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May 30, 2008

Flip Saunders


Q. Could you just give us some insight, just what you told your team after this obviously devastating loss?
COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: Yeah, just as you said, it was a tough one to lose. I just thank them for all their effort they had this past year. It's always tough when you don't reach your goals of where you want to get and you're close to getting there. But I guess, like I said, I thanked them for their effort and their commitment.

Q. Obviously the loss is still fresh in your mind. I know it's not at the forefront of your thoughts, but just your thoughts on what this will do to your future in Detroit?
COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: That's not a good question to answer right now. Just thinking about just playing the game and the loss. I'm sure that's something Joe and I will sit down and evaluate.

Q. Talk about how it got away from you in the fourth quarter. And please talk about Rasheed and his struggles tonight.
COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: Yeah, we had some good looks, whether it was we ran out of juice in the fourth or whatever, because we played at such an energy level to get back in the game. The third quarter we got up 70-60 and within a short span the lead was cut, and they had built -- had some momentum going at that time. It just got to a point where we couldn't make a big shot, which we had been making some shots to keep us in the game, and they got to the free-throw line a lot, got some points at the line, KG and Pierce, those guys made some big shots.

Q. I know you're paying attention to your own team, but forth quarter you mentioned Pierce and Garnett. It seemed like they came out with a different kind of a will?
COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: Yeah, Garnett had some rest from being in foul trouble earlier, but they ransom decoy stuff as far as Rondo, got the ball to the weak side. Pierce had some ability, too, created some opportunities. We didn't get up and trap when we needed to. If you don't trap them at the point of attack, what happens is they string you out and then the balls comes back to Garnett and he can knock down 18-footers or he can make the pass, and he puts a lot of pressure on you. I told Doc, they played well. It's tough as a team to go through the season that they did and the grind that they have as the No. 1 seed, to be where they're at when everyone is shooting for them. So it's a credit to what he's been able to and what their team has been able to do.

Q. You knew Kevin back when you guys were in the Conference Finals. What do you imagine this is going to mean to him?
COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: Well, I think he's one of those players, I always said, he happened to be a great player that just never happened to have a ring. To get to The Finals, I'm sure it's something that that's all he ever talked about, but I'm sure he's not satisfied with that, that he wants to win a championship, too, kind of solidify who he is and what type of player he is.
As I said after the game, I wish him luck and he'll go out and he'll compete.

End of FastScripts

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