ECF Practice Day Interviews May 28 2007

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by roscoe36, May 28, 2007.

  1. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day
    May 28, 2007

    Chris Webber


    Q. The Pistons are similar to your team at Michigan. What do you remember about those days?

    Chris Webber: I remember feeling a lot like I do on this team, just confident that when we walked in the building that we had the best 12 guys, and they're guys you can count on. It's very familiar to the feeling I had then with the team I play for now.



    Q. Last night when you went up and under on that drive, that looked like the season of 1991 except --

    Chris Webber: No, as long as it goes in it's the same thing.



    Q. Is that still in the repertoire given the right conditions?

    Chris Webber: Oh, yeah, given the right conditions, a little bit of time, yeah, I feel it's still in the repertoire.



    Q. Talk about the mindset heading into Game 4.

    Chris Webber: That we're going to be ready and everybody had better bring their A game because we're going to be ready.



    Q. (Inaudible).

    Chris Webber: Yeah, definitely. We're going to be ready.



    Q. What gives you that feeling?

    Chris Webber: Because I know us. We've got to give LeBron credit, he made some very tough shots in the fourth quarter. But we're a good team when we play against good teams, and we're going to lock in and be ready. They played a great game. I mean, they won on their home court. That's what they want to do, try to get one, and we want to try to get this one before we go back home.



    Q. You look at Game 3 and how Chauncey and Rip played, and still you had a chance to win. Is that part of the confidence, that hey, we didn't play our best game and we were still right there?

    Chris Webber: I've been in the NBA a long time. I'd never want to check a player that had a bad game. I don't care if he had two bad games, but I wouldn't want to check the game coming up. I wouldn't want to check Chauncey, either. That encourages us because our defensive effort is going to be there every night. That's going to be a given. If our guys score we should be okay.



    Q. You played many years out West, now there's a little talk that the West is so much more interesting than the East and that the East is -- I've heard words like "unwatchable" and "used," is the defense just that much better out here?

    Chris Webber: No, it's style of play. It's style of play. West is definitely a lot more fun as far as the flow. But there's a lot of good basketball in the East, a lot of tough basketball in the East. I think it's just style of play. You're running, you don't call as many plays, there's free throws, more style. It is fun, it's playground style. It is more fun.
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day
    May 28, 2007

    Rasheed Wallace


    Q. You don't feel like the course of the series was changed by that one game? You feel what you guys do is good enough?

    Rasheed Wallace: Oh, yeah, yeah. I mean, we're going to talk it over, talk about a couple things where we might have went wrong last night, and of course the ballclub that we have, learn from it and keep it moving.



    Q. Where do you think you guys went wrong?

    Rasheed Wallace: We were just missing shots, too many turnovers. I think we had about 15, 16, 17 turnovers, something like that, too many turnovers for this ballclub, especially in the playoffs.

    I'm not worried about it. It was just a bad night and they had a great night. They did what they were supposed to do at home.



    Q. You guys' turnovers and missed shots, do you think that got LeBron going and got him in the open court and got him going basically?

    Rasheed Wallace: Yeah, I mean, he was definitely working last night. Honestly, in my opinion, he wasn't no different last night from the first two games, it's just last night he hit shots. The first two games he was struggling a little bit missing shots, but he pretty much got the same shots last night, and he made that.



    Q. You guys still had a lead going into the fourth or were within one point with Rip and Chauncey having an off-night, what does that say that you guys were struggling and you had a chance to pull it out?

    Rasheed Wallace: Yeah, we're still a good ballclub. I mean, how many times have you seen Rip and Chauncey have a bad game? But I'm not worried about it. They're two veterans, they're crafty veterans, they know what to do. So tomorrow we'll be ready. We'll be ready.



    Q. (Inaudible).

    Rasheed Wallace: Well, no, fourth quarter is important, period. You know, that's one of the last 12 minutes, so you've got to throw everything you've got. I like that series between Utah and San Antonio. I think that's a good match-up. To me Memhet is the key in that. Once Memhet has that good game, he can get to have a good game from three, once he has that good game, I think Utah will be rolling.



    Q. What's the difference in the way the fourth quarter went for you guys last night as opposed to the first two games?

    Rasheed Wallace: We missed shots, turned the ball over. Just basketball stuff, nothing fancy and things like that. You can't win ballgames in the fourth quarter when you're turning it over. We missed some bunnies, easy shots, Rip and Chauncey had a bad night, but we'll be fine. You know, we'll bounce back. It's not like we're the type of ballclub that lingers on it.



    Q. Do you think your experience as a team gives you an advantage?

    Rasheed Wallace: I mean, there again, we're going back to the first series, the Chicago series. There's no question, we're out here playing. We've been here. They're trying to go down a road that we've already been, and we're just trying to get back to that same road. We got lost and now we're trying to get back.



    Q. (Inaudible).

    Rasheed Wallace: There you go, you can't guarantee everything all the time. That's only good for once a year. If it comes up, it comes up. If not, just let it be. Let it ride.



    Q. Is it a matter of execution?

    Rasheed Wallace: Yeah, it comes down to will and execution; do I want this victory? And execution in the fourth quarter is real important. Pretty much those are two basic rules of basketball. That's something that we do well.

    I mean, we're not nervous, you don't see anybody sweating bullets, biting nails.



    Q. Despite the poor shooting your team is still confident, right?

    Rasheed Wallace: Yeah, yeah, in series that we've been down 3-2 or 2-1 and things like that, this team doesn't do that. Just because we lost last night, we're not going to give up and pack it in like, oh, man, they beat us. I'm not going to sit up there and say, oh, man, LeBron, don't. No, we're too much of a veteran ballclub for that.



    Q. Are they really keying in on Billups?

    Rasheed Wallace: Yeah, because Chauncey is a ball handler. He has the ball in his hands. So to try to throw him off rhythm they're trapping him. But we have guys out there on the floor that can run the plays. We have plenty of guys on the bench that can run the plays. That's not a factor.
  3. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day
    May 28, 2007

    Coach Flip Saunders


    Q. You've had a chance to look at the film, what were some of the things they were doing to limit Chauncey last night?

    Coach Flip Saunders: Really not much. I mean, Chauncey probably got trapped less last night than he did in the previous games, and when he did get trapped, Sheed had threes so we really had some open looks. I think Chauncey missed some shots. I thought that the pace of our game was not probably where it needed to be, and I just thought that we took some -- took too many non-scoring-type shots, non-aggressive shots.



    Q. Is he seeing something different? I mean, you see what's on film, but when he's in the game, he's not attacking like he normally does.

    Coach Flip Saunders: That's something you'd have to ask him. I can't tell you what he's seeing. I mean, I just think he's not being as aggressive in situations as he needs to be. And a lot of times when he's like that, it carries over as far as the rest of the team. We don't maybe get into sets quite as quick and we're not as crisp, and we've got to get back to doing that.



    Q. That all trickles down and affects Rip that way, too?

    Coach Flip Saunders: Yeah. Last game, I thought that was a carbon copy I thought of Game 4 in Chicago for Rip. Rip was the exact same way. I thought he had the same body language. He didn't take cuts the way he normally takes cuts, running cuts. I thought he was just slow on a lot of his cuts and it carried over defensively in how he played as far as on defense, and I thought that they both just played not their normal game. They were very ineffective.



    Q. How is Tayshaun's ankle?

    Coach Flip Saunders: We'll see today. I think he's going to be okay. I don't know how much he'll do today. We'll just have to wait and see.



