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ECF Practice Day Interviews May 30 2007

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

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Practice Day
    May 30, 2007

    Chauncey Billups



    Q. You've been in so many situations even worse than this, how does that help you or does it help you?

    Chauncey Billups: I don't see the situation as being that bad, you know what I'm saying. It's 2-2, these are the Eastern Conference Finals, we have three games left, two of them at our place, so I don't see the situation being that bad.



    Q. When you watch your play in the fourth quarter, is it like you're watching somebody else?

    Chauncey Billups: Not really. I mean, I made a couple bad plays but that's going to happen. Man, I'm human, dog, know what I'm saying. Missing at the end of the game, it's going to happen. No big deal.



    Q. Were they putting LeBron on you in the fourth quarter --

    Chauncey Billups: There was nothing he was doing, but I feel like if I have the best athlete guarding me, it's going to open it up for Tayshaun and Rip. It's not because he was playing great defense, he wasn't pressuring or anything, he's their best athlete and I felt like, if we could get him away from the basket, then it would give our other guys good opportunities.



    Q. When he is hitting 24-foot fadeaways, is there a defense for that?

    Chauncey Billups: No, no, you just contest and try to hope that it doesn't go in, because there is nothing you can do about that, when they're hitting shots like that, you have to box out and hope it comes off the rim.



    Q. What's the key to getting off to a better start, because they've had their will and you've been playing behind the whole series?

    Chauncey Billups: I think us being more aggressive defensively. I think offensively we were picking it up and were more aggressive yesterday's game, but I think defensively we have to stick to the script a little more, we were having too many breakdowns on our coverage because LeBron runs pick-and-roll down the court, and if he doesn't get something he will do it again, kind of like Steve Nash but at a small forward position, and there is no small forward used to guarding pick-and-rolls like that, so that's why he puts you at a disadvantage.

    So just staying to our game plan as far as what we are going to do pick-and-roll-wise.



    Q. (Inaudible).

    Chauncey Billups: You have to tip your hat to them, I think they deserve a lot of credit, you have to tip your hat to them. I think there are a lot of things we can do better that we have control of, but you've got to give those guys credit. They have a lot to do with what's going on.



    Q. Chauncey, the lessons learned from Game 5 last year, do you look at the lessons learned from that game or more what's happened this series?

    Chauncey Billups: Both. Last year Game 5 they came in and beat us, and they got a chance to close it out on their home court, and we finally buckled down and took care of business, and this year we've got to go at the game early, you know what I'm saying, and take control of tomorrow night.



    Q. Has this series been tougher than last year because you did blow them out in a couple of games last year and there has been nothing close to that this series.

    Chauncey Billups: There has been nothing but close in this series. They're a year older, a year wiser, this is the Eastern Finals. There is a lot more at stake.



    Q. Drew Gooden of the Cavaliers said you were hurt last night, are you hurt?

    Chauncey Billups: No, I'm not hurt, man.



    Q. He said it looked like you were hurting.

    Chauncey Billups: I got banged up a little bit at the end but I'm not hurt.



    Q. Do you think people have gotten spoiled and used to the shots you and Rasheed make down the stretch, do you think people will appreciate more what you've done or --

    Chauncey Billups: No. We raised the bar so high, man, especially in late-game-type situations, always make the right play, so when we do make the wrong play, it sticks out even greater, you know what I'm saying. And that's good, though, that's good. It let us know where we're at and what's expected of us, so it's not a bad thing, you know, that everybody is saying, darn, what's going on, why did we turn it over, why did we miss this shot, you know what I mean. It's a tribute to what we've been doing, how good we've been down the stretch for years, man.



    Q. Chauncey, how much different is it for a team to have to deal with some big holes? If you get the Cavs up ten, 12, are they different?

    Chauncey Billups: We don't know and that's what we've got to find out, tighten up, try to put some pressure on them, try to get a lead, ten, 12, 15 points and see how they respond, you know what I mean. That's one thing we haven't been able to do yet, but we -- that's one thing we look to try to do, though.



    Q. You said you guys hadn't played well since early in the Chicago series, pretty long stretch. That's not something that makes you wonder what's going on with these guys?

    Chauncey Billups: No, man, we don't have time to wonder about that. Like I told the guys, you know what I mean, cats walking around, let's rock and roll, man. 2-2, we got two games at our place, this is a great series, and that's what it's all about. We can't let our play from yesterday affect us tomorrow night, you know what I'm saying. We can't let that affect us. There's great playoff basketball going on and people just need to enjoy it.



