home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 23, 2008

Doc Rivers


Q. Can you just talk a little bit about what you addressed with your team as far as how to get that first road win in these playoffs?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, we haven't addressed it yet. We're going to watch film today and just go over some adjustments. We don't look at things as far as getting our first playoff win. We just look at adjustments as far as a basketball team.
The other stuff will take care of itself. We can't go out and say, guys, this is what's got to happen for us to win a road game. We're going to go out, we're going to watch film, we're going to make some adjustments, and will they, and then we're going to go out and play a basketball game.

Q. Can you just talk about offensively for two games you guys have played pretty well. Obviously defense last night, especially in the second half, fourth quarter, was the issue. Anything they did differently that they just executed so well in that fourth quarter?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Yeah, throughout the game I really thought they made plays. They just played a lot of plays, and I don't mean that -- physically we were pretty good, broke down some of their offense, and then they made plays. They got loose balls, they made the extra ball swing, ran the space, and then they made shots. You've got to take your hat off to them. But we can be a better defensive team than we were last night. When we watch the film our guys will see that.
They made shots, and clearly they made plays, but if we're going to want to win this series, and we do, we're going to have to be a better defensive team than we were last night, and we can be.

Q. Is their versatility kind of the way they can -- is that their toughest trait right now?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Yeah, but we knew that going in. What makes Detroit good is you can't really hone in on one guy. Obviously in the two previous series we've had, LeBron and Joe Johnson, even though they had players around them, clearly they were the focal point, where on this one Rip is probably number one as far as trying to get him the ball, but Chauncey, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, McDyess has been terrific, and now, if you add Stuckey into the mix, they have five for-sures and six guys on certain nights that they can go to.

Q. Both Rip Hamilton and Paul said last night that one thing you did was you guys were a strong-side defense team and they attacked the weak side. Or is it just a matter of playing better?
COACH DOC RIVERS: It is a matter of playing better. They tried to do that in Game 1 and we were there. In Game 2 we didn't make the rotations as crisp and solid as we were able to. In Game 1 we attacked them, we were the first-hit team, we pressured them. In Game 2 I thought it was the exact opposite on both ends of the floor. Obviously offensively we still had good numbers, but I still thought they attacked us for most of the game.

Q. McDyess, it always seems that there's somebody that leaves him alone to help other people (Inaudible).
COACH DOC RIVERS: We want to get to everyone and we want to get to their shooters. The difference between here and other series which we've had so far, all five of the guys on the floor can shoot. You're never playing three against five when you play Detroit; it's five against five. A lot of McDyess' challenge and we've got to go a better job of running him off the shot, making him put the ball on the floor for a dribble and taking that kind of shot. I believe we have the ability to do that, and quite honestly we haven't done that in Game 1 or 2.
He's their X factor right now. A lot has been made about Stuckey, and obviously he played terrific, but McDyess has been solid in Game 1 and 2, and we have to take some of those shots away.

Q. If I can follow up, I know that you talk about what's happened on the road in the postseason, and usually the response is, well, I really wish I could answer that question. Can you think back to what made you guys such a good road team during the regular season and how it can apply to now?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, yeah, we know what made us a good road team. We executed well on the road. We didn't turn the ball over, we rebounded well and we were a great defensive team. We haven't done all those. We've done some of those things, we just haven't done them all for 48 minutes. And in the playoffs, you have to.
Obviously we know Ray, Kevin and Paul, we need them to play well. We need others to play well, and others are going to play well through execution and happenstance, and that's offensively. Defensively we just haven't had a great effort defensively, and I think that takes care of that, and I really think we'll be fine. We'll be fine on this trip coming out.

Q. One of the things that has kind of come up with this team throughout the playoffs and was mentioned last night was the amount of fouls. Is there anything you can do that -- you mentioned it, Ray mentioned it last night. Anything to do to not give Detroit those free passes to the foul line?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, stop fouling (laughing).

Q. Beyond that, though?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Yeah, get in better body position. This is something we talked about before the series. This is a body position series for us. We have to have our bodies squared, in front of their bodies, not on the side and not reach-in. This cannot be a gamble series. I think most of our fouls have been led to by bad switches, bad gambles, another player has to make up for it and it leads to a foul. We have to be more solid defensively. I thought we got away with it in Game 1, and I think they took advantage of it in Game 2.

Q. A question about there's so much focus on defense and disappointment about rotations. Taking another look maybe at the positive, it's been two games in a row where the shooting percentage has been up, but you guys have scored when you had to most of the time, and I think that's probably been a problem on the road as much as anything as well as you look at the defensive numbers. Is that a good sign that we saw last night and maybe from Game 1, as well?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Yeah, I believe it is. I mean, especially in time-outs we haven't had a problem getting good shots. Whether they go in or not, and fortunately in Games 1 and 2 they've gone in, but we have to do a better job of getting stops. That game came down to one team getting a couple of stops and the other team not down the stretch. I mean, that one stretch, it was like we call a time-out, we score, they call a time-out, they score, and then it came down to making plays again. They got two loose balls, one for a rebound, and Rip Hamilton's rebound, and then they score. Rip Hamilton with four seconds on the shot clock makes a play and makes a shot. That's what it came down to. I think that's how series the will be played.
I think you have two pretty good offensive teams. You also have two very good defensive teams, and it's still going to come down to making stops at the end of the game. But we are confident that we can get our shots when we want to.