    Q. How much of a concern is that to you if your two guards, that are all-star guards, don't improve?

    Coach Flip Saunders: Well, it's always a concern. I mean, when you have your -- I mean, they're the main part of our team. That's how this team was built. When you have two guys that they average roughly 40 points a game between them, and they go into a game and they get half that, it puts your team very much at a disadvantage. So they've got to bring it, as does everybody else.



    Q. You mentioned shot selection, is that part of why Cleveland was able to get that early offense with LeBron in transition?

    Coach Flip Saunders: Well, we missed some shots. They hit some long rebounds, and LeBron was -- as we knew, home crowd, you're going to be aggressive as far as early, and they had some lay-ups early. Late they didn't. They made really tough shots down the stretch. I think that when -- we didn't get into our offense quick enough. We needed to get into our offense quicker so we could turn it over a little bit and not be so much where it's a one- or two-option-type offense.



    Q. Last two games we've seen a young guy kind of really contribute, Maxiell in Game 2, last night Gibson. Talk a little bit about Daniel Gibson.

    Coach Flip Saunders: Well, we couldn't take advantage of -- he basically did a great job on any mismatches. He stripped Tay a couple times. He bodied people up, and he made big shots and made some big free throws. So I thought last night, as Maxie was a difference maker as far as in Game 2, he was definitely a difference maker as far as in Game 3.



    Q. Does anything change in terms of scouting report when a guy does --

    Coach Flip Saunders: No, because we knew that he's a spot-up three-point shooter. You know the things that he's going to do, it's just a matter of being able to take those away. Part of the success of that also is LeBron's ability to find those people.

    You know, as I said before, LeBron, you're not going to keep him down. A guy that's a 27-, 30-point scorer, he's going to score points. So it's not his scoring, but what I didn't like is that he got nine assists. So you're looking at a situation where he's playing in a game where roughly, of the 88 points that were scored, he had a direct involvement in 50 of those, with the 32 points that he scored and then the nine assists. That's not even counting maybe passes that he had that guys got fouled and he didn't get an assist for.

    So those are the things we have to limit because he's got the ability to define and get set on the weak side for him to not down a three, so that was my concern going into the series, playing against LeBron, was not letting him do what he had done in the New Jersey series where he did everything. I said going in that I thought his most impressive stat coming into our series was his high assists more than anything else.
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day
    May 28, 2007

    Donyell Marshall


    Donyell Marshall: Any time we've got to take it to a three-game series then I'm sure they'll feel confident because two of the three will be at their place. But, you know, to come back and tie it up is the most important thing. It's just as big as last game because I think it changes the whole thing. I think if you look at the first two games, we feel very confident that we can go up there and play well, so I think it really does change the series a lot.



    Q. Can you put into words what it's like to leave this locker room and just go out there and face like 20,000 fans in a lather, all there to see you and your teammates?

    Donyell Marshall: Obviously it feels good. We're giving this crowd and this city something they, right now obviously, haven't seen in 15 years. Hopefully we're trying to get them somewhere they haven't been, period. So it feels good to know that we're able to entertain 20,000 in person and millions more across the state of Ohio and actually the country, because we're the only game on at that time. So it's a good feeling.



    Q. Did you guys really feel the magnitude of it, or is it just like any other game to you?

    Donyell Marshall: No, I definitely think we felt it. Like I said on the floor yesterday, we needed that boost, and it was just amazing because a lot of times, especially when you go like to Detroit, we're the only ones cheering for us and stuff. You know, the only thing is I'm kind of a little disappointed that we -- there was one time in the fourth quarter you could kind of hear the Detroit fans a little bit, and we've got to make sure that we don't hear them at all. The little bit that they have in there, we've got to make sure we don't hear them at all.



    Q. Does fan support translate into points, and if so, how many?

    Donyell Marshall: It translates to a lot of points because there's a lot of times where the other team might not be able to hear what play their coach calls, and they're not able to get into their schemes, and they're not able to get into their defensive schemes because they can't hear what the coach has called. That can sometimes equal into four, five, six, seven points, which can be the difference in the game a lot of times.



    Q. You guys are down two games to one, you'd prefer to be up two games to one, but it's a lot better than being down three-zero. Talk about the mindset.

    Donyell Marshall: Like I said, after the first game, second game, we've been a very confident team and we're going to stay that way. We know the series is not over. We only can take it one game at a time, and that's what we're going to continue to do. We got past one game, and now tomorrow we've got another step to go. We've got to try to win tomorrow's game. We win tomorrow's game and we make it a three-game series, and we can go on from there.
  5. roscoe36

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day

    May 28, 2007

    LeBron James


    Q. How do you follow up the biggest game of your career?

    LeBron James: Just mentally try to prepare ourselves to be focused today and try to hold down home court, make it a three-game series. We've got to try to do our best to try to win the game. We know they're going to come out strong, and we've got to try to match the intensity.



    Q. You talked yesterday about not wanting to go down 3-0 because that's almost trying to do the impossible, where does going down 3-1 rank? Does that also feel like --

    LeBron James: No, it's not doing the impossible when you go down 3-1. It's definitely going to be a challenge, but we don't even want to think about that. We want to try the tie the series up 2-2 and make it a three-game series.



    Q. Why was the difference when you looked at some film today that you guys were able to close it down in the fourth quarter as opposed to the fourth quarter of the last two games?

    LeBron James: It was about execution. We've been able to get stops in the fourth quarter. That hasn't been our problem. What's been our problem is we haven't been able to execute offensively, we've turned the ball over, not even getting looks at the basket. But we had a lot of great looks, we moved the basketball from one side to another, made a defensive shift, and we connected on it.




    Q. Given the spectrum of that game, does that make you want to go home and rewatch it all?
    LeBron James: For me I watch film all the time, so I got an opportunity to watch it twice already. It was definitely a great performance by our team. We definitely took the challenge and we answered the call. We did a great job of keying up our crowd's intensity, and we showed why we're one of the best teams in the NBA.



    Q. Did you feel like you really needed to pick up the scoring slack, just try to do more?

    LeBron James: That wasn't much of me trying to score more, it was trying to be more aggressive, and if that had to do with me getting to the basket and scoring or making the winning play for our team, to try to make a good shot at the basket. One thing we want to do in the second half was just try to execute, especially down the stretch, not turn the ball over, at least try to get a shot at the basket. We knocked them down.



    Q. It seemed early in the game you were taking the ball off the rim and just going to the basket right away and not giving Detroit a chance, how much of an importance is that going to be tomorrow?

    LeBron James: It's very important. Like I said before, their defense is very good when you allow them to set up in the half court, and we try to want to get up the court as fast as possible, try to get some early offense opportunities, where we can get to the basket without their defense being set. It's also important for me to catch a rhythm and it's important for our team at the same time, and we took advantage of it.



    Q. The Western Conference, you've seen the teams starting to run away with it by the middle of the second half and the fourth quarter isn't as important, what is it about the type of basketball in the Eastern Conference that makes that fourth quarter just so do or die?

    LeBron James: We definitely defend. You know, we take pride in the Eastern Conference about defending, and that's not saying that Utah and San Antonio don't, because they're very great defensive teams, but we rely more on our defense in the Eastern Conference, and we know it's important.