    Q. Do you think from the other side they think they're up more than --

    Chauncey Billups: They can feel that way, end of the day it's 2-2. Whoever's going to win needs two more wins.



    Q. Do you think they do feel that way?

    Chauncey Billups: I don't know. I really don't care either. I worry about what's going on on my team.



    Q. You talked about no defense for a 27-foot fadeaway, how about when his teammates are knocking down shots, is that a catch-22?

    Chauncey Billups: They have some guards that are really playing good, man. The young fellow is playing really good right now, confident, knocking down shots, going to the rack. Drew Gooden is playing well, knocking down his shots, and they have the other guys that are putting their work in, so it's not just a one-man show like everybody -- you know, like they make their team out to be. It's not just a one-man game, they have some really good players over there.



    Q. If there is one thing that you could do better, you could magically make sure you guys did better tomorrow, what would it be?

    Chauncey Billups: Do better on our pick-and-roll coverage.



    Q. Defensive more than offense?

    Chauncey Billups: Uh-huh, yeah.



    Q. Chauncey, you said the series against the Cavs cost you against Miami and they stretched it out to seven. I know you can't look ahead, but can you use that as motivation to get the job done earlier?

    Chauncey Billups: We felt that way last year, and, you know, this team is tough and there is there is no way we can look ahead and worry about what's after us, because if you do that, you get complacent and worry about what's not -- don't worry about what's right in front of you, so I'm looking at this series, worrying about what I need to do to get this series done.

    We've got a tough task. The team is playing good and we've got to start playing better. I'm more worried about playing this series right now.



    Q. A tougher task this time than it was last year?

    Chauncey Billups: As of right now, you know what I'm saying, we'll see, you know what I mean, coming down the stretch. But in a perfect world we could win tomorrow and the next game, and it will be over, and we would be talking about something else, but we'll see if we can get it done.



    Q. Chauncey, last year I remember you talking about the same kind of thing, LeBron hitting all these great shots (inaudible).

    Chauncey Billups: Those two guys are definitely good enough to carry a team. I don't think he's in the same place that D Wade was in last year at all, but he's hitting tough shots, that's what he does. When he makes them, it's not like, how do you make those? But he makes them, and D Wade was in a much different place last year than LeBron is now, you know what I'm saying.
     
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Practice Day
    May 30, 2007

    Rip Hamilton



    Q. What's your mindset?

    Rip Hamilton: Our mindset is we won the first two at home, they went home and won the next two, so it's our job to, you know, come out here and take care of home and get a win.



    Q. Is there a greater sense of urgency? It's basically a three-game series at this point.

    Rip Hamilton: Like I said, we want to win. You play for home-court advantage all season. We've got the opportunity, like I said, to come out and get a win in front of our fans.



    Q. How are you and Chauncey doing with more criticism than you guys are used to? Talk about how different things have been the last two games.

    Rip Hamilton: It's nothing, nothing at all. We know that people look at us to try and lead the team. When you win, you get the glory; when you lose, they're on you, and that's how it's supposed to be.


    Q. Do you think it's deserved?

    Rip Hamilton: I don't read the papers so I don't know. Only thing I know is we look at everything, and wins and losses, and we have to come out and get a win.



    Q. When you look at the second half yesterday, today what stood out to you? A few shots go in and it's a different story.

    Rip Hamilton: Like I said, we turned the ball over, late in the game, you know. We turned the ball over a lot more times than what we usually do, and when you lose possession, you know, with a game that close, it hurts. We're usually a better team than that.



    Q. Has Cleveland surprised you in any way?

    Rip Hamilton: No, not although all. They have a great leader in LeBron James, and they have a couple of other guys doing a good job, nothing unexpected.



    Q. They have been able to impose their will early and you guys have been playing uphill for the last four games, what's it take to hit them first?

    Rip Hamilton: We have to be aggressive, fight early, kind of like what we did in Chicago. Win the first quarter, got to get better at that.



    Q. This team's trademark has long been its composure, did you guys think you lost a little of that last night?

    Rip Hamilton: Well, it came down to us turning the ball over and we have to be better than that.



