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May 24, 2006

Chauncey Billups


Q. Talk about how things are kind of coming together, the team as a whole. Compared to how you saw them in the regular season, are you surprised or is there that much difference to you?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, they're playing a lot better as a team now. They've added a lot of new pieces, it just don't happen. You just can't put a lot of people together and they just start playing great. It takes some time, it takes some games, and they've obviously through the course of the season got a lot more cohesive.
Q. You guys have been there before where it maybe took the season and then into the playoffs you started feeling it?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: No doubt about it, we've definitely been there before a long time ago. You only get it for so long, but we've definitely had it.
Q. As far as the offense, how much role do you play in that, putting a lot of pressure on yourself to get it going the right way?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I'm not putting no pressure on myself, but obviously I'm a point guard, and the ball being in the right people's hands, it's on me, but I'm not putting pressure on myself.
Q. How did the shots feel to you when you let them go?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: The shots felt good. I can just speak for me. A lot of those shots felt great yesterday. Front rim obviously on a lot of them. If I could get those shots all series, I would be happy with those.
Q. Is it frustrating?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I mean, any time you miss shots that you're accustomed to making, it's always frustrating. But like I said, I felt good about it. I felt good that we got the shots that we wanted, that we said that we needed to get. They just didn't go down. For a shooting team like us, I think if we can get those same shots, like I said, we'll be fine.
Q. I know it's a team unit, but do they need you?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, they need me. They need everybody. Yeah, they need me, but they need everybody else, too. It's a team thing. This is not a Chauncey Billups versus Miami Heat. This is the Pistons. We need everybody.
Q. What kind of a difference is there in an offense after the first couple games of the Cleveland series?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Obviously in the first two games of the Cleveland series, our offense was easier because we got out and got some transition baskets. Yesterday I thought we had a lot of great transition opportunities and just didn't finish those, so I see it coming back, I can feel the aggressiveness coming back, the shots come back, we've just got to knock them down.
Q. Why is it so hard for this team seemingly all the time, six series went six games or more over the last three post-seasons.
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I don't know. If I knew, it wouldn't be that hard.
Q. But your motto, if it ain't rough, it ain't right, what's the message in that for the team?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: We can be down a lot, we never are, though. It ain't over until it's over for us, no matter what the circumstances are, no matter what the numbers are in the series, 3 to 1, 3 to whatever. Until there's four, we're never out.
Q. Do you see anything different from Miami from last year as far as the veterans on the bench? I mean, how much more does that veteran influence help them?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: It's always good to have veterans, especially some guys that have been to the playoffs and have been players throughout their career. It's always good to have that. So the team is a little different, but they have some very good veteran guys like Eddie Jones that I thought was a big key to their team, but now with Antoine and Gary, those two guys, they've proved what a difference they can make in the team.
Q. When Dwyane was out -- (Inaudible).
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: They did. That's what really hurts you; those two guys got 30-something points or whatever, and obviously you kind of focus your offense on D-Wade and Shaq and just try to contain everyone else, and that was our biggest problem is that we didn't contain everybody else yesterday.
Q. How difficult is it from the standpoint of team defense is it to him?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: He's difficult, man, very difficult, because he's always just so aggressive and so elusive out there in the way he attacks the basket, and he can shoot the ball, too, so you can't just give him the jump shot. He's a difficult cover.
Q. Does he compare to anybody else?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I can't think of anybody. He's difficult.
Q. You said yourself you were hitting the front rim. Did you see that with the team at large, too?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, a lot of shots that I shot were just that rim shot, 15, 10-footers, Rasheed, everybody really. You've got to give them credit, man. They came in and did what they had to do. They were fresh and they took care of business.
Q. Has that kind of been the case for a while, though, as far as coming short shooting, the jumpers just not falling?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Not really. Not for me anyway. In the last series I was only shooting seven, eight times a game due to how they were playing me, so I didn't get a lot of rhythm shots. Yesterday I shot 19 shots. I think I only shot 19 shots in the Cleveland series -- that really wasn't the case, but I'm happy with what we've got, I'm just not happy with how it turned out.

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