    Q. How does that change the importance of the fourth quarter in this series?

    LeBron James: Well, it's all about execution down the stretch. We know the fourth quarter is definitely going to be some hard fouls, there's going to be a lot of things going on in the fourth quarter because we know the game is going to be tight. We have to do a good job of executing offensively and defensively and try and take what's there.



    Q. Even when you finish off those two deep post catches, you sit here and don't you think it's key for you to keep doing that?

    LeBron James: Definitely. I definitely felt comfortable yesterday by just trying to attack the defense early. I got a few early post catches, didn't convert them like you said, but it felt pretty good to get down there, and it definitely helped the team.



    Q. What about the electricity coming from the fans? Do you sense it here in the locker room?

    LeBron James: Well, last night we did. Today is definitely -- everyone is ready to eat some barbecue, I guess, and forget about last night, but we'll get ready for tomorrow night.



    Q. "Execute" is a broad word. What do you actually do or what did you do last night to make those shots fall in?

    LeBron James: What we did was almost everyone touched the basketball. It wasn't just give the ball to me and let me make a play and see if I can get it to somebody else. I caught the ball in the post one time and we did a great job on the backside of flood and Daniel Gibson got a wide open three. The next time we ran our offense I was able to come off a pick-and-roll and hit Z, and then Z hit Drew for an open jump shot. So it's important for us to continue to move their defense because it allows us to get better shots on the backside.



    Q. There were a fair number of dunks last night that were very difficult, what changed out there? What did you do differently and what did they do differently that opened up some of those lanes?

    LeBron James: I'm not quite sure. Those lanes were definitely there. I just wanted to try to attack as much as possible, and some of the small lanes that I was able to find, I wanted to be able to take advantage of. I definitely took advantage of them and my teammates did a great job of spacing the floor to allow me to get into the lane and do the type of things I was able to do last night.



    Q. How early are you coming to the arena tomorrow?

    LeBron James: I don't know (laughter). I don't know.



    Q. What kind of adjustments do you see Detroit making in Game 4?

    LeBron James: Well, as always, you need to be able to adjust -- they're definitely going to try to keep me out of the lane in the fourth quarter and the whole game, but that's been the emphasis the whole series is to try to keep me out of the lane and try to make my teammates beat them. I think my teammates are focused, they know they're going to have to do a big part of contributing, and that's going to allow us to win.



    Q. Depending on how Larry feels, talk about the role Gibson plays in Game 4.

    LeBron James: He's important to our team. Hopefully Larry is healthy enough to play tomorrow, but we don't know at this point, and if he's not, one thing that -- we've played without him. We don't like to, but we have done it, so it's something that's not new to us. "Boog" has started a lot of games this year, so he knows the role. He knows how big he is, and he knows how to play in front of a big crowd on a big stage.



    Q. The performance he had last night, do you think that would help him should he have to step in?

    LeBron James: He's mentally prepared to play, whatever role is given to him. It's not about what he did last night or what he's done in the past. He's mentally prepared to go out there and be a big player on our team. We need him out there on the court just because of the way he can shoot the ball, the way he defends, and he's going to be big for us.



    Q. He said that he earned your trust and he could keep it by knocking down shots, how much trust do you have in him?

    LeBron James: I have a lot. I believe every time he catches the basketball on the perimeter, he can make a basketball play, and I'm not just saying that he can cast up a three. I believe he can do a lot of things off the dribble, he can shoot the basketball extremely well. On the other end, he plays with a lot of heart defensively, and he showcased that last night.



    Q. This may be over-thinking it, but is there any danger of giving him too much respect because of their history of bouncing back after losses?

    LeBron James: No, it's not all about history here. It's about us trying to hold down our home court, and it's just like us, we've been a very good team after losing ballgames, too. I think they're going to make a lot of adjustments, we're going to make a lot of adjustments, and we'll be ready to play tomorrow.



    Q. Can you explain Mike's comment to us last night about random offense? Just explain how random is random?

    LeBron James: You know, it's a different type of random offense. Last night we got to a lot of random offense but we were able to be comfortable with it. What he doesn't like is when we come down and we take early jump shots, maybe one passing shot or just come down and not get into our sets and not getting our spacing. Last night we had a lot of random offense but it was successful because we had a lot of spacing, we had a lot of ball movement, we had a lot of player movement and it worked in our favor.



    Q. Is that a groove that you maybe weren't able to get into the first two games, that you kind of found a balance?

    LeBron James: Oh, definitely. You've got to try to attack this team early, as much as possible, and I think it works in our favor at times.



    Q. Larry just said that he doesn't think he's going to play tomorrow. What does that do to you guys?

    LeBron James: Well, it definitely hurts us. If Larry is not able to play tomorrow it definitely hurts us because he's experienced and how well we've been with him at the point guard and how well he defends and how well he's able to shoot the ball. It definitely will hurt us, but at the same time, the best thing about it is we've played without him. Like I said, we don't like to, but we've played without him so guys are going to have to step up. It's something we can't control.



    Q. What do you like about playing with Gibson?

    LeBron James: His intensity. I think offensively and defensively he's very in tune, and his ability to knock down open shots. That's definitely a gift for me. It makes sure the defense stays on us, especially with him out on the court, that he can make an open shot and he can get to the lane, also. And then on the other end he's not a liability. That's important for us.



    Q. You changed your routine before Game 3. What about changing your routine at halftime to get over these third quarter lulls?

    LeBron James: Well, we didn't start out too good last night in the third quarter, but we definitely ended it the right way. We didn't get too down on ourselves. I don't know, we have to put our finger on it soon, getting better in the third quarter.



    Q. Is there anything Daniel Gibson has done at a practice or something about knocking down however many threes in a row, where you were like, yeah, he's got it?

    LeBron James: No, I just think his before-and-after practice workout, that he definitely stays before (and after). I'm there before practice and he's always there, and after practice I'm shooting and he's always shooting. When I'm off the court, he's still shooting. He has a lot to prove, being a second-round draft pick and people saying he shouldn't have come out of college, he was too young. He has a lot to prove.
  6. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day
    May 28, 2007

    Larry Hughes


    Larry Hughes: I'm really sore today, which everybody expected me to be. I had an MRI done. I do have a partial tear. We'll see how it goes.



    Q. Do you think you'll play tomorrow?

    Larry Hughes: I'm not ruling it out. I'm not ruling it out. I'll just have to see. Just do treatment today, and whatever I can tolerate, just enough to go out and help the team, then I'll go out and help the team. But if not, I'll support from the sidelines.



    Q. Talk us through the reverse lay-up.

    Larry Hughes: I mean, I guess it's just one of those things. Just kind of planted it, and while I was planting it, just kind of turned it around, I guess. It was kind of a freak play, I guess. There wasn't any contact or anything like that. I just probably had it planted and just turned it the wrong way.



    Q. It's like on the bottom of your foot?

    Larry Hughes: Yeah, it's just more towards the heel. I've been dealing with it for probably a couple months now, just it being sore, no indication. I mean, I thought it was getting better. It's just something I'll try to deal with.



    Q. Something you reaggravated it?

    Larry Hughes: No, I didn't reaggravate it because it wasn't torn before. Like I said, I thought it was getting better. I thought it was getting better, but it's been sore, but it wasn't anything that was any real red flags, just sore, and I was pretty much dealing with it.



    Q. Did it feel like it was tearing? When it tore could you feel it tear?

    Larry Hughes: Well, it was hot. It was hot. I've never torn a muscle or anything like that. But I knew when I did it that it just wasn't a normal tweak or something like that. I mean, I knew it was something that was pretty serious.