    Q. Do you take lessons out of last year's series or is it more important to take it out of this year's series?

    Rip Hamilton: The last five years going to the Conference Finals, it's nothing new to us. We've been here before, we're doing what we have to be doing, you know, it's something that I hate, we hate, you know, but we've got to get better at it.



    Q. You don't sense it's a do or die given their success at home and your inability to beat them two games there?

    Rip Hamilton: We've got to win, take one game at a time. We don't look at the game in Cleveland. We have to give our fans something to cheer about.



    Q. Does it seem like you missed shots that you normally would make last night?

    Rip Hamilton: Every shot I made was great, you know. I got every one I wanted to get to, and you know, that was the most important thing.



    Q. One of the biggest changes in the way they played is the fact that a guy like Gibson can come up like he did last night.

    Rip Hamilton: Anytime the focus -- LeBron brings so much focus it gives other guys opportunities, and they hit their shots, you know, and we've got to get better at it, sometimes you can deal with other guys making shots, but we've just got to get better at it.



    Q. Most fans are saying the Spurs are going to finish it off on the other end, and that's something that cost you last year, you guys went seven while Miami ended early. Can you allow that to happen this year? Did you want to get this done quick?

    Rip Hamilton: We can't be concerned about what they do on that side, you know.

    Our job is to try to win the next game.
     
  3. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Practice Day
    May 30, 2007

    Tayshaun Prince



    Q. What's going through your mind?

    Tayshaun Prince: Get a win, bottom line.



    Q. Tay, as you look at the last game, can you talk about the things that went wrong down the stretch, things that are atypical of happening to you guys during the game?

    Tayshaun Prince: Just got to take care of the offense better. We had some good defensive stops down the stretch and didn't capitalize on them and we usually do.



    Q. You've been good with when a team give us you a small guy, you're going to take him down the floor and score, what's Daniel Gibson doing that's maybe making you a little more ineffective?

    Tayshaun Prince: It's not him, I've got to worry about Drew Gooden and those guys and the double-team, and I'm just trying to read their bigs and our bigs and see -- match what's on the floor. Whenever a switch occurs or whoever I have on the post is a matter of kind of reading, you know, when the bigs are coming and kind of reading where our guys are on the floor.



    Q. You guys have gotten off to a slow start pretty much every game of this series, can you talk about getting momentum.

    Tayshaun Prince: It's important to get off early, we haven't had any kind of lead in this series, even though it's 2-2, we haven't been able to put any pressure on them at all, so hopefully we can get out of the gate early here in Game 5 and get off to a better start, just kind of make a statement.



    Q. Usually the other team makes the mistakes at the end and you guys capitalize on them, this time you guys are making them, is that something that's messing with your confidence or --

    Tayshaun Prince: Ain't nobody perfect, you know. Even though the majority of time we come through in the fourth and make the right plays, we're not perfect and it's not going to go the way we plan all the time, and in the last game it was uncharacteristic of what we did but at the same time we're not perfect.



    Q. Do you think folks are spoiled by the fact that so many years you guys have made those plays that when you don't make them they wonder what's wrong with you?

    Tayshaun Prince: Yeah, that's part of it, but we like that responsibility because we've been in the position before to be able to respond when we need to.
    So obviously what happened in the last game doesn't bother us at all, but we know the expectations from our end.
     
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Practice Day
    May 30, 2007

    Coach Flip Saunders



    Q. You know, there is a lot of talk about, they feel like this was a game you really wanted, played hard for and didn't get, and in reading the Cleveland quotes, that's a turning point for them.

    Coach Flip Saunders: Well, I mean, we went there to get not one but try to get two, and we had opportunities to get two and we didn't, as they had an opportunity to get two at our place and didn't get any. Both teams have held serve. You play six months to have home court, and what we need to do right now is take care of home court as far as tomorrow night and put the pressure back on them.



    Q. Do you sense any lessening on behalf of the Pistons?

    Coach Flip Saunders: If it would have been a situation where we got blown out and like that, it would have been different but because of where we're at and our guys having been in these situations many times and understanding the situation as much as anything, I think they'll be, you know, they'll be ready to go.



    Q. You've trailed at halftime in all four of these occasions.

    Coach Flip Saunders: Right.



    Q. How important do you think it is --

    Coach Flip Saunders: It's important. We have not put any pressure on them. We haven't gotten into the situation where they've been down nine, ten, 11 points, we've had to do that almost every game it seems like, so we need to put some pressure on them from the beginning and get off to a better start, and put pressure on them and not rely on coming out in the third quarter and turning things and making it a close game as far as starting it in the second half.



