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June 7, 2004

Chauncey Billups


Q. How important was it to control the tempo of the game in Game 1 and how integral will it be to keep that for Game 2?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: That's one of the things that we are trying to do is try to control the tempo. We know this team likes to get out and play in transition and get involved in the high-flying attack that they always do. It's our job to try to control that, try to slow it down when we get a chance, get a good looking shot or try to get to the free throw line. When we can get our defense set, we are a tough team.

Q. Do you expect to have a big change from them for Game 2 on that?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I'm sure they will try to push tempo a little more. They will make some adjustments, I'm sure, but we are just going to try to stay consistent and do the things that we've done. You know, if they make some adjustments, we are pretty good at making adjustments on the fly during the game.

Q. Ben Wallace said you and Rip have been essential in regard to team defense by making the opposition play the entire court. How much pride do you take in that?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, I mean, you know they are the reason why we can do that. You know, when you've got two guys back there in Ben and Rasheed, you know, that gives me and Rip and Tayshaun a lot of confidence to pressure up and play guys man-to-man, the whole court because we know that if they get by us that we've got help back there. So I think it's, you know, not just me and Rip. I think it's everybody. It's everybody. We are just very cohesive out there. We know that once we get beat, that next man is right there to help.

Q. How has playing the point for Larry different from some of the various coaches that you've played for over the years?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, Larry, I mean, he's just, he's a perfectionist and he played the position professionally and he was very good at it. He's just very demanding and he thinks, you know, it should be played a certain way, the position, the point guard position should be played a certain way, and he's going to try his best to not stop teaching that until you get it, until you get it. I'm kind of a different situation for him because he has not coached a point guard who is a scorer, and has the ability to score. His last couple point guards, Eric Snow and Mark Jackson were just pure, very good point guards and me I'm kind of like a lead guard, I can make plays, as well as those guys, but I have the ability to score. So it's been a little different for both of us.

Q. Is it uncomfortable at all?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: At some times it is, sometimes it's a little uncomfortable because you do something your entire career, since I've been playing that's what I've been doing. To try to change it now and let it be a little different now, it takes a while before it becomes second nature to you. It's a learning curve. But like I said all along, the struggles that I do have sometimes with that, you know, I'll become a much better player because of that. But in the meantime, it's going to be some struggles.

Q. Can you talk about just how it feels to dominate a Hall of Famer like Gary Payton the way you did last night or would you expect he'll come out extra fired up tomorrow?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I don't think it was domination. I got shots and knocked them down. I'm sure, you know, he'll be playing a lot harder tomorrow. He's proud, you know, he's got a lot of pride. He's dominated this league for ten, 12 years and he's been the best point guard in the League. So, it felt good for me to play good and all of that, but, you know, it's a long series, man. It's a long series. They are going to make some adjustments. He only shot three or four shots yesterday. I'm sure that won't happen again. It's a long series, man.

Q. Early when Shaquille and Kobe and Phil were in here, they were saying that what happened last night was more them, not doing certain things and you all maybe taking them out of their sets and making them a little uncomfortable, could you address that because that seems to be their mantra through the whole post-season whenever they have fallen behind, and how does that make you feel in terms of maybe not getting the just due in earning the victory last night?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, I mean, you've got to give us some credit. I don't care who it is and what happens. You've got to give us credit. You know, we played good. We took -- we took those guys out of a lot of their sets and offensively, you know, we hit shots. So you can't discredit what we did. But at the same time, when you're an elite team, you always feel like when you lose, it's something you didn't do. When we lose games and the games we've lost during this post-season, we felt like, you know what, it's something that we didn't do. We didn't execute this or we let them catch the ball where they wanted to; it wasn't what they did, it's what we didn't do. When you're an elite team and you have the utmost confidence in the players that you have, you know, you feel like it's something that you didn't do. Whoever wins the game, you know what I mean, the other team, didn't do something, you know what I mean. So, I agree with him, you know what I mean, because I feel the same way when we lose. It didn't make me feel one way or another, because like I said, I feel the same way when we lose games; it's something that, you know, we didn't do.

Q. How much of a mentor has Joe Dumars been for you, and also, how much of your game is just straight out patterned after Joe's game?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, Joe's been, he's been great for me. My early struggles in my career, you know, I finally got into a situation where the management and the coaching staff, they have the same amount of confidence in me as I have in me. I haven't had that, you know, and that's meant everything for me. Joe, he's just been fair. He's just been fair. He believes in me. He believes in what I can do and he let's me know that. I haven't been around a guy like that that's in the front office since I've been in the League, so that's been beautiful for me just to have that stability. As far as my game and his game, I mean, I was a huge Joe Dumars fan. I watched his games a lot, but not really until I really got in the League and got to real playing, not when I seen the close similarities of our games and our demeanors on the court. It's kind of crazy. He was unbelievable, man.

End of FastScripts...

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