    Q. Did that come back to that original injury? Is that any part of the original injury you had?

    Larry Hughes: No, that was the other foot. That was the right ankle. This is just -- a lot of guys suffer through the plantar fasciitis throughout the season, and they ultimately say it's better if you tear it completely and that way it gives it a chance to heal completely. So hopefully it's a blessing, and I'll look at it as a blessing and try to do enough treatment, and try to do enough things to take the edge off of it so I can be out there on the court.



    Q. If you were playing today would you be able to play?

    Larry Hughes: No.



    Q. What is the likelihood that you'll play tomorrow?

    Larry Hughes: Right now it's pretty slim, just the reaction from yesterday till now. I mean, it was a late game, so not a lot of hours to rejuvenate.
    But for the most part, I'm just trying to do enough to get the edge off that I have now, to at least put some pressure on it.



    Q. Is this something where you'll need surgery in the off-season to fix it?

    Larry Hughes: No, it just heals itself with ice and treatment and stretching, things like that. It heals itself.



    Q. Is it tough for you because you sort of had played some of your best ball there before you got hurt.

    Larry Hughes: Well, I didn't miss yesterday, so that was good for me, to see the ball go in the basket a little bit. I had a mindset of taking the ball to the basket and just figuring some things out. It always happens like that. Once you think you've got the things figured out, something else goes wrong. It's just another hurdle you have to jump over. I'm used to it. I'm used to it.



    Q. When you walked off the court, they said it was a plantar fascia strain. I said is that different from plantar fasciitis, and they said yes. What is the difference?

    Larry Hughes: I think the -itis comes in, just chronic pain of having a sore foot or different parts of your foot being sore. The strain comes in when there's basically a tear, when you basically rupture some part of it. You can have a complete tear or a partial, and I have a partial. I don't really know all the terms of plantar fasciitis, but I know it hurts.



    Q. Is this a new injury?

    Larry Hughes: It's not really new. I've had heel soreness maybe for a month and a half, just been treating it with ice and stretch it, and this was one of those plays, I guess.



    Q. Painful?

    Larry Hughes: Very painful, very painful. Like I said, I'm trying to knock the edge off of it, taking some anti-inflammatories and do more ice where I can put pressure on it, but it is sore today.



    Q. What about a shot of cortisone?

    Larry Hughes: From what I'm told, it's not a small enough area to really do what it's known to do, and that's basically numb one small area. With this you have a couple areas that are sore.



    Q. Do you expect to play Thursday?

    Larry Hughes: I'm not sure. If the game was today, I couldn't play today. I'll have to see tomorrow how it feels. Like I said, if I'm able to help the team in any way, I'll be out there playing.



    Q. How frustrating was it and how bittersweet for you to kind of see the ending and not be a part of it?

    Larry Hughes: Oh, I definitely wanted to be a part of it, playing on the court. But I was involved in the game sitting on the bench. Well, I think this is a series that we can win, so I definitely want to be a part of it and definitely want to be mentioned on the team that -- we can beat a great Detroit team. They are really good. But as a team, I really want to be a part of this because I feel like we can win the series.



    Q. What were you doing specifically to Chauncey? He's never been this rattled turnover-wise.

    Larry Hughes: I think you have to use your length, be aggressive with him early on in the games, knowing that he comes on real strong late in the games. You know, we've done some different things as far as denying the wings a little bit and jumping out and blitzing a little bit, giving him something different to look at, and also once he drives, sticking our hands in there and getting a hand on the basketball.



    Q. When you've had this type of pain or injury before, how long have you sat out?

    Larry Hughes: I've never had it to this extent. I mean, I've had plantar fasciitis, which is just a sore foot basically. Right now what I have is a tear. It's really something going on. It's not just sore. There is a medical condition for it.
    I haven't been faced with something this painful like this.



    Q. So are the doctors saying you probably won't play tomorrow?

    Larry Hughes: It's doubtful. It's doubtful. I mean, they're expecting -- they told me that I would be real sore today, which I am. I can hardly put any pressure on it. I think it's definitely doubtful. I mean, I tried to limp through the second half, but if I can get close to that, then I think I'll be fine enough to give us something. But it'll be tough.



    Q. Do they seem like it's a situation where it's like, okay, if you sit out Tuesday, you could go Thursday? Are they saying anything like that?

    Larry Hughes: Not really, not really. It's just basically how much I can tolerate, how much pain I can tolerate. You never know. I mean, one day it's totally different. I'm on some medication now that should help as far as with the inflammation and the swelling. We'll see how it goes. I definitely don't want to look past Tuesday and look towards Thursday, but we'll see how it goes tomorrow.



    Q. Injuries never come at a good time. Describe your frustration.

    Larry Hughes: I'm starting to think that May isn't my month (laughter). You know, it's tough. I have to fight through it. I have to fight through it. I can't blame anybody, blame anything or say this or that. I have to see the challenge and take it on. That's the only way I know how to do it. We'll see. You know, we'll have to see how it goes. But I'm not going to show frustration or anything like that. We have to keep a positive attitude around with the guys and our teammates and the coaching staff just to know that I'll do whatever I can do to help the team out, and if I'm able to play, I'll play.



    Q. Does it do any good to talk to guys that have had the same injury?

    Larry Hughes: Somewhat, somewhat. You understand everybody is different, different pain tolerance. I feel like I have a high pain tolerance. My agent, he's also Alonzo's agent and he's had some of the same things go on. He said it was actually better for him in the long run, but right now we're more of in the short-term thing.
    I'll wait and see really.



    Q. If you had to put your chances at being able to play, what would you say it was?

    Larry Hughes: Right now, as of today, I couldn't play. That's as far as I'll take it. Tomorrow is different. The adrenaline gets going and stands are filled, anything can happen. You can just wake up and it can be totally gone, you never know. I'm not ruling anything out, but today, if I had to do anything today, I couldn't do it.



    Q. How did it exactly happen?

    Larry Hughes: It was a lay-up. It was a reverse lay-up, went in, and I guess just turned it the wrong way, just turned it the wrong way. I can't really explain it. I mean, it just happened, and I felt it as soon as I did it.
  7. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day
    May 28, 2007

    Rip Hamilton



    Rip Hamilton: It's exciting for us. We always feel as though in order to be ranked in that class, to be a great backcourt, you've got to win games. Hopefully we can continue to do that and continue to bring more and more world championships to Detroit.



    Q. How would you characterize what went on last night with you and Chauncey? I mean, we've seen one of you struggle before, but it's rare that both of you guys have those kind of problems on the same night.

    Rip Hamilton: Well, I just think we've got to be a lot more aggressive. Yesterday I kind of watched the game on TV some, we were out there trying to make the right play too much, other than trying to be aggressive, trying to make a play and things like that. I think at halftime I shot the ball two times, Chauncey shot the ball three or four times. And all season, I'll bet you can't go down any stat sheet and ever see that.
    So I just think they're trying to take a lot of stuff away. They're trying to trap Chauncey on pick-and-rolls, they're trying to trap me on pin-downs, and they've got the guys making plays. So we've got to find other ways to be aggressive and get to the basket and things like that.



    Q. Were you surprised that you guys were not just -- at one point you were leading in the fourth, even though you and Chauncey were only 2-for-14 or something like that from the field?

    Rip Hamilton: That's why sometimes it's hard to try to be over-aggressive, because we were still in the game. C Webb had it rolling, McDyess hit some shots, so one thing that you want to do, you want to stay poised, try to get them the ball and try to get them to make plays.



