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June 11, 2004

Chauncey Billups


Q. Is Larry Brown by far the most demanding coach you've ever played for? And now that you're at this level here in the Finals, do you kind of see the method to his madness and it kind of pays off now?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Rick Pitino was pretty demanding, too. But Larry is, he's pretty demanding. You know, I could see the method before the Finals, you know what I mean, way before then. Like I said, he gets a little crazy sometimes, but we always know that it's all about the game. He just only wants to win and that's the bottom line, and he wants to make you a better player and he wants to win. No agendas, nothing like that. He cares about winning and he truly cares about the guys. You know, when he's going crazy and things like that, you can respect it more than anything because you know that he cares, man.

Q. It seems, though that he's harder on you than mostly than anybody else on this team. Has it ever been difficult for you to deal with this year?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Oh, yeah. Oh, yes, there's definitely sometimes when, you know, we've been into it and it's been tough, you know what I mean. And he is, he's tougher on me than anybody. He's just -- and that's his reputation. He was tough on point guards; he was a point guard, so he knows how the position should be played. But he wasn't a scoring point guard, you know what I mean, so it's a little difficult. We both have to sacrifice some things to make it happy, because he was just a pure point guard. I'm a scoring point guard, so it's a little different. But we've got a great relationship, man and I think my game has really expanded because of Larry.

Q. Coach said you'd like to have your best game in the series in the next game because they are going come out so fired from the game last night. What do you expect from them in the ensuing games?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I expect them guys, especially Shaq and Kobe, to be overly aggressive, very aggressive. Shaq scoring 14 and Kobe 11 are probably two of their worst games, or their worst game together since they have played in any Final game. We expect them to have an explosion. We are going to be very aggressive defensively, helping Tayshaun on Kobe and helping our big guys on Shaq, try to combat that a little bit. So, we do, we have to play a very good game and we know that this probably will be one of their best games of the series, too.

Q. Can you talk about the evolution of the pick-and-roll on this team and how there's some problems earlier in the year, what those problems were and how you had to get through them as a team.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, you know, this offense, we run a lot of pick-and-rolls on this team. We have some problems, you know, just some little technical problems on pick-and-rolls, just stop and not going too fast and getting -- you know, we had a lot of times earlier in the season when I'll be running pick-and-roll or Rip would or Ben and the other big fellow would get an offensive foul because we were going too fast before the pick got there. We are still not perfect at it but we are a lot better now. Yeah, it's, you know, we try to exploit that a little bit and like I said, we got a lot better, but we are still not where we can get, you know.

Q. Lindsey was talking about necessity for the team to play desperate coming off a victory, that it's more challenging to come back after a win than perhaps the loss in Game 2. Can you talk a little bit about that.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: It is. After a loss like we lost in Game 2, I think it's a little easier to come back and play hard because you feel like you've got to kind of validate that. You've got to validate that really you had the Game 1 and you're so mad still and you're so frustrated that it's kind of easy to come back and play hard. But after a big win, you don't want to get into a situation where you're feeling yourself and feel like you've done something. Really we haven't done anything. We're playing at home. If you're a great basketball team, you're supposed to win at home. So we haven't done anything yet. We've won one game at home. We are up 2-1, and 2-1 is not like 3-0. If we win within L.A., we are up 3-0, now you can sit a little comfortable. 2-1 is a long ways from 3-0, and we understand that.

Q. Back to the pick-and-roll again. Do you expect that they are going to really jump on you in Game 4, really try to hit you hard and maybe pressure you further up the court like they did at the end of the game?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I think they might make some changes on the pick-and-roll. I know late in the game, Kobe stepped up and guarded me, and I would love the challenge of him guarding me for the entire game, because I think him checking me 94 feet and me running off a lot of pick-and-rolls will not be good for them on the offensive end of the court. He's going to be tired having to guard me. So I welcome that. I welcome that. I think that would be good for us. It was the same kind of thing last year when we played in the first round against Orlando, and I got going and T Mac stepped up and wanted to guard me and he did that, and he was so tired in the fourth quarter, he could hardly score. I welcome that. I think they will do some different things maybe on the pick-and-roll side, maybe turn it down the baseline, not letting me come on the top of it. But you've still got to worry about Rasheed and Elden and the kickback of those guys, so it's a tough cover however you play it.

Q. Certainly the series is far from over, but you read all season about how the Western Conference playoffs and Western Conference Finals will determine the champion and East was sort of a JV. Were you offended by that and do you feel you have opened eyes about the play in the Eastern Conference?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Definitely. We definitely took offense to that. All year long, they called us the junior varsity Conference. And we played everybody, we played everybody, the Lakers, Minnesota, the teams that they played and had the same success. We play in the Eastern Conference and maybe the bottom part of the conference isn't as strong as the Western Conference bottom, but I think the top three teams in the Eastern Conference is just as good as the top three teams in the West. I think we are proving that right now. You know, people have got to wake up. They have got to wake up and we're trying to make them do that.

Q. You guys look like you're playing with an unbelievable energy and hunger out there, where does that come from? It's been talked about because of what different pieces, discarded pieces -- is that part of what's driving you guys right now?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, you know, that's part of it, and part of it is just the disrespect we feel of people not even thinking we had a chance to win one game in this series. We traveled a tough path to get to the Finals and we worked very hard, just like the Lakers did to get here, and nobody, nobody gave us a chance, was disrespectful. So we play with a chip on our shoulder, man, and we're coming out there with a lot of energy and we know that individually, we probably can beat this team. But as a team and as a unit, the way we've won the entire year, we feel like we've got a chance.

End of FastScripts...

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