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June 6, 2005

Chauncey Billups


Q. Chauncey, can you just talk about what it was like, being on the line, making those two free throws what was going on through your mind at that time and the end result that came from that.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, I mean, I love being in those situations, you know, where the game is near and I have a chance to ice it. I thrive in those kind of situations. I think my team has love for me to do those kind of things. They have that much confidence in me. That was a great game, man, it was a great game, a great series. It was the best series I've ever played in and that's a hell of a team that we beat on their own floor. I think you have to give them a lot of credit. They had a great season. And you've got to give our team a lot of credit, too.

Q. Just talk about what it is about you guys that enables you to get so many contributions from so many different players and how tough it is for the opposing teams.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: You said talk about what?

Q. The contributions from so many players.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: We just have so much confidence in one another, man, that I know that if I'm not hitting, somebody else will be, or if the dribble is not rolling, somebody else is. It don't matter what type of game it is. Whoever's got an open look, we feel like they are going to make it, and I think that confidence just was reciprocated by everybody, guys that come off the bench, everybody. We have that same confidence in one another.

Q. Dwyane obviously had a big third quarter, 12 points, but his 20 points in a game ties it at 60 when he doesn't score any more, did you change anything?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: No, we didn't change anything. We went out with the same scheme. Their players, they are going to hit some shots and get the tough shots that he can make, but we don't let those shots beat us at the end of the day. Rip was great, Lindsey was great, Tayshaun was great, we stayed solid and we got the game turned back in our favor. It was a long grind the entire game.

Q. Your whole season really came down to the last few minutes of this game, how validating is this for you guys? And No. 2, do you think your experience in these situations will kick in during those last few minutes?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, this is definitely validation for us. Once again, you know, we won the Championship last year and people still didn't give us that much of a chance in this series, but I can understand. That team, they dominated that conference the entire season and they have two superstars and some other guys around them that are very good players and are capable of having big nights. I thought our balance is what inevitably hurt them and beat them. We got so many big nights from so many different guys that you can't really, you know, make your defense to stop Rip or Rasheed or Tayshaun. You have to be able to just take what's coming. You know, we change on the fly so much that it's tough. I think our experience being in these kind of situations before and us being together and us being in the foxhole, you know, together before, really helped us in a game like this because we come down and like you said, it's tit for tat most of the game to come down and it's not a high-scoring game, it's a grind. This is a good basketball game, 60-60. I think from that point, we kind of had it our way.

Q. Can you reflect on the whole season, all of the ups and downs of the season. And also, second question, can you just talk about the Spurs.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, it's been a crazy season, man. You know, this season has presented a different challenge for us because now this season, we come in and we're the hunted. We won a championship hunting people down and we was the ones hunting people and now people are hunting us, so it presents a different challenge for us. A lot of times we lost games because we didn't realize how hard people were coming at us. You know, we got everybody's best game, everybody's A game every night, so it was tough. That was tough in the early season, everything that went on that took a toll on our team for a while. Coach Brown being not healthy has taken a toll on our team. It's just been tough, man, but to win the series like this is validation that, you know, we have some tough players on our team and we just always persevere.

Q. And the Spurs?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: The Spurs, I mean, I don't think there's much that you can really say about the Spurs. They are an unbelievable team and are very well coached, they have some great players: Duncan, one of the best probably to play the game ever. They have got some great other guys, their other two main guys, Tony Parker and Ginobili are playing great, they are a very defensive-minded team. I think you're going to see another great series.

Q. Rasheed has had all sorts of foul trouble in the series and he had foul trouble in this game as well, but when it was on the line and you guys needed him, he was there to make big plays. Can you just discuss his resiliency.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Rasheed's unbelievable. I always said that, you know, he's our best player, you know, even though he doesn't come out and demand the ball and he's just so unselfish. We just feel like even if he's not shooting and the ball is in his hands, he's going to make the right play. When he has that ball, we're just kind of at ease out there. He's a great defender, very unselfish, like I said, on both ends of the court. He made plays, man, he made plays and there's been a couple games where he's been in bad foul trouble and still come out and scored 20 points and eight or nine rebounds and playing limited minutes. Today I thought he was great, man, he was great, despite his foul trouble. He was there all the way to the end and he made the big tip-in play, probably the biggest play of the game, and he was great. But we expect that out of Rasheed. He's one of the best in the game.

