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May 30, 2007

Flip Saunders


Q. You know, there is a lot of talk about, they feel like this was a game you really wanted, played hard for and didn't get, and in reading the Cleveland quotes, that's a turning point for them.
COACH SAUNDERS: Well, I mean, we went there to get not one but try to get two, and we had opportunities to get two and we didn't, as they had an opportunity to get two at our place and didn't get any. Both teams have held serve. You play six months to have home court, and what we need to do right now is take care of home court as far as tomorrow night and put the pressure back on them.

Q. Do you sense any lessening on behalf of the Pistons?
COACH SAUNDERS: If it would have been a situation where we got blown out and like that, it would have been different but because of where we're at and our guys having been in these situations many times and understanding the situation as much as anything, I think they'll be, you know, they'll be ready to go.

Q. You've trailed at halftime in all four of these occasions.

Q. How important do you think it is --
COACH SAUNDERS: It's important. We have not put any pressure on them. We haven't gotten into the situation where they've been down nine, ten, 11 points, we've had to do that almost every game it seems like, so we need to put some pressure on them from the beginning and get off to a better start, and put pressure on them and not rely on coming out in the third quarter and turning things and making it a close game as far as starting it in the second half.

Q. Do you think Chauncey needs to get going, do you guys lose some of your balance when --
COACH SAUNDERS: Maybe, Chauncey gets going, everything comes around, Rip gets going, that's how we've always been. We've got to put ourselves in a position that whoever has the mismatch, that's who is going to carry us.

Q. LeBron had nine points at the start of the fourth quarter (inaudible).
COACH SAUNDERS: He got some tough shots, made a couple of tough jump shots and we didn't give up lay-ups, so I think it's -- I thought there were some questionable calls, really, as far as him going to the basket, that's going to happen, so we just got to -- the biggest thing we got to do is take control of the game earlier and not put it into a position where it's a $500 fine and put them into a position to not be able to take a game over in a close game situation like that.

Q. It does seem as he goes so goes --
COACH SAUNDERS: I thought we did a better job, we trapped late the last three, four minutes, and really put us back into the game. I think a lot of people thought it was almost over. We were down eight with three minutes to go, and all of a sudden we've got the ball and Chauncey takes the three to tie the game up with 40 seconds. So I think there's some things we can do to maintain, too.

Q. How much do you balance the lessons learned from last year versus this series?
COACH SAUNDERS: Don't even talk about last year. Every series is different, they're a different team, we're a different team, so you have to, you know, learn as far as what you have from the series, and you have to know that we've got four games and basically every game has been decided by three points or less or whatever.
And I think the biggest thing is no one has been able to take a stranglehold on a game and get into a rhythm, and the first team that is able to do that -- I think the first team that's able to do that and take control, they'll put themselves in a position to win that game, that's what you have to try to do.

Q. With Webber, the way his production is fluctuating, he's getting frustrated, obviously.

Q. Are you at a point where you have to think about changing his role and going with Maxie or --
COACH SAUNDERS: I think a lot depends on how they're playing, what they're doing, what they're attacking or what we need to do to offset their strengths, and that's how pretty much we've always played that position.

Q. (Inaudible).
COACH SAUNDERS: That's what happened in Chicago, it happened in the first, second game here with Maxie, so I think it's the same situation. So our players hopefully know that everyone has to have a sense of urgency when they go out to play, to get things done and for us it's not just offense as much as it is defensively.
He's still important to us and hopefully he's not going to get into foul trouble and do some things, but sometimes when he's gotten in foul trouble, it's given other guys opportunities to get in there and do well. So you go with those guys.

Q. As far as the match-up with Gibson, it's whoever is in front of him --
COACH SAUNDERS: Rip was on him for a while, he got to the line, made free-throws, and our guys have to pay him attention and understand his ability to put the ball on the floor and use his quickness.

Q. Have you ever seen a rookie get so many borderline calls?
COACH SAUNDERS: Well, he's aggressive. Usually if you're aggressive, you're going to got some calls, and to his credit he's been aggressive. So from that standpoint he's not playing like a rookie, most rookies aren't going to play that aggressive, but he's playing aggressive with the ball.

Q. Do you think the injury to Chauncey concerns you?
COACH SAUNDERS: Chauncey got bumped in the hip, they're both okay.

Q. (Inaudible).
COACH SAUNDERS: For us it should be a positive, we should have the ability for Tayshaun or Rip to get going, so we weren't able to take advantage of that, so that was the negative of that. We've always thrived -- teams that have done that in the past, that's always been a plus for how we've played, but we weren't able to take advantage last night.

Q. (Inaudible).
COACH SAUNDERS: Yes and no, Dyess had -- we ran some pick-and-rolls, he made a couple big shots, but what they're doing is get a lot of help off and sometimes when you're in that situation you've got to attack and not get into a more of a swing-type offense.

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