    Q. Daniel Gibson had a big game for them, could you talk a little bit about that.

    Rip Hamilton: He made shots. He made a big three down the stretch that was huge. We've got to get better at recognizing where he's at because that's why they bring him and Damon Jones on the floor.



    Q. It seemed, though, when Damon got on the floor, though, you guys went right at him with Murray?

    Rip Hamilton: Flip played great. He came off the bench, gave us a lot of energy, went in there and tried to make plays. It was great.



    Q. What did it look like out there? You guys have seen traps forever and it's never really a problem, is it just looking different? Is it because they're so long that it looks like there's more defensive traffic than there is?

    Rip Hamilton: Well, they're consistent with it. I think that's the biggest thing, that they're consistent with it. They're consistent every time down the court with the trap, to say, okay, we're going to make other guys beat us. We know that, and like I said, our guys were big yesterday. It's just that we couldn't quite finish it at the end of the game, and hopefully we can do a better job of not turning the ball over late in the game.



    Q. Flip said he could see in your body language yesterday that you weren't as aggressive as you had been in prior games. Was that your approach going into the game, something Cleveland was doing to you?

    Rip Hamilton: Well, like I said, every time I came up, they tried to trap and stuff like that, and I didn't really try to force the issue because of how the game was going, how we were still in the game. Rasheed had it going, Chris had it going, and I didn't want to be out there out of pocket and try to be over-aggressive while we were still right in the game.
    But I see now that that's not who I am. I'm out there running around and being aggressive and trying to make plays, so I've got to do a better job of that.



    Q. How does Sasha bother you? Does he do anything different than you've seen?

    Rip Hamilton: No, just got to be more aggressive, that's it, just being more aggressive. I don't think I was. I think that I was just, like I said, trying to feed off my teammates, trying to get to the wide open spot, trying to play off Sheed and Webb and things like that.



    Q. What are the chances that you and Chauncey have a game like that combined again?

    Rip Hamilton: Hopefully never.



    Q. Are you more anxious for the next game to start? Do you almost wish you were playing tonight?

    Rip Hamilton: Well, that's the great thing. The great thing about it, we ain't got to wait two days. I think the first two games we had to wait two days, and I'm just happy we won them. Now we get an opportunity to play tomorrow, so I can't wait to get back on the floor.
  8. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day
    May 28, 2007

    Drew Gooden


    Q. Analyze Game 3. Obviously the headline in the paper says "It's a series now." What do you have to do to even it up now and win Game 4?

    Drew Gooden: I think bring the same intensity that we brought in Game 3. I think that's what helped us come back in the series, and I think that intensity is only going to help us throughout the series.



    Q. It was a great effort, everything that LeBron showed through the Game 1, can he continue to do that?

    Drew Gooden: Yes, he can. Yes, he can. If he stays mentally focused and ready out there, he's capable of doing anything. We need those types of games out of him for us to advance.



    Q. It was a great spurt in the beginning, you've had those, but the third quarter seems to be causing problems for you. Why?

    Drew Gooden: I think that's been our Achilles' heel the last two years I've been here. I don't know what it is. Our third quarter, we give up a lot of third quarters and lose a lot of third quarters and end up making it up in the fourth quarter.



    Q. This has been such a great rebounding team, yet you personally have struggled the first couple of games, what's the key to rebounding?

    Drew Gooden: Just having the passion to really do it. I think me as an individual, it's tough getting down there for a rebound when you've got a guy that's shooting threes out on the perimeter like Rasheed. We've got other guys having to go down there and mix it up sometimes. So it's the passion.



    Q. When you got that big rebound at the end of Game 3, can you do that all the time?

    Drew Gooden: Yeah, I can do that all the time, that's a piece of cake. I just have to be in the right place at the right time but still alert that I'm guarding Rasheed Wallace and he's at that three-point line.



    Q. They're all good rebounders but that ball had your name on it.

    Drew Gooden: Yeah, I needed it. I needed it bad. I wanted it.
  9. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day
    May 28, 2007

    Daniel Gibson


    Q. Last night's game obviously you made a lot of contributions. What's your mindset going into the next game?

    Daniel Gibson: Just trying to bring some of those same things, energy, intensity, and just looking forward to playing in this next game.



    Q. People know a lot about your shot-making, but it seems like your defense maybe caught Detroit a little bit off guard. Can you talk about that.

    Daniel Gibson: That's something I do when I come in the game, you know, on the defensive end, pick up full court, try to change the tempo a little bit, and just play as hard as I can, get up and guard those guys and get in tune.



    Q. With Larry being less than himself obviously heading towards the next game, do you anticipate your role might change a little bit, increase a little bit?

    Daniel Gibson: Probably, possibly. But I think that throughout the season Coach has prepped me for that situation. I've gotten a lot of minutes, so I think it's prepared me for this situation where if Larry can't go, I feel like I can step in and take care of business.



    Q. What's been a key for you defensively against Chauncey and their guys? You guys as a group have been really able to limit their effectiveness?

    Daniel Gibson: Those two guys are great players. We just try to get into them as best we can, learn as much about them as we can, and playing do the things that they're not most comfortable doing. That's probably our best philosophy.



    Q. People talk about rookies hitting a wall, this season up and down for you, starting role. Talk about how you are mentally at this time of the year.

    Daniel Gibson: It's definitely a long season, but this is what you play for, the opportunity to play in big games, in the playoffs, Eastern Conference Finals, and just to have the opportunity to get out there and play. That's why you work so hard in the summertime and why you work so hard during that long year, to get to this point.



    Q. As a rookie what's the difference between the regular season and the playoffs?

    Daniel Gibson: It seems like it goes to another level as far as the intensity and as far as teams' focus on every single play. It seems like every possession counts, so everything is broken down and you try to make sure every possession is your best.



    Q. The Pistons were aware of you going into last night's game, now they're really aware of you. If Larry's out, you're certain to be playing longer minutes, you'll probably get more concerted defense. Are you ready for that challenge, to have even more defensive pressure from these guys?

    Daniel Gibson: Yeah, I'm ready for it. I'm going to just go out there and do some of the things I'm capable of doing, get out there and play hard. I feel like if I play hard and play with passion, regardless of what's put in front of me, I'll be able to handle myself.



    Q. What does it mean to the team when Larry can't go?

    Daniel Gibson: I feel like as a team, we feel like he's one of our key elements, so if he's not able to do, I think that these guys that haven't been playing that much are going to feel like they have the opportunity to step in and play key minutes, so I think that guys will be looking forward to getting out there and filling that void since he's not going to be there.



    Q. There are some rookies who in a playoff situation the pressure just feels so huge. How did you feel in the fourth quarter?

    Daniel Gibson: It's fine. I'm out there smiling and having fun because at that time everybody is watching and waiting to see what's going to happen. I feel like if you can take that moment and just have fun with it and just get out there and enjoy it, I think the best things will happen for you.



    Q. Stepping up in regular season versus the Eastern Conference Finals, two completely different dynamics, what does having a game like you did last night do for your confidence?

    Daniel Gibson: Yeah, it definitely gives you a lot of confidence where you feel like you could play in any type of situation, so I feel like it's definitely going to give me that boost for the next game knowing that it's also a big game, that I need to get out there and do some of those same things.