Q. Did winning this game on their court give you a boost in confidence to go to San Antonio, and thoughts about Bruce Bowen as a defender and do you think it's possible that he might end up on you some in the series at some point, you and Rip both?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, I think a win like this definitely builds some momentum. We are a good road team. I think all of the best teams in the league are good at home and on the road. We are a good road team. You know, we played San Antonio twice this year, split with them. The one that we lost down there was a pretty good game. They kind of controlled the game and most of them came down to the fourth quarter, and the other game was in Detroit and we won that game. It's going to be a tough series. They are one of the best home teams in the game, if not the best record, I don't know. But we're looking forward to it. It's going to be a tough challenge. You know, I just can't wait, man, I can't wait. And Bruce Bowen, you know, he's an unbelievable defender, maybe the best in the game as far as one-on-one wise, and maybe he'll be on me some, I don't know. I know most of the time we guard him, he's guarding Rip all the time. He's just an unbelievable defender. I've known him since he came in the league. We played in Boston together. I know his family, he's a good friend of mine. It's going to be a great, competitive nature out there in the series.

Q. Dwyane didn't look to be 100% tonight, what did you guys see from him as far as his explosion and everything like that and what was your strategy, if any?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, we wanted to play the same way, early in the game, I could tell he really wasn't that close to 100% the way he was playing. The third quarter, I thought he just said, "Whatever with injury, we've got to get this win," and he tried to put the team on his back and came out with a conscious effort that third quarter. But we never changed our scheme, we stayed true to what we thought. Of course Shaq was unstoppable, like he always is. We just tried to once again control their role players and not let those guys have big nights, because when those guys get 16, 14, 11, nine, that's when you're in trouble because you know you can't stop the Big Guy. Two big guys, Shaq and Wade, they are going to get their numbers most of the nights. It's the other guys really that's the key to this team.

Q. Because of everything that you've gone through this season, the scene in the locker room, was that even more satisfying to you this year because of everything?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I think so. I think so. It's a lot more satisfying winning this Conference this year, as opposed to last year. Last year was the first one and it's always sweet. But seeing what we all went through, and like I said, the different challenge this year of already having a championship and getting everybody's A game and still getting to this point again, it makes it better.

Q. What were you guys doing in the locker room? Antonio was saying hugging and shouting, he was just taking it all in, what were you doing?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Just celebrating, just celebrating, hugging, shouting going crazy, some people crazier than others of course. But, you know, it's for the guys that haven't been through it like Antonio or Carlos Arroyo or Dupree, I'm just so happy for them. I'm just so happy for them, and that's the reason why they came here, to get a chance to play for a championship and make it to the Finals. You know, I feel good now because I missed McDyess so much and told him that we'll get back, I just feel good I didn't let him down so far.

Q. Can you talk about what you learned from the Finals last year that you personally will bring back this time around? And also, I wanted to see what you thought about your nickname, Mr. Big Shot?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: The Finals is most of the time a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. God has blessed us and let us get there twice obviously. But, I mean, this is what you dream about. It's what I've dreamt about growing up in my neighborhood, Park Hill, saying one day "I'm going to make it and I'm going to leave a stamp on it." I always felt that. It's just an unbelievable experience. It's a great feeling to know that we're the only game on, it's the best two teams out there, and it's just unbelievable. It's a great feeling. My nickname Mr. Big Shot, it was given to me I think my first year in Detroit when Carlisle was the coach and every time it came down to the last-shot situation, he always gave me that freedom to make the shot or make the play. And I came through a lot of times, not all the time, but it's a nickname that I've grown to like now. I think I've worked hard for it. But Smooth is my nickname from my neighborhood and the one I take the most pride in. I love it. I love it. I think that it's the confidence that I have, I mean, not being scared to fill, you know what I mean. I wanted to get that ball tonight and get them free throws because, you know, I just felt like it was my time and nobody wants anybody else on the line other than me, you know what I mean. I would have felt just as confident if anybody had stepped up there and got those free throws, but I wanted to be aggressive and get that ball and make sure that we could close this thing out.

End of FastScripts...

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