confidence is there because we've been through this situation with this team but we're a little bit better than we were last year.



    Q. Coach, you talked about the difference between the third and fourth quarter, what was LeBron doing to flip that switch?

    Coach Mike Brown: He's a guy that plays a lot of minutes, and it's a big load on him, and the one thing that I have to make sure I keep doing is I got to make sure I keep spreading the wealth offensively, I've got to go to other guys and let LeBron get his in transition or on the backside instead of getting it on the front side a lot, and sometimes I get in the habit of giving him the ball on the front side, and they load up and we end up shooting a lot of jump shots. So in the fourth quarter he made up his mind. I remember hearing David Wesley telling him -- a lot of times when you hear your teammates tell you this, it kicks in sometimes better, but I remember David saying to LeBron at the end of the third quarter, "Somebody needs to get in the paint." And I thought I heard LeBron say "okay," and from that point on he was aggressively driving the basketball, and when they did that, they collapsed and he made the right pass, we moved the ball, we had random offenses where we moved the ball to one side or the other and next thing you know, Z pops, or Drew pops, and we hit them for a baby jump shot. And it was pretty to watch, but a lot of it is due to the double-teams that LeBron draws and zoning and things like that.



    Q. Coach, Flip said he saw the Drew technical foul as an emotional turning point, did you see it in the same way?

    Coach Mike Brown: It could have been. Drew is an emotional guy and usually when he's into the game, he's very good. And, you know, from that point on, you know, we as a team, especially Drew, turned it up a notch on the defensive end of the floor.

    It could have been. I had other people mention that to me, too, but, I don't know.

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