    Q. How better equipped are you to start now than when you first took over?

    Daniel Gibson: Probably night and day. I feel like with the opportunity I had at the beginning of the year to get out and play, and start in some of these games, and now I feel when I get out there I know exactly what I need to do, and I feel like I'll perform a lot better.



    Q. Is Chauncey's strength at all a problem when you try to guard him?

    Daniel Gibson: Yeah, he's a strong dude. I mean, that's pretty much an understatement. I just try to play him as tough as I can, play him early, and play him to my help. I just try to do and fight him as hard as I can because I know my teammates are behind me waiting to help me out.



    Q. LeBron has really had your back and has really talked you up, what's that meant to your confidence?

    Daniel Gibson: Oh, the most. I remember at the beginning of the year he told me he was going to make me a great player, regardless of whatever, and he's done that. He's been in my corner since day one, and to have a guy like that, who has so much going for himself, to know he's behind you, it really gives you that much more confidence.



    Q. I saw him stop you during that time-out, he kind of told you something, what did he tell you?

    Daniel Gibson: The game wasn't over. We've been playing well, but there's still two minutes and 30 seconds left, so stay focused and let's get this win.



    Q. This fantasy game that you played when you pretended to be him when you were a kid, just knowing his moves, does that actually help you in any way out here now?

    Daniel Gibson: I think it helps me a little bit because, you know, I watched him for a long time when I was in the backyard doing those back-down fadeaway shots he does. With the clock running down, ten seconds, shooting those three-pointers that he shoots all the time. I also feel like it's made me prepare a lot more mentally because I think of how great he is.
  10. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day
    May 28, 2007

    Coach Mike Brown



    Q. Can you talk about Larry's prognosis.

    Coach Mike Brown: He has, I don't know if I can say it right, plantar fasciitis. That's what the MRI revealed, and he's listed as doubtful.



    Q. How much of a learning process did LeBron go through last night?

    Coach Mike Brown: Every time he steps on the floor, especially at this level because he's never been to this level, he's learning, he's growing. And so he grew leaps and bounds last night, he did it the game before, he did it the game before, so this is great. This is great.



    Q. Can you talk about some of the options that you might consider if Larry isn't able to go for you tomorrow.

    Coach Mike Brown: I don't know yet because we don't know if he's definitely going to be out. But we can start Eric Snow, we can start Daniel Gibson, we can start Ira Newble. There are plenty of guys that we can go to that have started for us throughout the course of the season or played minutes for us in the stretch, and you know, if he can't go, we feel like we'll have guys that will be ready.



    Q. Talk a little bit about Daniel Gibson, what he's been able to do and just the process he's gone through to get to a point where he can go into a game like that and perform.

    Coach Mike Brown: Well, when Daniel got here, I commended Danny Ferry and Chris Grant and Lance Blanks and the rest of our personnel department for finding a guy like Daniel Gibson in the second round. We had two talented young guys in Daniel and Shannon, and Shannon is going to blossom for us, too, the way Daniel has.

    The thing that I saw from Daniel from jump street was that he was really poised, and we threw him in some situations where he didn't look rattled at all, he didn't look confused at all, he didn't look intimidated at all, and he just played within himself and within the game. He didn't try to do anything out of the ordinary. When you have a young guy that does that, that breeds confidence, not only within himself but within his teammates and within the coaching staff.

    So the more we put him out there, the more it seemed like his composure was off the charts for a young guy because he's not a four-year rookie from college. He came out, I think, after sophomore year. So I was amazed with that. Every time we put him on the floor he showed that. He has been no different in the playoffs. We've thrown him on the floor in tight ballgames during the playoffs, and he's responded very well. The biggest thing is keeping his composure.

    But he's tough, he's quick, he'll stick his nose in, everybody knows he can shoot, if you leave him open it's good. He's starting to get to a point now where he's got the little push shot or the little runner, so now if you close out on him too hard, he's capable of going by you and getting fouled or knocking down a little push shot or a little floater.



    Q. Can you talk a little bit about the defense, trying to defend Chauncey, especially in light of the fact that he's a young guy and Chauncey is one of the most experienced guys in the league.

    Coach Mike Brown: Yeah, Chauncey is bigger and stronger than him. Daniel has to move his feet, he's got to move his hands, and he has to use the quickness that he has to try to defend him. He can't do it on his own, and we've got to be ready to come help, which we were. He had a couple of possessions where he got some strips using his hands, and he's going to have to try to continue to stick his nose in and dig that ball out like he did the last game.

    We're not going to leave Daniel on an island down there by himself against Chauncey and Rip and Tayshaun, and we're coming to double and give him some help, but he's got to hold his own for a half a count.



    Q. How much do you think you guys are aware that Chauncey is looking even more motivated than regular Chauncey to break out of whatever slump he's been in?

    Coach Mike Brown: That's a talented team, and Chauncey is the head of the snake. He's capable of putting up big numbers, not just points but assists and rebounds because he's so strong and he's got a nose for the ball. We know he's going to want to come out aggressive to get his team going, to get himself going to make a statement, and we've just got to try to make him keep working for shots because a guy like Chauncey, when he makes up his mind to score, you know you don't stop him, but you just hope that you can make him work for his shots.



    Q. Do you think you'll go after him, like Daniel did last night?

    Coach Mike Brown: I mean, I would. He's a rookie, he's 5'5" or 5'6", whatever he is (laughter). I'd go after him. Why not?



    Q. Does it help? Does it not matter that you've had to play a lot of games the last couple years without Larry? Does the team automatically slip into a mode because they've had to do it so much?

    Coach Mike Brown: First of all, I don't know whether he's going to play or not tomorrow. He's doubtful. But I'd rather have Larry starting at point guard than any other way. But we have played a lot of ballgames without him. It doesn't mean that we're better or that we're used to it if he's out, knock on wood, or anybody else is at any time. We've just got to go play. That's what we get paid to do. It doesn't matter who's in uniform, we've got to go play and win.



    Q. People talk about LeBron's aggressiveness, do you talk to him about staying in attack mode?

    Coach Mike Brown: We talk about that, and not just to him because he's not the only one that needs to attack, it's everybody. I thought in Game 1 Rasheed had seven blocks, but something that didn't get charted, he probably changed about ten shots at the rim because we went in there trying to shoot around him or trying to move the ball to get around him to score it. You can't do that with their bigs. Their bigs are too long, they're too athletic, starting with Rasheed, they're too talented, too quick, their timing is off the chart, so you've got to go right at him, and you've got to make the referee call a foul or call a block or call a charge, simple as that.

    Not just LeBron, Larry did a nice job on a couple of his moves last night. You've just got to go right at him and put the onus on the referee to make the call, and if it gets blocked, so be it, but you've got to go at their chests. So yes, we've put that emphasis on all of our guys starting with LeBron.



    Q. How often do you say that to them? Is there a constant, daily, minute time to say that? How often do you have to tell them that?

    Coach Mike Brown: Every time we watch tape there have been a few clips on there of us not attacking their bigs' chests and attacking their bigs' chests, so they get reminded of it quite a bit.



    Q. What did you see differently in the fourth quarter last night versus the first two games?

    Coach Mike Brown: Well, the first thing is we did a nice job, I thought, down the stretch executing offensively. It's a great team -- the Pistons are a great team to take you out of your first option and sometimes your second option, so you just kind of play basketball from there. But when LeBron has the ball in his hands, he's got to try to attack, especially if he's got single coverage because they're going to collapse, and when they collapse he's going to have to make a pass and somebody else is going to have to step up and make a shot, and then every once in a while he's going to have to make a tough shot because he's getting doubled and tripled every time he touches the basketball.

