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June 21, 2005

Chauncey Billups


Q. Chauncey, can you tell me where this team gets its mental toughness from, because it's really hard to come back after this game you lost in Detroit and play the way you played tonight.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, I think it's just really a collection of all of us and all our struggles that we've been through and all the adverse times that we've had to overcome, all really combined into one. That's why I think we're -- sometimes I always think we're in situations, we're down at times but we're never out. Like I said, we just always fight and scratch and bite and pull ourselves out of that corner that we always back ourselves in.

Q. Just to follow-up on that, can you talk about the satisfaction of doing it tonight, it was a must-win situation, and this team has come through in must-win situations before; can you just talk about the satisfaction of forcing this Game 7 ?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, I think this is one of our best wins with our backs against the wall just because, you know, it's the best team that we've played against with our back against the wall and it's the Finals. You know, we haven't won in this building in years, so it was tough. We knew it was going to be tough, but we look forward to that. We take that challenge on, head-on every time. I thought it was just a great team effort by everybody.

Q. Can you also talk about forcing a Game 7 , what that means?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, it means everything, you know what I mean. We go back to the hotel instead of to the airplane. (Laughter). It means everything. I mean, I think that the NBA, this is what it's all about, man. You're in The Finals, it's Game 7 , two best teams in the league. Don't get no better than this.

Q. I know you guys didn't blame Rasheed for the Game 5 loss but he told us this morning that he felt responsible for that. Can you talk about what he went through the last couple of days and how he personally reacts when he feels he has not done well and how he wanted to come out tonight?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, nobody blames Sheed. I think a lot of y'all did. He made a tough play. I blame myself for a couple of those easy misses that I had that I know I can make. I felt the game won't even have been that close. So everybody in that last four minutes said, dang, this is what I should have did, this is what I didn't do. It's been a tough couple of days for Sheed because he's taken so much heat, but he knows that we believe in him. That's why we came out and established him very early today, and it was just unbelievable. He was there, focused, for 48 minutes the entire night and gave it his all. That's what he does. We're so much better when he does that.

Q. Can you talk about how emotional he was tonight and how involved he was even when he wasn't on the board?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, he was. He was very emotional. He was very vocal. Even when he was on the bench in foul trouble, he's screaming out their plays, screaming on our plays, he's just Rasheed. I think that tough situation he went through the other day just really made him sharpen up his concentration today and his focus level. We're going to need that from him again in Game 7 , and we're going to need it from everybody.

Q. Ginobili had five turnovers tonight, you had none. Can you talk about what you're doing to protect the ball so well?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I think we're being patient. I think we're being patient. This team is an unbelievable defensive team we're playing against, and if you get impatient, they are going to make you pay. They are going to make you pay. We are not really forcing things like we sometimes do when we get a little antsy. Tonight was just a great effort. We were patient in all of our plays and our sets and on our breaks. We got, you know, the things that we wanted. We were happy with that, so you know five turnovers, that's really unbelievable, especially against a team that we're playing against.

Q. Chauncey, were you at all surprised that Tim Duncan did not get any touches in the last few minutes and did you think Manu was forcing a little bit at the end?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: With Duncan, I didn't really know that until just now. I was into the game, I was just so focused that I didn't realize that. He was rolling. He is an unbelievable player and I'm sure they will look back and say that we have to give him the ball. Manu, he had it going so easy, so early that I don't know if he was forcing. I just think that he was trying to take advantage when it's a pick-and-roll situation, just be aggressive and get him to the basket. You know, I don't know if he was forcing it. Those shots that he were shooting, he makes. It seems like he always -- it seems like he always makes them against us, but just not tonight.

Q. You often talk about picking your spots with your shots, how much of that space on the score board and the emotion that can sway the Game one way or the other by hitting one?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, it's tough to pick them sometimes. Tonight I had to really focus in on it and in the game just be in this series and on the road, being on the road especially, you shoot a lot of those long shots and miss, they get off into that transition game that they are so great at. Today I thought I picked them pretty good and just knocked them down, some of them, not as many as I would have liked to. You know it was just a great team effort from everybody. I thought Rip was great. Sheed, of course, was impressive and unstoppable. Tayshaun, between, had so much energy, Dyess was good, Lindsey pulled a gutty effort with his ankle and things. It was just really everybody that made us win this game today and that's the only way we can win.

End of FastScripts...

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