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May 27, 2005

Udonis Haslem

Alonzo Mourning


ALONZO MOURNING: In order to win the championship you've got to win on the road. It's an important advantage to have. If you can't win on the road, then I think -- you know to win the championship you've got to go through Detroit because they're the defending champions. It's going to be a challenge.

Q. Do you think you and Shaq will be spending more time on the court together?

ALONZO MOURNING: I don't know. Ask Stan. I would love to, but ask Stan.

Q. Your thoughts on the Western Conference?

ALONZO MOURNING: They can score the basketball fine. It's worked the whole year. They're a team that has that balance, scoring on defenses. You're going to run into surprises. Whether they did have Joe Johnson or not, I don't think they can beat San Antonio without making an effort defensively. Dallas is a great offensive team, they can score the basketball, but when it comes to winning time and the games are tight and plays have to be made on both ends, defensively, and offensive plays have to be made, then that separates the good teams from the okay teams.

Q. How important is defense in these games?

ALONZO MOURNING: Our defense has to be effective. D. Wade, yeah, we need him to make plays. We need Shaq to make plays. But we can't count on shooting ourselves into a win. We've got to make shots because they're a good executing team, as well. So you've got to do something to alter their execution down the stretch so you can have a chance to pull out ballgames.


Q. Talk about the difficulties in defending Rasheed Wallace.

UDONIS HASLEM: He just has so many dimensions to his game offensively. He can shoot the 3, put it on the floor, he can post. You don't see many guys his height shooting pull-up jumpers, which any other guy with the wingspan he has shooting a step-back pull-up jumper is almost impossible to block, so you can just hope to get your hand in his face and mess up his rhythm. So offensively he has a lot of dimensions to his game.

Q. I think he shot about 18 percent against Indiana. Did he surprise you in Game 1?

UDONIS HASLEM: No, not surprised. He's a great shooter. Everybody goes through ups and downs shooting-wise. He had a down shooting series against Indiana, but he came out and proved what kind of shooter he was.

End of FastScripts...

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