    I thought we did that last night and we didn't look like we were under duress. We moved the ball from one side of the floor to the other and made the pass and attacked at the right time and we had guys knock down big shots. Drew made a big shot along the baseline for us, Daniel Gibson made a big three for us, and that's what we need, as well as LeBron playing at a pretty high level in order for us to beat this team.



    Q. It looked like you guys made a conscious effort to get him the ball in different spots.

    Coach Mike Brown: Yeah, we had to. We've got to move him around, we've got to put him in the middle of the floor to play pick-and-roll, we've got to put him on the side to play side pick-and-roll, we've got to post him up on the side, we've got to iso him in the middle, we've got to bring him off screens because, again, that team is too good. They just sit and load up on him and we can become stagnant, and we can't do that against that team.



    Q. LeBron was saying the reason the random offense was working last night was because the spacing was better.

    Coach Mike Brown: Our spacing was good at the end of the game. Like I said, we moved the ball from one side of the floor to the other. We set screens, we moved bodies, and if we can get to a point where we're doing that against a good defensive team like Detroit, if we're doing that all the time when the first option and second option get taken away, then we'll have a chance to be a decent offensive team.

    Q. So maybe things won't be so random anymore?

    Coach Mike Brown: I'm okay if we're playing random offense on the backside at the end of the plays, as long as the ball moves. What I don't like is when we play random offense and the guy that brings it up or the guy that catches the first pass, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble and then shoot. Or somebody catches and hold, hold, hold, hold, everybody is standing there watching and watching and watching, and then we get a bad shot. But when the ball moves from side to side, we get some screens set, we move some bodies, I like that because now you're playing basketball and you don't really have an opportunity to load up here or load up there because they don't walk through random offensive stuff in terms of when they try to go through our sets in shoot-around and stuff like that.



    Q. How much better is Daniel now than earlier in the season?

    Coach Mike Brown: He's improved a lot. He's very poised for a young man, and that's continuing to grow. The confidence is continuing to grow, and the understanding is continuing to grow. But the thing that has helped out a lot, because he's been on the floor, now he's starting to get a little respect from the officials and so on and so forth. That drive that he had when he shot the little push shot and got fouled, that was a shooting foul because he didn't dribble again. He got hit, he heard the whistle and he went right up into his shot.

    Not only that, he's guarded shots in the forest. This is not the first time he's guarded Rip, so when you guard these guys a few times, you're not going to be able to stop them, but you start to understand some of their tendencies and when they're going to try to go up into a move and what they're going to do on this side as opposed to the other side of the floor, and all that stuff is just helping him out tremendously.



    Q. Even though they still outscored you in the third quarter, did you feel as if you shot a little bit better last night?

    Coach Mike Brown: A little bit better. We've still got to make sure that we're focused coming out because that's the time they want to turn up the heat and stick it to you. We've got to make sure we continue to fight and claw and be the aggressor, not just in the third quarter but during the whole game.



    Q. They're obviously not in their comfort level, so what are you doing defensively to get them out of it?

    Coach Mike Brown: Well, they've had some looks and they've missed some of their looks, but the thing we're trying to do is again, we just want to contest every shot that they've taken, and we want to try to mix it up. We don't want to -- like last night we did blitz Chauncey some, we did blitz Rip some, and we're going to continue to try to mix it up. We're going to blitz him, we're going to show some, we're going to switch some. We've got to keep trying to mix it up to keep them guessing, because if we give any of them the same dose of medicine for 48 minutes for every game straight, then they're going to beat you and they're going to beat you bad. They can beat you any way, but we've got to try to keep them as off balance as possible by mixing the coverages on the guys that they have.



    Q. How much do you enjoy that open strategy of trying to slow down --

    Coach Mike Brown: I'd rather not. I'd rather be able to just go out there and tee it up and do what we do and know that it's good enough to beat this guy and that team. Every time we play these guys, we're giving them the same dose of medicine the entire ballgame, at the end, at the end of the quarters, they just pick us apart and tear us up. We have no choice but to try to mix it up and hope that mixing up the coverages will help us from time to time.



    Q. How often are you mixing stuff? I mean, every few minutes, every few plays?

    Coach Mike Brown: No, probably every few minutes, and a lot of it is based on personnel, who Chauncey has on the floor with us, who Rip has on the floor with him, who's setting the screen for Rip. You know, it can get -- I'm proud of my guys because the one thing that they're doing for the most part, they're in tune with the coverages when we go back to this or go to this or change this, but there are a couple times, and you'll see during the course of the ballgames, that because we change the coverages so much or this or that, they're going to get a wide-open dunk or a wide-open lay-up or something like that, but our guys for the most part have really been in tune to listening to what we're trying to do defensively and trying to execute it.



    Q. You must take pride in that because I know you wanted to make this a defensive team, and they definitely have become that.

    Coach Mike Brown: Yeah, I know. You know, to know that this is basically -- in terms of guys, this is basically the same group of guys that were here, not only that we brought in two guys that aren't noted defensive guys in Damon and Donyell, and we made the jump that we made, because we started out 30th in opponent's points and 30th in opponent's field goal percentage, not this year but my first year here, and then I think we finished middle of the pack or something like that, and at the beginning of this year we were top five in one and top ten in the other. It wasn't like we got a whole new team from when we were 30th until now. We got a couple young rookies and Damon and Scot and those guys. I take my hats off to them, they don't get enough recognition, but those guys have figured out how to defend. I don't think any of our guys got a single vote for any of the defensive teams, which I understand.



    Q. Kidd has been a great defender for his career, but he's not --

    Coach Mike Brown: Right, I understand that.

    The only thing we can do is make them work. That's the whole thing is make them work.



    Q. Are they switching up because you know they do that a lot, switching up defenses?

    Coach Mike Brown: Yeah, that's what makes them such a great defensive team. They're so smart, they've played together so long, they don't come out and give you the same thing every time. They just play off each other. Like sometimes Rasheed may jump out and attack the basketball on the pick-and-roll, but the next time they're going to down it. One time we ran a back screen with, I think it was, Sasha and maybe LeBron, and it switched to Tayshaun onto Sasha because we put LeBron in the post and Rip went to the line. Well, then LeBron was going to come out off of Donyell's pin-down on the backside. Donyell knew he had Rip on him, so he told Donyell to step out. Rasheed was guarding Donyell, so he tells Donyell to step out because he's going to post-up Rip.

    And as soon as he did that, Rip said, stage, Rip ran through the coverage, Rasheed backed up and took LeBron, Rip took down him, and they ended up getting stopped. You know, that's not Flip saying, let's run this play and this play. We call that covering for one another. It's almost like the random offense. When you start doing random offense to a point where you're moving the ball and moving bodies and you're getting great looks out of your random offense, you're going to be really good because you can't prepare for that. How do you know where to double from and when to go and all that stuff? You don't because you're going to be all over the place.
  11. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day
    May 28, 2007

    Chauncey Billups


    Q. LeBron was saying leading up to the game, "Okay, I'm the leader. I need to lead my team in the fourth quarter."

    Chauncey Billups: (Inaudible). In the fourth quarter I was ready for him, hit a couple shots, but like I said, he's just too good, too good. I've got to give it to him. He hit a lot of shots, fadeaway three-pointers, and he's been known to hit bad shots, tough shots. He did that last night.



