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May 22, 2008

Richard Hamilton

Rodney Stuckey


Q. This first question is for Rip: Everybody is talking about how the Boston overloaded the strong side in the last game and managed to shut you guys down pretty well. How did you attack that defense tonight?
RICHARD HAMILTON: Well, I thought that, you know, everybody knows what they do defensively, how they load up on the strong side. But I thought the thing that we did tonight that was different than Game 1, when we made cuts and we made moves, it was all in motion. It wasn't just like a guy got the ball on the wing, allow them to set their defense, one guy on the corner, now -- they're good at that.
But we just kept motion, coming off screens, coming off curls, making them react. I thought the guys did an excellent job of moving the ball.

Q. This is for both guys: The Celtics, this is their first home loss in the playoffs. You guys also were the first team to beat them in the regular season here at home. Talk about being able to do that both in the regular season and here in the playoffs.
RODNEY STUCKEY: We all know Boston is a great team, so we have to bring our "A" game. You know, tonight we just came out, like Rip said, with energy, and we jumped on them. We know we had a lead but we let them back in it, but we didn't give up fighting. I tried to come back in third and fourth quarter, give us a little more energy off the bench, and our team just finished it out.
RICHARD HAMILTON: Like Stuck said --

Q. Talk about the magnitude of the win.
RICHARD HAMILTON: Like I said, it's a big win, but we don't settle for less. We don't look at it as undefeated or at home, we looked at it as an opportunity to get a win. I thought guys knocked them down. We played with a lot of intensity and got a win.

Q. This is for both of you: Could you guys talk a little bit about Chauncey tonight. We talked about him trying to get back to being himself, and it seemed tonight he did a lot of things you guys are accustomed to seeing.
RICHARD HAMILTON: One thing I told Chaunce, you ain't got to be over-aggressive out there. You can take your time and be the captain of our ship, and we'll try to do a good job of helping you out on the offensive end and the defensive end. I thought tonight he just stayed poised, stayed poised, directed us, put guys in positions to succeed.

Q. Rip, everyone has been talking in this series about the Celtics' big three and you guys are used to this place in a series where there's stars on the other team. What do you guys do time after time that maybe doesn't get the big headlines?
RICHARD HAMILTON: Well, like I said, first of all, I thought Stuck was terrific tonight. I think he was big off the bench. Huge, making plays, when we needed plays to be made.
You know, it's always a good challenge. You look at the team with Ray and Kevin and Paul, it's a challenge for us. I mean, we live for this, you know. It's exciting for us, and we just did a good job of coming out and trying to take care of business?

Q. Rodney, you talked all year about how you weren't fazed about being in this situation, playing, starting, whatever the situation was. But we are talking about the Eastern Conference Finals and your team was facing a pretty serious game here. Talk about your emotions. Did you ever feel like the situation you were supposed to be nervous?
RODNEY STUCKEY: Like I said, again, I'm never scared. I'm not nervous. I've got Rip, Chaunce, Sheed, Tay and all these guys behind me and Lindsey Hunter, and they keep me poised and confident every day. Just being around them and them always being poised and confident gives me the extra energy and confidence that I need as a player and as an individual.

Q. Rip, just talk about what they should expect, the atmosphere on Saturday, and how good are you guys at home.
RICHARD HAMILTON: It's going to be crazy. We've got the best fans in the NBA. Everybody knows about the Palace at Auburn Hills. We're geeked about getting back to our home court. Our fans are excited, and now it's our job to go and take care of home court.

Q. Rip, talk about your game down the stretch, particularly that shot right at the buzzer.
RICHARD HAMILTON: Well, the one thing I wanted to do was stay poised. When I was coming off curls, KG and PJ was trying to hedge out real hard. So I believe in Dyess and believe in Sheed because them guys can hit that shot at, I think, 90 percent clip. So I just wanted to do that. And then when I got the opportunity to get a switch when KG was on me, I just try to attack him because I know everybody had to stay home when we've got Chaunce out there, Tay out there and the two bigs. So I just tried to be aggressive and get to the basket, and I hit the shot.

Q. Talk about the one they made in the third quarter and how you guys kind of took the punch and then countered. Their calling card is defense but you guys got those stops when you needed them.
RODNEY STUCKEY: Well, the game is made of runs. We knew that the Celtics are going to make their run, but we just had to fight back. They made the run early and we did ours late, and it paid off.

Q. Rip, just your thoughts on McDyess, just these first two games. He's been pretty consistent with that mid-range jumper and what you saw from him.
RICHARD HAMILTON: Like I said, with them always loading up on our strong side, our bigs are going to have wide open shots because they hedge out over-aggressively. We've just got to find them so they can make a play.
Like I said, we're just confident in everybody out there. Dyess is always in a situation where he can shoot a shot. Everybody knows he can shoot, him and Sheed, so I thought they did a great job of getting in position to shoot the ball.

Q. Can you talk about how you guys operate as a unit, as a backcourt and how you guys go out there together.
RODNEY STUCKEY: I mean, we know what each of us can do, so we play at our strength. We don't try to play at our weaknesses. I know when I'm in the game with Rip he likes to come off screens and he doesn't stop running. When I'm in there with Rip, I try to have him coming off screens and screens, and try to get him open like that.
But we've been playing with each other all year, we have confidence in each other, and we're going to continue doing this throughout the playoffs.

Q. This is for either one of you guys: Talk about just the confidence you guys have going into the game, knowing how you guys have played at home and knowing how Boston has struggled, particularly in the playoffs, at home.
RICHARD HAMILTON: Well, like I said, they've been playing great here at home. We knew that coming into the series. We thought that Game 1, we just let one slip because we didn't play with the intensity we needed to to win the basketball game. Tonight it was like, okay, guys, all year long, we say we love each other, we say we care about each other, now when we go out there, don't leave anybody hanging. I thought we did a great job of not leaving anybody hanging, not just on offense but on defense, and we did a great job of getting the win.

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