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May 22, 2008

Flip Saunders


Q. Flip, you had a couple real key plays in the last minute. One was the inbounds play to Chauncey with about 18 seconds left and you got a lay-up. Why did that play work so well?
COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: Well, one, I think Tayshaun made a great pass off it, number one. And defensively they overreact on a lot of things. The initial guy we were looking for was we thought -- we thought that we'd run a double curl and we might get Rip coming off of that, and get him a shot coming. But what happened is Rasheed set a great screen and we bottomed out the weak side with Lindsey, and Tay had a great look late to Chauncey at the rim. It was a huge play at that point.

Q. You had a bunch of good possessions in a row at the latter stage of the second quarter. Did it feel like that was the first time in the series where you guys were doing what you wanted to against them?
COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: I think a little bit. I think as you play against teams, you start getting it a little bit as far as what they're doing, so players can adjust. We got pretty intelligent guys that can adjust to situations. I thought they did a nice job. We got in situations, hey, let's get to spots and play basketball and trust yourselves. I thought we did that. I thought we had very good concentration for most of the game. They were pounding us on the glass early. The first half we were down ten, but still, we were able to come out with a lead at halftime, which I thought was huge for us.
When they made the run in the third, we had some uncharacteristic turnovers, but for us we had some great plays from some guys. I thought McDyess did as good a job as you can do on Garnett, and Garnett made some unbelievable shots. And I thought that Stuckey was unbelievable. For a guy that you see his maturation from the beginning of the playoffs to where he's at, into a situation where basically he carried us at times in the second and -- in the second half at times he was making plays, making shots and just putting a lot of pressure on them.

Q. Paul Pierce was just here saying that you guys have the most underrated backcourt in basketball. What do you know about the personality of your guys that in big games, especially when the guys on the other team are getting attention, what do they like to do about coming up big?
COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: Well, I think not just our backcourt, I think our whole team is like that a little bit. A lot of these guys that we have have been on other teams and other teams traded them, so we all have kind of come together, so they share a lot of the same philosophies.
The biggest thing about it, they have a lot of trust and confidence in each other, and when you know that your teammate has your back for you, you can go out and play with a great amount of confidence, a great amount of aggressiveness, and I thought that's what they both did.
Both those guys, Rip and Chauncey, really have the ability to shoot the basketball, so they can put a lot of pressure on teams. Tonight we got in the bonus, we got to get to the free-throw line, they're 90 percent free throw shooters. And defensively they work, and I thought our whole backcourt, whether it was those two, whether it was Stuckey, Lindsey Hunter, I thought those four guys really did a nice job for us tonight.

Q. Did you do many tweaks with your offense or did you just run your stuff better?
COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: I think we ran our stuff better. We kind of went back to more of our basics, actually, and ran our stuff better. Let our guys make more reads. Like I said, our guys are starting to understand a little bit how they help out. They're such a good defensive team on the strong side. We emphasized spacing and ball movement, and if we do that and not turn the ball over, we've got a chance to have some success, which we did tonight.

Q. Offensive adjustment, on the defensive adjustment did you try to front more, throw more zones in? Even though those guys scored on points did you think you made them work harder?
COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: I thought we made them work harder. I thought McDyess did as good a job as you can do on Garnett. We tried to limit his touches to make him not as much of a facilitator, especially in the post. He got a lot of points in the perimeter, got some points in quick-hitting type plays, but I thought overall he did a nice job. I thought we had good weak-side help. We gave good weak-side help, and made them, as far as work, got a lot of shots. They made some tough shots, but I thought our defense was solid overall.
We changed some things. I think we tried to get to where we had a little bit more simplified and we knew exactly what we were gonna do and we tried to dictate where we wanted to send them. Whether that's reacting to them, we wanted them to more react to us.

Q. What did you do to counter that third-quarter run that the Celtics put on you?
COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: Well, one, these guys, we've been through a lot. Our players, they've been here six times, and what we did is we kept our composure. We had some guys that made some big shots, whether it was Rip making a big shots in the fourth quarter, McDyess made a huge shot out of the corner, we got big-time offensive rebounds late in the game, Rip had one, Tay had one, Dyess had one. But I think more than anything else they trusted each other. They've been through this, and the composure, and they knew the importance. I knew we would play well coming in here tonight.
I thought that last game, we've done that all three series we've played in. The first road game we played not very well on the road, and the second game we've come back with a lot more concentration and played better, and we did that again tonight.

End of FastScripts

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