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May 24, 2005

Richard Hamilton

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q. What do you see when Dwyane is driving? What are you guys conditioned to react to? What do you see that he's doing?

RICHARD HAMILTON: I think when they've got a guy that wants to score the ball and drive to the basket the way he does, we're just all on a string. Like I said, we've got the guy, whoever is guarding, playing him uptight, and then we've got the big guys and things like that to help. The one thing about us, all our guards are interchangeable. They can guard. And all of our bigs can actually guard players. They're great and athletic on the inside. That makes us real good.

Q. You said "on the string." You're talking about that everybody is conditioned to move when another person moves?


Q. Why did it work so well against Dwyane? Here's a guy who's been scoring 28 points and shooting 61 percent.

RICHARD HAMILTON: We defend. I mean, I think every game we feel as though we come out and defend the way we want to defend. Our chances are even that much better. He wants to drive and things like that, and the guys on our team always know where he's at because he's probably the number one, number two option. So these guys know where he's at all the time.

Q. Speaking of bigs, Elden didn't play a lot of minutes, but he really did a pretty solid job on Shaq in the first half. Talk about the contribution he made?

RICHARD HAMILTON: Elden was great. When he came in, he tried to keep Shaq off the block and things like that. You know, we're probably going to need him more as the series goes on and things like that. You know, Elden is a veteran. He knows that he's just got to always stay ready, and he was ready when we called on him last night.

Q. Talk about Tayshaun's defensive efforts.

RICHARD HAMILTON: Tay is it all, man. Tay is 6' 9" with like a seven-foot wing span. He's quick enough to guard people off the dribble and he can contest shots and he can block shots. It makes it tough when you've got a guy that has all those things that can guard guys and guard a big guy, also.

Q. Were you surprised by how Wade struggled?

RICHARD HAMILTON: No, because as the game is going on, you really don't -- we play by possessions. We take a possession at a time. You know, I think that there was times where he made layups, got to the basket and made layups and sometimes he missed shots, but it wasn't one of them things where we looked at it during the game and thought, "oh, he's struggling." We never looked at that during the game.

Q. Do you think he was having an off-night?

RICHARD HAMILTON: I don't know. I mean, I think that he took the shots that we gave him and things like that. You know, he just missed them.

End of FastScripts...

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