    Q. (Inaudible).

    Chauncey Billups: Just winning. I don't really care how good I'm playing. As long as we're winning, y'all know that. I never play for stats or nothing like that, I play to win. But I have played better, of course. But as long as we win, it doesn't really matter.



    Q. Do you know what's going on with your shots?

    Chauncey Billups: Well, my shot has been fine. Until yesterday I hadn't really gotten over seven shots, seven looks. Actually I got some really good looks yesterday. I think I had like four good looks early in the first quarter; didn't knock them down. But yesterday I shot bad. Other than that, my shot is fine. I think the turnovers are our biggest thing for me, you know what I'm saying?

    My shot, I'm not worried at all about my shot.



    Q. When was the last time you were in this kind of a rut, if I can use that word for it?

    Chauncey Billups: I've never been in one like this as far as turning the ball over. My shot, look, shooters shoot, your shot is going to be on and off. I've had a tough stretch this year with my shot, and I'm not in that at all, which I'm happy about.

    You know, like I said, I've got to start playing a little bit better for us to win. They're a tough team, it's the Eastern Finals, and us as a team offensively, I think we've got to play a lot better for us to win.



    Q. Do the turnovers make you a little tentative or take away some of your aggressiveness as you're trying to keep in control?

    Chauncey Billups: No, not at all, no.



    Q. Is being more aggressive, though, sort of what you're thinking you need to do to change some of that?

    Chauncey Billups: Well, it depends. I mean, I pick my spots. There's times in the game when I do need to be a little bit more aggressive and there's times when I need to take a step back, but that's nothing new. That's how I've always played. That's what I do.

    It's funny, when you have a couple tough games, you know, the way it always plays, I pick my spots to take over sometimes and I fall back sometimes, and now it's like, man, everybody wants to take over for the whole game, and I've never been like that, you know what I'm saying? That's not going to change the way I play, change my game. I haven't been playing out of character; I'm doing what I do.



    Q. You usually don't get too concerned about things, but does this stretch have you at all shaken?

    Chauncey Billups: No.



    Q. Are you confused at all about what's going on out there because you said you haven't been in a rut like this in a while?

    Chauncey Billups: No, I'm not confused or concerned. You know, like I said, I could be taking care of the ball a little better. I had five turnovers yesterday via my travels, you know what I'm saying, not throw-aways, travels, but I'm not concerned at all.

    Like I said, could I be playing better? Yeah, no doubt about that. But I'm not concerned.



    Q. Do you think they didn't really trap you yesterday? Were they doing anything different?

    Chauncey Billups: We didn't run as many pick-and-rolls yesterday. We didn't run as many pick-and-rolls. We had C Webb going to the post, we had Sheed going -- the times that I did run a pick-and-roll, they trapped me.



    Q. How much does the series kind of come down to (Inaudible)?

    Chauncey Billups: I mean, I think you look at any series, there's only four teams playing right now, you know what I'm saying? Any teams like us, two really good defensive teams, are going to be tough, grind-out games every night. That's what it's been every single game, and I expect it to continue like that.



    Q. Have you talked to your mom? Who's the one who's giving you good support right now?

    Chauncey Billups: (Laughing) You act like we're down 3-0 and I'm having like three points. Come on, man, it's not that serious at all. It's not that serious. We're up 2-1, Eastern Finals, chance to win Game 4. It's not that serious.



    Q. You said yesterday that if either you or Rip happened to be on, you'd be up 3-0.

    Chauncey Billups: Yeah, then none of this is going on. Nobody is talking about nothing. We have two all-stars that haven't been playing like all-stars. And when you have that going on, when your all-stars aren't playing that great, it says the winners are going to be slim, you know what I'm saying? They're going to be slim. That's exactly what I said. If me or Rip get going yesterday, we win the ballgame because even with us not playing that great, we have a lot of chances at the end of the game to win. We still had a lot of chances. They hit some tough, tough shots to kind of ice it, and we couldn't catch up with them.



    Q. I think people may be just a little weirded out because you're doing things we haven't seen you do before as far as the turnovers. That's why I think people are a little bit overanalyzing or overexaggerating a little bit.

    Chauncey Billups: And I understand. If you look at those situations at the start of the season, they said, look, the only way we've got a chance is if you cut their head off every single time. They know we run a lot of pick-and-rolls, so that's a big part of our offense. If you trap somebody and don't let them play, it makes it tough. It makes it tough. That's what you're seeing.

    We're starting to make some adjustments. I had 14 shots yesterday, so I feel good about just having some more opportunities.



    Q. Is there a strategic response you guys can make?

    Chauncey Billups: There's some things that we try to do, but sometimes you go through a game and other things start working. That's fine, too. Whatever works, I don't care, whether it's me or whoever.



    Q. Is there someone in particular in them, long arms, that is really creating a problem individually?

    Chauncey Billups: Not a particular person. They've got a particular two or three guys, you know what I'm saying, at one time that makes it difficult, not one guy.



    Q. This is different for you and Rip. This usually happens for one game and you guys roll out of it. It's kind of a different thing for both of you to handle, isn't it?
    Chauncey Billups: It's different because most times, a lot of times one of us might struggle, have a tough night, but at the same time, we haven't really seen a lot of that. So it's different, it's different.

    Like I said, that's why our team is such a great team is because of that. We've got guys that are capable of stepping up and having big nights.



    Q. Is there a concern that if it doesn't change that you're in a little trouble?

    Chauncey Billups: Man, we've got Game 4 tomorrow and we'll see what happens. I'm not concerned at all.



    Q. You pride yourself and your team prides itself on you can score from any point on the floor, or any number of guys can, but does it come down at all to you and Richard Hamilton when it comes to setting a tone?

    Chauncey Billups: Well, we go into every game with a different way. Sometimes we say, all right, look, we're going to go in the post, we're going to make them play us out of the post first four or five plays. Sometimes we say, all right, Rip, come with some energy, we're going to run the up screen, see how they're playing down screen. Let's see how they're playing. We've got LeBron guarding.

    It's different every night. But with that being said, a lot of these guys, our whole entire team looks to me and Rip to lead and to take big pieces of the responsibility, and we're always good for that. We never make excuses and say this is going on, that's going on. If we don't play good, we don't play good. We don't say that. Ain't no running around that. That's what leaders do. That's what leaders should do.
  12. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Funniest stuff although I haven't read it all yet.

    and Mike Brown's, "Random Offense" with LeBron explaining that

  13. detroitsfynest

    detroitsfynest First Round Draft Pick

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    Rasheed Wallace: "Yeah, it comes down to will and execution; do I want this victory? And execution in the fourth quarter is real important. Pretty much those are two basic rules of basketball. That's something that we do well.

    I mean, we're not nervous, you don't see anybody sweating bullets, biting nails."


    Looks like sheed tried to slip a quick in on lebron :sssh:
  14. linwood

    linwood All-Star

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    This is secret Ninja coaching. It seems so simple, but yet... what does it really mean? :pound:
  15. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    I'm not sure if he means misses, or shots that were taken to intentionally miss.

    That Flip, he's one tricky dude. Not giving out any secrets during the presser.
  16. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    I just heard the Flip soundbite from this interview on WDFN and the transcript is incorrect.

    It's "cuts" not "shots".

  17. CloudWalker

    CloudWalker Bench Warmer

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    Personally, I like "non-scoring-type shots". I thought that original line was pretty accurate for the junk some of the players were throwing up toward the basket.

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