    Q. Do you think Chauncey needs to get going, do you guys lose some of your balance when --

    Coach Flip Saunders: Maybe, Chauncey gets going, everything comes around, Rip gets going, that's how we've always been. We've got to put ourselves in a position that whoever has the mismatch, that's who is going to carry us.



    Q. LeBron had nine points at the start of the fourth quarter (inaudible).

    Coach Flip Saunders: He got some tough shots, made a couple of tough jump shots and we didn't give up lay-ups, so I think it's -- I thought there were some questionable calls, really, as far as him going to the basket, that's going to happen, so we just got to -- the biggest thing we got to do is take control of the game earlier and not put it into a position where it's a $500 fine and put them into a position to not be able to take a game over in a close game situation like that.



    Q. It does seem as he goes so goes --

    Coach Flip Saunders: I thought we did a better job, we trapped late the last three, four minutes, and really put us back into the game. I think a lot of people thought it was almost over. We were down eight with three minutes to go, and all of a sudden we've got the ball and Chauncey takes the three to tie the game up with 40 seconds. So I think there's some things we can do to maintain, too.



    Q. How much do you balance the lessons learned from last year versus this series?

    Coach Flip Saunders: Don't even talk about last year. Every series is different, they're a different team, we're a different team, so you have to, you know, learn as far as what you have from the series, and you have to know that we've got four games and basically every game has been decided by three points or less or whatever.
    And I think the biggest thing is no one has been able to take a stranglehold on a game and get into a rhythm, and the first team that is able to do that -- I think the first team that's able to do that and take control, they'll put themselves in a position to win that game, that's what you have to try to do.



    Q. With Webber, the way his production is fluctuating, he's getting frustrated, obviously.

    Coach Flip Saunders: Right.



    Q. Are you at a point where you have to think about changing his role and going with Maxie or --

    Coach Flip Saunders: I think a lot depends on how they're playing, what they're doing, what they're attacking or what we need to do to offset their strengths, and that's how pretty much we've always played that position.



    Q. (Inaudible).

    Coach Flip Saunders: That's what happened in Chicago, it happened in the first, second game here with Maxie, so I think it's the same situation. So our players hopefully know that everyone has to have a sense of urgency when they go out to play, to get things done and for us it's not just offense as much as it is defensively.
    He's still important to us and hopefully he's not going to get into foul trouble and do some things, but sometimes when he's gotten in foul trouble, it's given other guys opportunities to get in there and do well. So you go with those guys.



    Q. As far as the match-up with Gibson, it's whoever is in front of him --

    Coach Flip Saunders: Rip was on him for a while, he got to the line, made free-throws, and our guys have to pay him attention and understand his ability to put the ball on the floor and use his quickness.



    Q. Have you ever seen a rookie get so many borderline calls?

    Coach Flip Saunders: Well, he's aggressive. Usually if you're aggressive, you're going to got some calls, and to his credit he's been aggressive. So from that standpoint he's not playing like a rookie, most rookies aren't going to play that aggressive, but he's playing aggressive with the ball.



    Q. Do you think the injury to Chauncey concerns you?

    Coach Flip Saunders: Chauncey got bumped in the hip, they're both okay.



    Q. (Inaudible).

    Coach Flip Saunders: For us it should be a positive, we should have the ability for Tayshaun or Rip to get going, so we weren't able to take advantage of that, so that was the negative of that. We've always thrived -- teams that have done that in the past, that's always been a plus for how we've played, but we weren't able to take advantage last night.



    Q. (Inaudible).

    Coach Flip Saunders: Yes and no, Dyess had -- we ran some pick-and-rolls, he made a couple big shots, but what they're doing is get a lot of help off and sometimes when you're in that situation you've got to attack and not get into a more of a swing-type offense.
     
  5. lurker

    lurker First Round Draft Pick

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    Ha ha, Roscoe. You posted a parody of a Chauncey Billups interview to cheer us up. Very funny stuff. How did you even think up this answer?
    Now that we've all had a good laugh, could you please post the real interview?
     
  6. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Maybe he should change his name to Mr. No Big Deal.

    That's the real deal player. I don't have time to make up fun stuff right now. lol
     
  7. KGREG

    KGREG All-Star

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    Funny, everbody points out we need better execution, (job duty of the PG) except the PG.
     