Q. Tayshaun Prince made some big plays down the stretch last night. What's the key to stopping someone like him who's so dangerous on both ends of the court?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, he's a good player, you know, and defensively he's a great defensive player. Offensively he's an opportunity player. They don't run a lot of plays with Tayshaun Prince, and he's just an opportunist player. He allows you or let's you or lulls you to sleep and he makes great cuts. And we have to have better body awareness. Again, I go back to the bodies. We allowed him to cut in front a lot, we allowed him to get behind our defense and losing sight of him. You know, it's a matter of execution defensively, and we have to do a better job.

Q. You said last night that you thought Game 2 was a fatigue game. Did you sense some fatigue on the part of your guys? And is that one reason you gave them today off?
COACH DOC RIVERS: We had planned that before the game, win or lose. I was giving them the day off. I just thought with the grind of Game 7, Game 1 and 2 was going to come quick, in between Game 3 was one day to give them off because we have tomorrow to watch film and to shoot around, and sometimes I think you need a mental break. So we're taking one, and we'll be fresh tomorrow.
I don't know, I never use the fatigue card. I've seen it mentioned a couple times. I did think before the game, if there was going to be one, it would be that. I don't think it was physical fatigue, but if you want to say there was some mental fatigue in that game, in my eyes watching the film, we absolutely had that.

Q. And is that maybe when you're talking about some of the defensive rotation and some of the gambling, some of that mental fatigue?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Yeah, and the lack of ball movement in the first half. I thought we took quick shots. I thought we bailed Detroit's defense out in the first half continually. We have five assists in the first half and ended up with 19 for the game. That can't happen, either. I thought it was on both ends.

Q. Throughout this playoffs, really the last couple of series, you get demonstrative sometimes when you want guys to push the ball up the court. It's not all the time, but at what moments do you want your guys to go in the transition and really push the ball? Because it doesn't always happen when you want them to, but it seems like there's times when you want them to slow it down. Is there a philosophy on that?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Yeah, I want them to push it up every time. That doesn't mean we're pushing it up to take a quick shot. I can't stand when we walk the ball up the floor. It just, you know, you're playing a good defensive team, and you're going to need to change sides of the floor with the ball, and if you walk up the floor and you burn seconds off the clock, you know they're going to help off Rajon, you know they're going to help off Perk. You need the extra seconds to get the extra ball movement, that one extra pass. This is makes and misses. I've probably been more upset at them when they make the ball. We take forever to take it out. We walk the ball up the floor and then we get in our set. We did it a little bit in Game 1, we did it a lot last night. We can't afford to do it.

Q. The thing we hear most often after games, probably when you have a road team that comes in and wins a big game is the players all say, hey, yeah, it was us against the world, I love that situation. I relish the crowd against me, that kind of thing. How do you get your players in that frame of mind?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, I think that's always a good frame of mind. I think every coach in America, from soccer or hockey or anything, if they can get everyone to think that way, it's good.
You know, the great thing about Detroit and their crowd, they're probably going to allow you to feel that way anyway. They have a tough crowd, and it'll be a great atmosphere. Having said that, I just think when you get on the road that's how you feel anyway, you really do. You're with your travel party that comes along with you. Other than that, there's nobody pulling for you, and it's kind of nice in some way.

Q. Can you foster that any more over the next few days?
COACH DOC RIVERS: I don't know if you can foster it, I think you have to. I think going through the first two rounds and playing three road games in each series, I think our guys pretty much get that.

Q. The last thing to follow up on that is the Pistons have someone in Rasheed Wallace who just the other night who was sort of picking -- not picking a fight with the crowd, but he sort of got into it with the crowd and went back and forth with a few people, and the idea was to get him and his people hyped up. Who do you think it is on your team who most rallies guys, not necessarily starts yelling at the crowd, but who is it on your team that fosters that feeling the most?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, I don't know if Rasheed does that consciously, I'll say that. I don't know if we have anybody like that. We have a great bench. Our bench excites the other crowds because they're up, they're yelling all game. Our bench during the game is as live and as active as any bench in the league, and to me as a unit it fosters that same result.

Q. Are you pondering tinkering with what you've got out there again? You had mentioned last night the prospect of bringing Sam back?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, we're always thinking about it. It's not like you stick and stay with one lineup throughout. Just watch all the playoffs. Like I told you the other day, I'm watching San Antonio, Michael Finley sitting on the bench, and (inaudible) is laying in front of him all of a sudden. You go with what you think is going to be the most effective way to help you win a game. Always the key to that is if your players can handle that. We have a group of players that have been able to handle it, and really that's been the key to our success this year, that the egos are out of the way. They understand that we're trying to win games.
Yeah, we always think about that, though. That's what we do in our staff meetings is we talk about not only game planning X's and Os, we talk about different match-ups and rotations. That's what we do.

Q. You may have touched on this a bit last night, but as much as you said he was effective, despite not scoring a lot, what does it mean to this team if Ray can build on what he did in the second half last night?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, it can only help us. But having said that, we've got to be better defensively as a team first. I've kind of allowed you guys to just keep doing the Ray talk, and as you can tell, it hasn't factored into our game as all. We played the same way. Ray made some shots, that got him more confidence, which was great, but the idea is to win the game. I would feel much better about that, and that's what we're going to keep focusing on. We're not going to focus on any one guy getting it going or not. We've got to win the game.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297