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May 22, 2008

Doc Rivers


Q. The Pistons counted off the film 53 screens that KG set on the ball. Given that you expect him to get hit, can you comment on the Flagrant 1 that they changed today for Rip Hamilton?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Yeah, I mean, it was instinct. It was flagrant, I can tell you that. We thought that at the time. But again, Rip is a good guy, great guy, and it's an emotional game and that kind of stuff happens. I've done it before, too, and thank God at that time we didn't have Flagrant 1s or 2s. It's just part of the game at times, and it's not a big deal.

Q. Is there something about Rasheed that brings a little more out in Kevin? Just enthusiasm?
COACH DOC RIVERS: I don't think so. I think what brings it out in Kevin is that we're in the Eastern Finals playing Detroit, and Rasheed just happens to be on this team. I think it's more of that than anything else.
Rasheed is an emotional player. He's an extremely talkative player, and so is Kevin. Other than that, you know, they probably talk to each other more than any two players you've ever seen.
But again, it's nothing bad or negative about it. It's good competition, it's clean. The words are not (laughter), but the game is.
That's good by me.

Q. I was wondering if you could share an anecdote or two from your days of coaching with Flip at the Goodwill Games?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, Flip had the best line so far. Before Game 1 we went out and we were just talking, and he says, "What's more nerve-wracking, Game 1 tonight or when we thought Brazil was about to make that shot and we were going to be the first American pro team to lose?" We played Brazil in a semi game, I think it was, and we literally had beaten everybody by 50 points. So there were some close games. They had us beat, we took the lead, and on the final shot, up one, they had the ball. Me and Tom Izzo, Oliver Pernell were sitting there, and at the time the pros hadn't lost, and we were sitting there thinking, we're going to be first.
They never got the shot off. Baron Davis just shut the guy down. But we had a lot. It was a great trip being over in Australia with Flip. We already had a relationship, but that really bonded us; it was good.

Q. It's been a few games now, but can you offer some of the factors as to why you had Pierce start handling the ball as much as he did a couple weeks back, particularly when Rondo is off the floor?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, teams are pressuring Eddie and making it very difficult for us to run our offense. And by using Paul we can still get into some of our sets. It's as simple as that. We anticipated it in the Cleveland series, and honestly, they didn't do it as much, they kind of allowed him to bring it up. We knew it was going to happen in the Detroit series because every time Eddie has come in, that's what they've done.
So we anticipated it, it happened, and we were still able to function. But we've still got to handle that better when Eddie is in. That's an area where they're looking at to take -- they have to be happy with how we played in that stretch, even though we actually extended the lead, it was almost happenstance rather than good offense.

Q. I was going to ask, do you kind of joke with Theo Ratliff or have you had a chance to joke with him by proxy making your team better?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, you know, I talk to him anyway. He was good when he was here. You know, he's just a good guy. I do joke with him some, though, I will say that. But yeah, he's a good guy. I think he helped a lot of our young guys, a little bit like PJ is doing right now with his words as much as his play.

Q. Anything you even say to Ray? Just give him encouragement?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Yeah, we're good. We're 1-0. We're in the Eastern Conference Finals. Again, that's all we look at. That's all we care about.

Q. You and some of the players have talked a lot about the importance of rebounding in this series, what a big rebounding team Detroit is. I wonder if you could talk about that a little bit more and also Kendrick's role, when he had the eight rebounds the other night, and what he has to do in order to hold that down?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, in honor of Bill Belichick, you have to do your job. That's what Perk has to do. We talk about it individually with each guy in their role. You do, that's his job, and he does it. He's focused on it; he has to be. Leon has to be when he comes in. PJ has been phenomenal. Baby if he comes in. We have to control the boards.
We can't give a team like Detroit extra shots because they're pretty efficient at making them, and it gives them another chance to bring it back out, set their offense up, run 20 seconds, and that's not the tempo we want.

End of FastScripts

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