Here are some of the best player and coach quotes from Monday's Media Availability in Los Angeles.
Q: Can you talk about just how it feels to dominate a Hall of Famer like Gary Payton the way you did last night or would you expect he'll come out extra fired up tomorrow?
Billups: "I don't think it was domination. I got shots and knocked them down. I'm sure, you know, he'll be playing a lot harder tomorrow. He's proud, you know, he's got a lot of pride. He's dominated this league for ten, 12 years and he's been the best point guard in the League. So, it felt good for me to play good and all of that, but, you know, it's a long series, man. It's a long series. They are going to make some adjustments. He only shot three or four shots yesterday. I'm sure that won't happen again. It's a long series, man."
Q: Joe Dumars talked about the Pistons having players with an edge. Can you talk about the edge Rasheed Wallace has had and the impact he's had on the team and how well he meshed with this group?
Brown: "Well, one, I don't think people have made enough out of the fact -- I kept this guy on the bench for 19 minutes. If you look at my career, I've always done that with players, except for one, that has gotten into foul trouble. (Laughter) And as long as we -- as long as we were close, I figured, you know, why put him in a position to pick up fouls where we didn't have them in the guts of the game and it's remarkable for me to see the type of person he is when he just does it. He cheers for his teammates. I don't know how many superstars would allow their coach to put them in that kind of position.
"We thought he would be a contributor, especially on the offensive end, because we don't have a whole bunch of options, but he was somebody we felt could stretch the defense, was a highly skilled offensive player. We also felt he would be a good defender but he's been a phenomenal defender and he's made everybody around him better because he's long, he can block shots, he can guard a lot of different people. He's so unselfish, and the biggest factor is aside from being a great teammate, we didn't have Memo and Tayshaun on the court at the same time. Two young kids that didn't play a lot in the past, and that puts a lot of pressure on those guys. Since we had Rasheed come in, Tayshaun's game has just gone off the charts. Taken so much pressure off him and made him so much more of a threat on both ends of the court."
Q: Coach Brown has been in this position before (in 2001), taking the first game here in Staples and losing the next four. Has he talked to you guys about what had happened to him in Philadelphia?
Hamilton: "He says it. He reminded us of that on the bus. But like a couple of people said on the bus, “This is a different team. You’re not in Philly anymore, you’re in Detroit.” So we know what’s at stake and we know you can’t treat the Lakers like they’re a slouch because they’ve been here. They’ve won games, they’ve won championships, so we’ve really got to take advantage of it."
Q: What did the win last night do for the team’s confidence? Did you surprise yourself that you were able to win?
Wallace: "Did we surprise ourselves? I want you to answer that question. That’s you all doing all that writing about our chances coming here. We just come out and do what we’ve been doing all year – just going out and playing basketball. No, we didn’t surprise ourselves. This isn’t the first time we beat this team. As long as we go out and continue to play the way we’ve been playing all season, and give ourselves a chance to win, I like our chances."
Q: Any sense that the injuries of Derek and Karl played any role? Obviously they both struggled a bit of late, have you seen anything going on physically with them?
Jackson: "It would be silly of me to deny that they are both hurting a little bit, and what they are trying to do, they are not at peak position with those injuries to them. But they both want to play on through it, and we are just going to have to make a determination as to what level they can do that at. If their injuries hamper their capabilities, we are going to have to have other people out there on the floor. That's unfortunate for us but that's the way it is."
Q: Are you anywhere near having to do that?
Jackson: "We have not anticipated having to do that, but in seeing what happened in the game and the productivity they had, we're going to have to measure that during the course of the next game."
Q: How would you describe your relationship with Karl Malone and what has it meant to you?
Bryant: "My relationship with Karl is very close. We're practically neighbors. We talk a lot about basketball, a lot about stuff off the court. He's been like a brother to me all year."
Q: Most of the game it looked like you guys were having trouble running a play.
Bryant: "Well, that's kind of been all year. Phil has been harping on us on running the triangle all year. We made some adjustments and I think we'll do better next game."
Q: How much do you think the five days off helped you? It seemed like the rest of the team was a little bit lethargic but how much did the days off help yourself?
O'Neal: "I like having rest. I like having rest, and I know what I wanted to do when I came into this series. But we are not going to use that as an excuse. We know what we have to do as players and we've just got to go out and get it done. Last night, we didn't get it done but I don't think it's anything they did. It's more about us. It's been more about us all year. We know what we have to do, we just have to go out and do it."
Q: Could you expound on what you mean by you guys beat yourselves?
O'Neal: "You know, we just didn't come out with the killer instinct. We didn't have a sense of urgency, way too many turnovers and didn't shoot the ball well. If we knock out all of those things or just one or two of those things, you know, we could have won that game. We still had a lot of chances to win. But they just did everything right."
Q: Will you be more aggressive offensively in Game 2?
Malone: "I’ll definitely look for my shot, but I don’t want to get carried away and get out of things. Sometimes when you have a tough situation, you always want to come back and look to shoot and score a lot more. I’ve always caught up on the offensive end by playing defense and that’s something I want to take care of this time."