NBA Coach Interviews: Larry Brown
The Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat will play Game 7 of the Eastern conference finals Monday night in Miami. The winner will face the San Antonio Spurs in the 2005 NBA Finals. Here's what Pistons coach Larry Brown said on Sunday:
On if heís ever coached a Game 7 on the road:
Larry Brown: Probably. I donít remember recently but Iím sure I have.
On this being a different kind of Game 7:
Larry Brown: This is much different. I was told that weíve (Detroit Pistons) lost three Game 7s on the road: 76, 86 and 87; all close games so I hope history doesnít repeat itself. But, itís been a great series and itís a great opportunity for both teams. The reward is incredible so hopefully weíll relax and play and have a positive result.
On comparing this atmosphere to the NCAA tournament:
Larry Brown: I always maintained when we got into the tournament that you canít think about losing or making mistakes. Itís one and done. I heard Magicís (Johnson) comments after the game. He was talking about being in Game 7s. He thought teams had tired legs and you didnít normally make the shots you normally make and you have to be conscious of not making turnovers and doing the right things in terms of really executing. He thought it was vital for the point guard to play great. I just donít want us to go in tight; thatís the most important thing and thatís what I always tried to express to my team when we played in those tournaments.
On being sentimental last night not knowing what could happen:
Larry Brown: I told my wife before the game, Ďthere was a thoughtí because you have so much time, it seems like, before games. I thought about it. I also know I want to do this so Iím hopeful that one, we can keep playing for this team; thatís the most important thing.
On if heíll do anything with the team tonight:
Larry Brown: No. We have been in huge games before and I think weíve handled them pretty well. The most important thing is that they (the players) respect who we play. Thereís no doubt about that. We know if we show up and play the right way we have a chance to win. Last night we turned it over six times and had 24 assists. The games that weíve won weíve been pretty consistent in that regard: few turnovers, a lot of assists and rebounded effectively. Weíre going to point that out again.
On why the team watched tape of last seasonís championship run before last nightís game:
Larry Brown: We put it in, it was in the film. We showed them the end of the Jersey series, Indiana series and the Finals series, just brief clips. Keep in mind that when I was with Philly I used to show Kirk Gibson hitting the home run, Isiah (Thomas) getting up and playing on one leg and Willis Reed coming in The Garden because I had Matt Geiger who hadnít played in the playoffs. We were hopeful that he could play and it was to motivate him. He came up to me after each time I showed those tapes and said, Ďboy coach, youíre a genius at trying to motivate the team like thatí. We put in things like that from time to time.
On how long of a wait it will seem until tomorrowís game:
Larry Brown: This is great. I really think this is good for Miamiís franchise to have some excitement in that building. Itís great for our players. We have a lot of young players and this is a great atmosphere for them to grow in.
On this game coming down to which team imposes its will:
Larry Brown: I think itís been evident that the team thatís rebounded effectively, taken care of the ball, gotten loose balls; itís been vital. Itís more important in Game 7 because of the fact that you donít have any time to recover. This is it so you have to make sure that you do everything in your power to make all the effort plays. Thatís why I think both teams have been pretty good.
On the Pistons being 9-0 in close-out games:
Larry Brown: All my friends call me and say we play better when our backs are against the wall and thatí indicative of that (9-0 streak). Even in this series; losing Games 2 and 3 and bouncing back, and losing Game 5 and bouncing back. But, this is the biggest test weíve had. I even think with last year this is a bigger test than weíve had. Maybe itís a lot like going to Jersey in Game 6.
On if heíll go at Dwyane Wade if he plays to test his movement:
Larry Brown: No. Watching him, I think it will affect him more offensively. Heís so acrobatic and athletic but heís had some time to rest. I mean this; I really hope he can play. That team had the best record in the East and had a chance to have the best record. He was such a big part of that and heís been spectacular in the playoffs. I think when you go at one guy you have a tendency to really stop doing what you do best.