LeBron James interview after Pistons-Cavs Game 4
Tuesday night in Eastern conference finals Game 4 of the 2007 NBA Playoffs the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Detroit Pistons 91-87 to the series at two games apiece. LeBron James on 19 shots had 25 points, 7 rebounds, 11 assists and 3 steals. Here's what he said after the game:
Q. It's 2-2 now going back to Detroit, very similar two last year. Can you take me through the mindset of this team able to get back to this point and make this a whole new series?
LEBRON JAMES: We were definitely a much better team going into Detroit last year. We won the game just because we have more playoff experience. Last year was based on us making the playoffs; this year is based on us getting to the championships, and we have to approach it with the same mentality that we had. Honestly for the first four games we only have two games to show for it.
Q. LeBron, earlier in the playoffs you were talking about the team in the fourth quarter and how you felt good about fourth quarter situations. The last two games were won the game in the fourth quarter.
LEBRON JAMES: Have to clean up that third quarter. Good in the fourth, but that third quarter is going to catch up to us sooner or later, and I don't know what we're going to do about it. We'll have to put our finger on it some way, some how, but we got stops down the stretch and executed on the offensive end and made big shots and that's what it's about.
Q. LeBron, Daniel stepping up big for you guys in key points. Can you talk about what he meant to the team and the spark he provided.
LEBRON JAMES: He definitely gave us a lift throughout the whole game of attacking and getting to the rim. You know, a lot of guys don't understand that Daniel is much better than shooting an outside shot, which I told you guys after Game 3. He got to the line 12 times, made technical free-throws, and it's different when everybody else is up there. It's about talent, I should be a GM someday, I guess.
Q. LeBron, with four seconds left, you're on the line. What are your thoughts that are going through your head?
LEBRON JAMES: Make both and the game is over. You know, I don't want to make the first one, I wanted to make both and there is no way they can win the game with four seconds, and we're smart enough to know if we go up four, don't foul anyone and don't contest, we win the game. I've definitely stepped up with my free-throw percentage and it was something I had to get over with.
Q. Was Rip bothering you? What was he doing there?
LEBRON JAMES: The same thing I did to Gilbert last year. I invented that -- no, no, Scottie Pippen invented that to Karl Malone. But he tried to mess with me and I have to stay focused.
Q. I am going to ask you to put your scouting GM hat already: Break down what was going on with you in the third quarter versus break down what you did so well and what worked for you in the third quarter.
LEBRON JAMES: I missed a lot of shots I usually make in the third quarter, I missed two lay-ups, I missed a wide-open baseline shot, but in the fourth quarter the game is on the line and I live for the fourth quarter. I love the fourth quarter and I told my teammates, get me to the fourth and it's close, and I'll try my best to win the game and I was able to do that.
Q. Drew got called for the technical on Rasheed, how big was that, Drew responding to Rasheed?
LEBRON JAMES: I think besides Drew grabbing eight rebounds and 18 points, what he did on Rasheed was big; he was able to front him and the way he played defense on Rasheed allowed us on the backside not to double Rasheed, and allowed us to stay home, and he did a heck of a job. And to be able to guard Rasheed and score and get the rebound, it was a big inspiration to our team today.
Q. LeBron, how surprised were you that Larry gutted it out, started, give you what he could, and can you talk about what that meant to the team.
LEBRON JAMES: I was very surprised, because I know Larry's history of injuries and -- but when I seen him in the training room with his uniform on, I asked him was he going to give it a go and he said "yeah," and that showed me this is more about the team more than anything, and he did what he could. I mean, he came out there -- just being him out on the court and gutting it through. What he's going through right now was an inspiration for us because we know he could have easily sat out tonight. But him being on the court and saying, "who cares about my injury. It's about this team." And it don't get no bigger than that.