  8. anakin

    anakin First Round Draft Pick

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    CB's woes along with the Pistons inability to have multi-dimensional scoring threats i.e. off the dribble, slashing/driving to the net, consistent low post have really become highlighted in this series. If CB fails, Rip is ineffective.
     
  9. KGREG

    KGREG All-Star

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    Rips off the ball movement used to equate to having a slasher. H e opened up so many passing lanes because alot of big men would help on those screens, now we just iso him on the wing, just like last year and that is in nowaywhatsoever his strong suit.
     
  10. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Practice Day
    May 30, 2007

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas


    Q. Are you guys ready for an important Game 5 tomorrow night? How does this team feel?

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas: We feel good. Like I said, after being down 0-2, we have to go home and get the home-court advantage and try to make this a three-game series, and we still realize in order to win this series, for us to win the series we have to win here one of these games. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day.



    Q. What was the feeling in the fourth quarter that turned things around for you guys?

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas: There are no magic tricks, the biggest thing is just the little stuff we did well. We set solid screens, we moved the ball well. (Inaudible) They were always on the floor diving for loose balls. I guess the biggest thing is we didn't really turn the ball over and we played good defense and then we scored points. .



    Q. What would you say the word is to describe the third quarter after watching yourself?

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas: We didn't really watch that much. They pointed out to us -- I don't know, we tried a bunch of different things. The reality is that they turned it up a notch and we really can't sustain them, that's what it really boils down to. I'm sure we relaxed a little bit, maybe being up 10 or 12 points, and then they come out and just kick our butts and get back into the game, and it becomes a dogfight



    Q. Do you draw at all on the success you had in Game 5 last year, or is that too far in the rearview mirror for you guys to think of at this stage?

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas: You think about it, but, you know, if it happens, that would be a great scenario for us. Obviously Game 6 we lost, but, you know, like I say, for us to win the series, we have to win one game here and we all know what Game 7 in a hostile environment means from last year, you know. They really blew us out.
    But we like our chances. All of these games have been close, so, you know, we'll see.



    Q. Last night LeBron was saying he's never been this determined, wanting this so badly, how did he convey that as a leader in the huddle or on the court?

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas: In the regular season there are a lot of dog days, and guys get tired of each other, and tired of basketball, and once the playoff started he's a different person, he's more determined. He took the first bus a lot of times to the games to get a lot of shooting in. All the film sessions, sitting in the front row instead of the back row. So I guess just he realizes what kind of opportunity we have,



    Q. How is he almost like a coach on the floor? We see him in huddles, just kind of encouraging teammates and I understand it sounds like he's doing that more than ever now.

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas: Well, he gets emotional, you know, and we need him. We run all of our plays, especially at the end of the game, through him. So he knows best, you know, who is open and how to get the ball from one side to the other, how to get an open shot for a teammate. So when he commands so much attention you have to listen to him, you know, because he's seen all the defensive coverag



    Q. You're saying that it's a three-game series, two games are in Detroit. How motivating is it to making it just a two-game series and avoid coming back here for a seventh game?

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas: I don't know, you know, we don't look that far. We always take one game at a time during these playoffs, and tomorrow is another game and we'll go out there and see what happens, you know. Hopefully we'll get a win, but like I said, it's an opportunity, you know, and then we go back home and try it again, so take one game at a time.



    Q. Is there any sense among you guys that you kind of rattled their cage a little bit, shook them up?

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas: Well, I just think we match up well, you know. They're more experienced, and they are a very good team, but, you know, from last year to this year we play well with them, and we're a good home team, playing good defense in these playoffs, so we'll give ourselves a chance.



    Q. Do you remember anything about Game 5 last year?

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas: No, each game has been so different and each series has been so different and who knows what's going to happen tomorrow, and so far it's been nail-biters, to the end each game, but I'm sure that (inaudible) all came down to the last two games, so it's going to be tough, for sure.



    Q. The Pistons have been known for their mental strength in fourth quarters the last few years, has it surprising that they have unraveled the way they have last few games?

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas: I don't really think they have. They had some shots that didn't go in, they get frustrated when that happens, and we do that all the time, too. So, when something doesn't go your way, everybody gets frustrated a little bit but you can't look too much into it, because they've been through everything, they've been down by three, they've played back-to-back seven-game series, and they've



    Q. Do you expect Larry to play at all?

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas: I don't know. I don't know, really.
     
  11. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Practice Day
    May 30, 2007

    Daniel Gibson



    Q. Daniel, talk about how important this Game 5 is to you guys to come up quick against Detroit.

    Daniel Gibson: Yeah, it's very important. This is a very big series for us and we know that. I mean, they're coming back home and I know they're going to have a lot of energy, a lot of intensity, I know that the crowd is going to be behind them, but we're looking forward to accepting that ch



    Q. You got a lot of people shaking their head right now in amazement as a rookie for your performance the last couple of games, talk about your aggressiveness going to the hole.

    Daniel Gibson: Yeah, I just try to go out there and be relentless, whether it's going to the basket or playing defense, or whether it's diving on the floor for loose balls, I just try to give it everything I have and try to help my team win.



    Q. What kind of leader would you describe LeBron as? How has he helped you? Is he like a mentor, a big brother?

    Daniel Gibson: He's the best. I really look at him as a big brother, just the way he handles it. I love everything about him. The way he tells you things, you really don't get down on yourself; it's all motivational. Just everything about him is great. It's amazing to see how he's such a great pl



    Q. When you were on the court I think you were pounding your chest and you were in the back there, did LeBron say something like, you know, either congratulations on the play or was he telling you to tone it down a bit?

    Daniel Gibson: No, he really didn't say too much about that play. He knows that sometimes I get a little emotional, but he knows that I'm just out there having fun and enjoying the game.



    Q. Webber gave you a rough shot, do you expect to get more rough treatment in Game 5?

    Daniel Gibson: Probably. My lip's hanging now a little bit. I know those guys, they're tough competitors, so I know if I go into the basket they'll probably put me on my back, but I'll get right back up and go again.



    Q. Do you think winning tomorrow depends on whether you guys have success in the third quarter?

    Daniel Gibson: As far as me us being better in the third? I know that's big for us. That's been our Achilles' heel. We play pretty good through the first, second and the fourth, but if we can put together a nice third quarter, it might make the game a lot more even.



    Q. What do you think is happening in terms of energy level, because I know the Pistons are coming out very strong but the energy level of you guys, everyone in the locker room last night (inaudible)?

    Daniel Gibson: Yeah, it's kind of tough. I'm not pretty sure I can put my finger on exactly what it is. I think we are a team that really needs to buckle down in that third quarter and get better at it, but we are just hoping that we come out this time around with a lot more intensity and hope t



    Q. Is it a similar situation to last night where you have to be ready to start but Larry perhaps starts and comes off the bench?

    Daniel Gibson: I'm just coming into the game, yeah, with the mindset of just getting ready to get out there and play. Whether I play ten minutes or 30, I'm just going to go out there and give it my all.



    Q. You're unveiling some things in your game that we haven't seen, that you're more than just a spot-up shooter?

    Daniel Gibson: Yeah. I know this time of year teams have a scouting report on you, and I know teams think that I just shoot three-pointers, but I really think I have a lot more to offer as a basketball player, getting into the paint, getting my teammates shots.

    So you definitely want to pull out everything that you have in your arsenal around this time of year to win games.



    Q. Daniel, the Piston backcourt has always been so consistent throughout these playoff runs, I'm sure you feel good about what you've been able to do to contain them, but isn't there a part of you that's expecting that the more games you give them, the more chance they're going to break out?

    Daniel Gibson: Yeah, Rip and those guys, we're definitely ready for them to have a big game but at the same time my approach is going to be the same; continue to go after them, continue to make every shot they shoot very tough and just continue to play them hard.

    We know that those guys are great guys and eventually they're going to start making the shots, and do the things they do, but as long as we continue to play them hard, I think we'll be fine.



    Q. What has been happening over the last 24 hours? Has your phone been ringing off the hook and your e-mail, have people been saying "hey, man, you're my boy now that you're getting some love?"

    Daniel Gibson: I got a lot of phone calls after the game, but it's kinda been cool. I enjoy it, just knowing that the city of Houston is behind me, where I'm from, and everybody is pulling for me, and it really feels good to know that everybody is in my corner.



    Q. Did you have to turn your phone off so you can concentrate?

    Daniel Gibson: No, I like it ringing. (Chuckles.)



    Q. Daniel, what are the top two things that LeBron has taught you?

    Daniel Gibson: Preparation, the way that you prepare yourself mentally for the game. Also going out there and enjoying it, not letting the moment, you know, overwhelm you, just get out there and have fun with it and take it in stride, and in the end just try to win, just do whatever it takes



    Q. I know you weren't here last year but how much are you taking your cues from what he does in the fourth quarter, his aggressiveness, his attitude?

    Daniel Gibson: Yeah, I mean his passion for the game, I think it goes -- it runs through everybody. When you see a guy with that much passion, and wants to win, and he wants to win that bad, it really rubs off on the rest of the team and you can see the way everybody goes out and pre



    Q. Daniel, how did you get your nickname?

    Daniel Gibson: It's something that my mom gave me. When I was little I liked to play with the big guys, and I used to get beat up a lot, and I used to come in the house crying and so she kinda called me "cry baby booby," it all kind of ran together.



    Q. Why are you so comfortable in this setting? It's been three, four days in a row where you've had the spotlight on you, you seem to --

    Daniel Gibson: I love it. (Laughter.) I just like to have fun, smiling, have fun, that's my whole thing. It's really great to have this opportunity, and it's all a blessing and I like it.
     
  12. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v PISTONS

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Practice Day
    May 30, 2007

    Mike Brown




    Q. Coach, what have you guys done to slow down Chauncey Billups or, at least the numbers, hold him down?

    Coach Mike Brown: He had 23 last night.



    Q. In the fourth quarter, when people are used to him getting big shots, he didn't and overall a downturn, the points are down.

    Coach Mike Brown: We just try to make him work. I tell our guys, contest every shot he takes and try not to foul because he's very good at drawing fouls. And with our coverages, we're trying to mix it up, we're trying to blitz him a lot so that he can't come off and get clean looks all the time with the pick-and-rolls. Sometimes we're dropping, sometimes we're switching, we're just trying to do what we can to see if we can junk it up as much as possible so he can hesitate just a few seconds.

    And then in the second half we put LeBron on him, just a bigger guy. LeBron has guarded point guards before for us, and we do that from time to time. So we just put him on him most of the third and most of the fourth quarter.



    Q. If you had to boil it down to a word or two, what would you use to describe the third quarter?

    Coach Mike Brown: "Pistons basketball." Yeah, two words, "Pistons basketball." Just aggression. They're aggressive on both sides of the floor, and we have more turnovers in that third quarter -- I think we had 18 total turnovers. When the four games are combined, we have more turnovers in that third quarter than any other quarter, you know. In the firsts I think we had nine total and if you combine all the seconds, we have ten, if you combined the fourths, we have ten, but in the third we have 18 turnovers, and that's because they're getting up in our chest and they're making us shoot jump shots, and we're shooting 32% from the floor compared to the 48%, or something like that, they're shooting.

    It's the only quarter throughout the series where our assists are less than our turnovers.



    Q. LeBron said yesterday he knows "It can catch up with us if we don't fix it." How much of a factor do you think it's going to be in the game tomorrow if you guys can't fix it?

    Coach Mike Brown: Well, it's huge, you know, if you take all the other quarters' average, we've outscored them first, second and fourth quarter but not by a lot, because it's a great team, but in the third they're outscoring us by, I think, seven points and when the score is as close as it's been, to outscore a team consistently by seven points in one quarter, after four games, it can mean a lot. And it can catch up to us if we're not careful.



    Q. A lot of observers are saying from a mental aspect that your team has taken an edge, your thoughts on that?

    Coach Mike Brown: No, I don't think so. The Pistons are too great of a team, and Flip has been deep in the playoffs before, and same with their entire ballclub, so I don't think we have any edge over them. The one thing I do know is we're a confident team and we worry about ourselves, but I do feel like we're a confident team, we have been in the situation where we were down 0-2 before, and we didn't panic, and our philosophy is one day, one game at a time anyway.

    So I know I'm not smart enough to look past the one game, and hopefully our players follow my lead. I don't know if that's good or bad to follow my lead, but hopefully they follow my lead and take it one day, one game at a time.



    Q. Can you reach into your motivational speech bag and try to pull out what you pulled out last year before Game 5? How did you get these guys motivated back then?

