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May 28, 2007

Chauncey Billups


Q. LeBron was saying leading up to the game, "Okay, I'm the leader. I need to lead my team in the fourth quarter."
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: (Inaudible). In the fourth quarter I was ready for him, hit a couple shots, but like I said, he's just too good, too good. I've got to give it to him. He hit a lot of shots, fadeaway three-pointers, and he's been known to hit bad shots, tough shots. He did that last night.

Q. (Inaudible).
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Just winning. I don't really care how good I'm playing. As long as we're winning, y'all know that. I never play for stats or nothing like that, I play to win. But I have played better, of course. But as long as we win, it doesn't really matter.

Q. Do you know what's going on with your shots?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, my shot has been fine. Until yesterday I hadn't really gotten over seven shots, seven looks. Actually I got some really good looks yesterday. I think I had like four good looks early in the first quarter; didn't knock them down. But yesterday I shot bad. Other than that, my shot is fine. I think the turnovers are our biggest thing for me, you know what I'm saying?
My shot, I'm not worried at all about my shot.

Q. When was the last time you were in this kind of a rut, if I can use that word for it?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I've never been in one like this as far as turning the ball over. My shot, look, shooters shoot, your shot is going to be on and off. I've had a tough stretch this year with my shot, and I'm not in that at all, which I'm happy about.
You know, like I said, I've got to start playing a little bit better for us to win. They're a tough team, it's the Eastern Finals, and us as a team offensively, I think we've got to play a lot better for us to win.

Q. Do the turnovers make you a little tentative or take away some of your aggressiveness as you're trying to keep in control?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: No, not at all, no.

Q. Is being more aggressive, though, sort of what you're thinking you need to do to change some of that?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, it depends. I mean, I pick my spots. There's times in the game when I do need to be a little bit more aggressive and there's times when I need to take a step back, but that's nothing new. That's how I've always played. That's what I do.
It's funny, when you have a couple tough games, you know, the way it always plays, I pick my spots to take over sometimes and I fall back sometimes, and now it's like, man, everybody wants to take over for the whole game, and I've never been like that, you know what I'm saying? That's not going to change the way I play, change my game. I haven't been playing out of character; I'm doing what I do.

Q. You usually don't get too concerned about things, but does this stretch have you at all shaken?

Q. Are you confused at all about what's going on out there because you said you haven't been in a rut like this in a while?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: No, I'm not confused or concerned. You know, like I said, I could be taking care of the ball a little better. I had five turnovers yesterday via my travels, you know what I'm saying, not throw-aways, travels, but I'm not concerned at all.
Like I said, could I be playing better? Yeah, no doubt about that. But I'm not concerned.

Q. Do you think they didn't really trap you yesterday? Were they doing anything different?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: We didn't run as many pick-and-rolls yesterday. We didn't run as many pick-and-rolls. We had C Webb going to the post, we had Sheed going -- the times that I did run a pick-and-roll, they trapped me.

Q. How much does the series kind of come down to (Inaudible)?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I mean, I think you look at any series, there's only four teams playing right now, you know what I'm saying? Any teams like us, two really good defensive teams, are going to be tough, grind-out games every night. That's what it's been every single game, and I expect it to continue like that.

Q. Have you talked to your mom? Who's the one who's giving you good support right now?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: (Laughing) You act like we're down 3-0 and I'm having like three points. Come on, man, it's not that serious at all. It's not that serious. We're up 2-1, Eastern Finals, chance to win Game 4. It's not that serious.

Q. You said yesterday that if either you or Rip happened to be on, you'd be up 3-0.
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, then none of this is going on. Nobody is talking about nothing. We have two all-stars that haven't been playing like all-stars. And when you have that going on, when your all-stars aren't playing that great, it says the winners are going to be slim, you know what I'm saying? They're going to be slim. That's exactly what I said. If me or Rip get going yesterday, we win the ballgame because even with us not playing that great, we have a lot of chances at the end of the game to win. We still had a lot of chances. They hit some tough, tough shots to kind of ice it, and we couldn't catch up with them.

Q. I think people may be just a little weirded out because you're doing things we haven't seen you do before as far as the turnovers. That's why I think people are a little bit overanalyzing or overexaggerating a little bit.
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: And I understand. If you look at those situations at the start of the season, they said, look, the only way we've got a chance is if you cut their head off every single time. They know we run a lot of pick-and-rolls, so that's a big part of our offense. If you trap somebody and don't let them play, it makes it tough. It makes it tough. That's what you're seeing.
We're starting to make some adjustments. I had 14 shots yesterday, so I feel good about just having some more opportunities.

Q. Is there a strategic response you guys can make?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: There's some things that we try to do, but sometimes you go through a game and other things start working. That's fine, too. Whatever works, I don't care, whether it's me or whoever.

Q. Is there someone in particular in them, long arms, that is really creating a problem individually?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Not a particular person. They've got a particular two or three guys, you know what I'm saying, at one time that makes it difficult, not one guy.

Q. This is different for you and Rip. This usually happens for one game and you guys roll out of it. It's kind of a different thing for both of you to handle, isn't it?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: It's different because most times, a lot of times one of us might struggle, have a tough night, but at the same time, we haven't really seen a lot of that. So it's different, it's different.
Like I said, that's why our team is such a great team is because of that. We've got guys that are capable of stepping up and having big nights.

Q. Is there a concern that if it doesn't change that you're in a little trouble?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Man, we've got Game 4 tomorrow and we'll see what happens. I'm not concerned at all.

Q. You pride yourself and your team prides itself on you can score from any point on the floor, or any number of guys can, but does it come down at all to you and Richard Hamilton when it comes to setting a tone?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, we go into every game with a different way. Sometimes we say, all right, look, we're going to go in the post, we're going to make them play us out of the post first four or five plays. Sometimes we say, all right, Rip, come with some energy, we're going to run the up screen, see how they're playing down screen. Let's see how they're playing. We've got LeBron guarding.
It's different every night. But with that being said, a lot of these guys, our whole entire team looks to me and Rip to lead and to take big pieces of the responsibility, and we're always good for that. We never make excuses and say this is going on, that's going on. If we don't play good, we don't play good. We don't say that. Ain't no running around that. That's what leaders do. That's what leaders should do.

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