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May 24, 2007

Flip Saunders


Q. Coach, since the lottery the other night, there's been a lot of talk about just the lottery system and things like that. What are your thoughts on the way the lottery system works now?
COACH SAUNDERS: It seems like everyone wants to change it every year depending on whether you win or lose. I don't think there's any perfect scenario. I think that what the league has done, the commissioner has done, has done what they can to make it one where teams stay competitive at the end of the season and that's one of the reasons the lottery came into effect. They tried to change the weighting systems to make it better for teams that are low in the lottery. But also I think it's perception.
You know, there's a couple teams that are of course extremely disappointed, both Memphis and Boston. Like Boston, for instance, or Memphis, they had the best chance of winning the lottery or second best as far as in Boston, but they also had 81 percent chance of not winning it. So their chances of not winning -- getting a No. 1, first or second pick, was better than winning it.
So I think -- I don't think there's anything that's a perfect situation. Right now it's about as good as it can be.

Q. As an Eastern Conference coach obviously you don't mind seeing two impact players go out West, but in terms of overall league balance of power or whatever, do you think that just weights the Western Conference even more?
COACH SAUNDERS: Well, I mean, things have a tendency to even themselves out. You went through a situation where you had Dwight Howard, you had LeBron James, you had Bogut, you had Kwame Brown, so there was a lot of years that the No. 1 pick was coming to the East and not going West.
Like I said, so it's one of those things that's -- that's why they call it a lottery. It's chance. Usually in the long run everything works its way out, it just depends what players are available that year.

Q. Could you talk a little about just what you guys were able to do to keep them from getting out and running as much as they want to because they've talked about that's something they're going to look to do tonight?
COACH SAUNDERS: Part of the reason we turned the ball over is we threw it out of bounds, we had turnovers and didn't give them an opportunity to run off of some of their turnovers. I think it's the whole tempo of the game. Our tempo was slow and very methodical, how we were playing, and I think their tempo was slow. What happens is I think sometimes when you start defending a team that's playing very methodical it's difficult to methodically defend and turn it up as far as when you get the ball on the offensive end. So I think it was just the whole tempo of the game more than anything.

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