May 21, 2023
Game 3: Postgame
Miami Heat 128, Boston Celtics 102
Q. Bam, I know you guys always believe you can win any game, no matter what the situation, but 11-3, whatever you are in the postseason and to win this game by 30 or whatever it was, are you surprising yourself a little bit on any level with just how some of this has gone or how different the story seems to have shifted from what you guys went through the first six months of the year?
BAM ADEBAYO: No. We just needed -- the ups and downs prepared us for these moments. They prepared us for going 11-3 in the postseason. You know, still having a great opportunity to go further in this playoff run.
So for us, it's not shocking, because y'all not around, but y'all don't see the work that a lot of guys put in. And it's speaking volumes right now in this postseason.
So for us, I don't believe it's a surprise or a shocker.
Q. How important is Gabe's scoring ability and just aggression been during this playoff run?
BAM ADEBAYO: I mean, Gabe's been Mr. Reliable, and it's not just scoring. You know, y'all see the scoring but I see him being in the right spots, making the right pass, communicating on defense, taking charges, and you know, he's doing the little things, and then obviously he can score the basketball, too.
Q. Spo mentioned during his postgame remarks that a lot of the pent-up, built-up emotion that you guys have is starting to come out, and then it was asked, was that from the regular season or does it stretch back to last year in the Conference Finals, if that's the emotion we're talking about?
BAM ADEBAYO: Being No. 1 in the conference and you lose in the Eastern Conference Finals, it does sting. But I think the grit and the motivation and the aggression that we play with has just been through this up-and-down season.
You know, that experience has built us for these moments and we're all expressing ourselves throughout the playoffs.
Q. Spo said after last Eastern Conference Finals, that there were some changes he wanted to make to the offense. And all year long, even though the shots weren't always falling, he said you guys were building towards something. Now the offense is obviously clicking on an entirely different level but what role has Spo played in building the offense up to this point?
BAM ADEBAYO: One thing about Spo, he always believed in all of us. I feel like that's the biggest thing. Day in, day out, he always fueled us. He always came in with a positive mindset and wanting us to win.
For us, it's great to have a coach like that who believes in everybody, 1 through 15.
Q. Did he maybe believe in the offense at times when you guys didn't?
BAM ADEBAYO: I don't think we didn't believe. I just think shots weren't falling. So you know, sticking to the script, and not veering away from that, and being consistent day in, day out, shots go in or not, staying the course and trying to be consistent.
Q. You mentioned a couple times in the last week that nobody is surprised by what you guys are doing. If somebody started following and watching your games in the last couple weeks or so since this postseason and said, well, what the hell happened, what would you tell them?
BAM ADEBAYO: Man, you know, when you got guys with backs against the wall, you know, almost out of the playoffs, lose the first play-in game and you win the second one, and then you just build off of that, you get in the playoffs, all right, let's start chipping away.
And believing. You know, believing in one another. Believing that we can get a win. Believing that we can beat the No. 1 team in the league. You know, belief is real, and we've got a will to win.
Q. It didn't matter tonight because you didn't play the fourth but early in the series, you've been holding players to 24 percent shooting in the fourth quarter in these playoffs. What is it about the fourth quarter defensively that things tighten down and just what changes compared to the rest of the game?
BAM ADEBAYO: I feel like the fourth quarter is when everything matters the most. And not discrediting the first three quarters, but when you get in that fourth quarter and everybody has rallied around each other in that huddle, and it's win the quarter, win the game, a lot of us take that to heart. I know I do, especially.
So for us, it's win the quarter, win the game, even if it's by half a point.
Q. Could you take us through that spin move that you had on Jaylen Brown, and I guess just how much your explosive lob plays electrified the crowd tonight?
BAM ADEBAYO: I mean, just out there playing basketball. Being free, having fun. You know, Coach wants me to be aggressive. They want the ball in my hands. So, I'm out there making plays.
Q. Any thoughts on how the role players really stepped up tonight? Gabe, career game, and kind of the unheralded players like Duncan, Max and Caleb?
BAM ADEBAYO: I mean, they are in the flow right now. They are finding ways to score, getting easy baskets. Seeing the ball go in, and behind the scenes, they are putting in all the work you can imagine.
Q. They made a lineup change. I know they started the second half of Game 2 like that, but they said ahead of time today they were going to do it. How did you guys react to just seeing that they started differently?
BAM ADEBAYO: I mean, knowing when they made their lineup switch, they are going to try to play faster. So biggest thing was getting back in transition, loading to the ball, and making them take difficult shots. Try to keep them in the halfcourt instead of in transition.
Q. One win away from the NBA Finals. How big is that for you, reflecting on everything that you've been through this season, and what do you need to do in Game 4 to finish the job?
BAM ADEBAYO: Finish the job? Win. That's bottom line.
But through all these ups and downs, good and bad of the season, I feel like the biggest thing that we've all really relied on was each other and staying together.
Black lives matter, people.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports