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.