    Coach Mike Brown: No, I don't have a ton of motivational speeches. Sometimes, every once in a while, I'll go back and -- Pop was good at those, and he was real subtle. I might steal something he had and throw it at our guys. But other than that, I just tell them how it is, "Hey, guys, we got to win, but it's going to be tough." And they're a good team and we have to play hard for 48 minutes in order for us just to have a chance.

    I just try to keep it simple and keep it real and our guys have done a great job of responding.



    Q. Can you describe what kind of leader LeBron has been, especially in the last two games. Everyone is talking about how he made the tough shots, but how important has his leadership been?

    Coach Mike Brown: Well, he's been setting the tone for us. He's come out in Game 1 and especially, we were going to the hole but we were trying to avoid the shot getting blocked and all that other stuff, and the same sort of with Game 2, but LeBron in Games 3 and 4 he led by example to start, by coming out and being aggressive and attacking the rim and attacking bodies. We know we're going to get hit, you've just got to take that hit and step to the free-throw line and knock down the shots.

    So his actions, or aggressive actions, especially at the start of the game and going into the fourth quarter, him showing maturity by leading by example in an area that was lacking in the first and second game. Also you can hear him when he talks, the things that he says, there is no panic to it. We were flying today and Danny Ferry -- I don't read the newspaper, Danny Ferry was reading it sitting across from me and he said "look at this," and I said "what is it?" And the Indians -- I don't know much about baseball but the Indians lost three games on decisions this year by the refs or officials, which meant they should have won, but the refs made a certain call and they ended up losing, I assume. And Mark Shapiro, who is their general manager, was quoted in the paper as saying, "Hey, that's not why we lost the game. We're a no-excuse team," just like LeBron James said. And I'm thinking, hey, here is the general m

    So for LeBron to say that and believe that, it has an effect and people are going to follow, not just me and the players, but apparently other GMs and other players in other leagues.



    Q. There was an instance where LeBron called the guys over, you started over to the huddle and backed off. Is part of that ownership in letting him do that?

    Coach Mike Brown: Always, always, and it's any of my guys. If I look in the huddle when we take a time-out and I see somebody sitting in my seat and telling the team something, and I see guys talk, I wait, even if that means I can't say anything during that time-out except for, go get 'em, because they're out on the floor playing, and I want input and feedback, and I want to see and hear what they're feeling out there. But most importantly out there I want them to take ownership of what they're doing, because ultimately when it gets down to it, I got a nice-looking suit, I stand on the sidelines with my glasses and all that, but they win the ballgames for us. You know, they win the ballgames for us.



    Q. How's Larry doing today? Last night he was wondering how the day would go and wasn't sure how he could recover in time for tomorrow. What are you expecting?

    Coach Mike Brown: I don't know, I haven't really talked to the doctors about him or anything like that, you know. Something like this, he's just got to get treatment and we'll find out tomorrow right before the game. I know it's a little sore but other than that, I don't know.



    Q. Mike, is it okay using him if it's just for the first ten minutes of the game or something, because like after the second half he didn't advance much on that leg coming out?

    Coach Mike Brown: Yeah. You know, he's one of our guys, and if he can play and he wants to play and the doctors say it's okay, then I'll play him. And if I think it gets to a point where he's limping too much or it's bothering him or hurting the team, then I'll pull him. Or if the doctors think it's bothering him or hurting him, we'll pull him and we'll let somebody else go after it.



    Q. Coach, after the series, at least in Detroit, there were people who said, "how can they think they can beat the Pistons when they didn't add anything to their team?" And now we see Daniel Gibson kind of come in, is he enough of an addition, something different from last year, that can come in and provide that spark?

    Coach Mike Brown: No, we've got to play perfect basketball to beat the Pistons. It's a great team and they've been here many times before. It's not easy, we have to play perfect basketball for as close to 48 minutes of basketball as possible, in order to win. But having said that, we are confident if we do that, we are going to give ourselves a good chance. But you can't add a new piece and show up and go beat these guys because they're too resilient and too tough-minded.



    Q. The fact that you have two games here, does that give you any --

    Coach Mike Brown: You mean playing here?



    Q. Yeah.

    Coach Mike Brown: Last year we got blown away in the first two games, and as long as our guys understand it's one day, one game at a time, each game is its own separate deal and it doesn't matter what happened in the previous game, it doesn't matter if the game was close or we get blown out like we did last year. We've just got to go out there and execute and win. And we feel confident that if we do we have a chance, we're going to give ourselves a good chance.
     

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