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May 31, 2005

Chauncey Billups


Q. Chauncey, talk about the first half. You guys came out, 17 assists, no turnovers, you seemed to handle the adversity of the 2-1 deficit flawlessly.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, we came into this game very focused. You know, we knew that it was a must-win, basically, and our backs were against the wall. Like I said all along, unfortunately, that's when we're at our best, when we're challenged and when our back is against the wall. You saw that tonight.

Q. It's unusual for a guy to play nine minutes and get two standing ovations from his teammates when he comes off the court; would you comment on Elden Campbell's role for that?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, it's a little tricky because Elden, you know, he knows that this is his time, you know what I mean. That's why we've got so much confidence in him in this series, because he's so big and he's just not a body out there. He can bring us offensive presence. So we notice him out there working. He's an older veteran, so for him to be coming out, giving it his all and fighting big Shaq like that, we just really appreciate it. When he comes in and gives us those great minutes that he gave us today, you know, when he comes out, we're going to let him know that it's greatly appreciated.

Q. With all of the talk about your coach and Cleveland and all that, what does it say about this team that that didn't seem to be a factor at all tonight?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Like I said, y'all are talking about that and whoever else, we've got bigger things at hand. We're worried about the Miami Heat, not what Coach is doing or whatever. That don't mean nothing, you know what I mean. We don't really care about all that right now. We're worried about trying to win a series, you know what I mean, trying to defend our championship, not what's going to go on after the season. We've still got a season to play. That's not been affecting us. They have been talking about different teams all season long with Coach, and who knows what's going to happen, but at this point nobody really cares. We just hope that he gets healthy and right now, we're worried about the Miami Heat and not anything else.

Q. Your offense seemed much better today, on penetration modes you guys were getting to the basket almost every time.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I thought we were very patient. I thought we were very, very patient. We came out with a lot of energy. I thought our defense was a lot better. All of our big guys were in foul trouble but they are going to be in foul trouble trying to guard big Shaq and those guys they have, but their big guys are in foul trouble, too. You know, it came down to really the guards kind of making plays, and even when big men made shots, it was because the guards made plays for them. I thought Rip was huge, he made a lot of plays for us, Lindsey, Campbell, a lot of energy, Tayshaun was big. All of us played pretty good, you know what I mean, and I just thought it was a well-played game by us.

Q. Talk about you guys going into the fourth quarter, they had made a run at you and cut the lead in the third quarter.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: You know, the fourth quarter usually is our time. Games 2 and 3 is when we crumbled in the fourth quarter. We had the lead the both games and we ended up losing, and that's not what we do. But we are playing against another great team, so I think they willed their way to wins in fourth quarters and usually we're the ones willing ourselves to victory. Today we came in with a nice lead, and just said, "keep playing the same way." We've got to play to win, not play not to lose. I think the last two games we got up, we started playing not to lose instead of just playing to win. Just play the same way.

Q. Can you talk about your long-range shooting from the 3-point range and also your floor game. You had seven assists, no turnovers and the Pistons as a whole had 27 assists on 57 baskets.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I got some pretty good looks. Tonight I felt pretty good. Even a couple of the shots that I hit was contested, but I was feeling pretty good. I didn't shoot a whole lot, but I was kind of fishing. Our floor game I thought was good. I just took my time and just hit singles. Instead of trying to hit home runs, just hit singles. I've been focusing on that since that horrendous half that I had in Miami. It was a good game. I thought everybody played good. I thought it was a great team effort.

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