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May 28, 2006

Flip Saunders

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

FLIP SAUNDERS: We've got to find a way to get a win down here and try to get home court back at our place to get that same feeling.
Q. Are you feeling a lot of pressure to get back to --
FLIP SAUNDERS: Not really. I think we're, like I said -- no more pressure than ever before. Any time you're in a situation, you're ultimately -- ultimately there's 30 teams in the league and there's 29 that are unhappy. Ultimately the bottom line is you want to win the whole thing, and everything else becomes pretty much second fiddle. Miami felt that last year when they lost in the Conference Finals, and Detroit felt that way last year when they lost in the finals.
Q. Is it different with this team, though, since they've been there before and you come in and basically you're the only difference?
FLIP SAUNDERS: I don't look at it that way. I mean, like I said, every year is different. The challenges are different as far as every year. Teams are different. Even though we've got our same five or six guys, there's other guys on the team that haven't been there. I think you look at it that way. I don't look at what's happened in the past because history has no bearing on what's going to happen in the future, otherwise every team that won it in the past, they'd win it every year. That's not how it goes.
You've got to live with what you have, and we're somewhat -- with Sheed being banged up, we've been a little bit different as far as in the past.
Like I said, we've just got to worry about the game ahead and take one game at a time and try to put ourselves in a situation to beat Miami, get back home, try to take care of business and try to prolong the series.
Q. Talk about Rasheed, what's going on with Rasheed right now? He seemed to be extra frustrated last night. Can you talk about that?
FLIP SAUNDERS: I mean, Sheed -- I thought Sheed last night, he's playing definitely hurt with his ankle, there's no question. He's getting banged a lot and that's preventing him from getting good spots on the floor a little bit. I thought defensively he did as good a job as any of our guys protecting the rim. Last night they came out and they were extremely physical and aggressive, and I think that him and the other guys were somewhat frustrated given the effort -- he's okay, he got things going okay in the third quarter, and hopefully what we've got to do is we saw some of those things on the film, we looked today, and hopefully we can put them in a situation where we can have more success.
Q. Tayshaun, was that great defense last night, or what can you do to help him out?
FLIP SAUNDERS: Tayshaun is a guy -- we run things, and he's a guy that plays off other people. Last night's game, you can take Game 1, and it was almost the spitting image. They shot a high percentage the first half. We shoot 50 percent from the free throw line, they go to the free throw line, the first Game 1 time, last night three times. It's a lack of aggressiveness as far as protecting the paint. We had low assists and high turnovers. When you have low assists and high turnovers, Tayshaun is a guy that plays off other people and it negates a little bit the strength of what he really does.
Q. What do you say to a guy like Rasheed to get him to regroup mentally to come back from a frustrating night like that?
FLIP SAUNDERS: I mean, he's a guy that every day is a new day for him. He'll come back and he'll -- very rarely will he come back and have two poor -- what you might say not up to his caliber performance. As I said, he's one of our most intelligent players that we have. He'll look at situations, he'll look at the situation, and he's a guy that has the ability to adjust and adapt to situations pretty well.
Q. (Inaudible).
FLIP SAUNDERS: The biggest thing, we can't let them score as many points in the paint. They scored 50 of their 80 points in the paint, and those points in the paint were within about eight feet of the basket. We've got to try to get them out of their comfort zone. Last night they were very much in their comfort zone.

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