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June 2, 2005

Larry Brown


Q. Can you explain the lack of offense from the big men, especially Rasheed, Antonio, Ben, Elden. They had 16 points combined for the whole game.

COACH LARRY BROWN: I'm not a genius, but I think our guards took 40-something shots. So I think a lot of that is they didn't get a lot of touches, and you know, when Carlos took eight, Lindsey seven, Rip and Chauncey, so there wasn't a lot to go around. Rasheed wasn't out on the court a lot, so I think that's a factor, as well, and they defended great. Their effort was phenomenal. I thought defensively especially, you know, they fronted the post. They fought harder to defend us to get post position. We didn't roll hard, that had a lot to do with that. They put bodies on us and really pushed us out. But I really think we didn't share the ball, either. I wish I could play back every time-out, just said, got to make one extra pass or hit the big guy when they show, and maybe that will change a few things, but we had a hard time doing it and I think Miami probably had a lot to do with that.

Q. Could you talk about how crucial the end of the second quarter was when they went up from 3 to 14 at the end and also the contributions of some of the surrounding players like Butler and Damon Jones and Udonis?

COACH LARRY BROWN: Well, I told Gar in the middle of first quarter I thought Haslem was killing us on both ends, but again, we lost our poise a little bit in the second quarter, and they played great. Rasual came out, had a time-out, hit a couple of big shots, posted us up. Alonzo gave them a lot of energy, controlled the paint. I don't always think a shot block is everything, but just his presence there, you know, we missed a lot of shots. We shot in the 30s again. I thought right from the get-go, even though we were only down 28-26, you know, their energy was a lot greater than ours. Then when we got back in the game, we let a couple of things really affect us again, and you look up, we cut it to three and next thing you know, we're down 14 at halftime.

Q. Before the game you said you didn't really have a feel for where this team would be tonight. Are you surprised that this was the effort that came out tonight; that they were not as focused as you would have liked and they didn't have the energy you would have thought for a Game 5?

COACH LARRY BROWN: I don't buy that. We didn't maybe match their energy. Our guys tried. You know, I said again, a few of them got a little frustrated, but Miami's energy was great, you know, everybody. The biggest thing I kept preaching is whenever we struggle offensively, our defense suffers. When we move the ball and make the extra pass, get everybody involved, it seems like our whole game picks up, and I didn't think we did that. That first question about, you know, our big guys not making a contribution, well, it's hard when you don't touch the ball a lot, and it's hard when you don't fight to get yourself in position. We didn't get any run-outs. I think in Game 4, our big guys got four or five dunks on the break. We didn't see any of that tonight. They just played a lot better.

Q. Can you talk a little about Rasheed, he didn't get to the line at all, he had one basket and I know he was out a lot with fouls, but a lot of people perceive that as he goes, the team does well, and obviously Game 5 was critical, he was really absent for almost everything.

COACH LARRY BROWN: He didn't get to play. He had I think three offensive fouls. It's tough. You know, Haslem did a great job on him, and again, I told the TNT people before the game, when our guards take most of the shots, we have a tendency to struggle. In Game 5, I looked up, everybody on the front first team, took double figure shots. You see how efficient our offense was. Tonight, that didn't happen. But they did a great job. I don't know how Rasheed could have responded in a game like this. You know, last game he fouls out in 22 minutes, this game he gets five fouls, and when they're offensive, it's hard to be aggressive. I don't know what you can do about that.

Q. Talk about Shaquille's impact in the game, particularly early, he got off to such a good start.

COACH LARRY BROWN: He's been fantastic the whole series. I thought we did a good job on him after about the first six, seven minutes in the game. You know, they had a lot of people step up. Again, I think their effort was phenomenal, and they had a lot of people make a huge contribution and they defended far better than we did and shared -- even though the assists aren't indicative of it, when you shoot a high percentage, obviously they are moving the ball. When you shoot a bad percentage like we did, either it's the defense or the lack of ball movement, and I think it was a combination of the two. But Shaquille, he's been huge. But I think you would expect that.

Q. That 11-0 run to end the half, was it more Rip had the two quick baskets, Wade comes back in the game and then they go on their run, was it more what they did in that last two minutes than what you didn't do defensively or was it coming out of their defense from them getting stops?

COACH LARRY BROWN: Well, we didn't score during that period. I think there were some turnovers. I think we might have had one at the end of the quarter and we probably had six or seven at the half so, we turned it over and they converted and the defense picked up. Again, we kind of lost our cool for that period, and then the next thing you know, I think it was 37-34, something like that, next time I looked up, we're down 14.

Q. You've been down 3-2 on a few occasions and now you're back in that situation again. What do you tell your team on the way back to Detroit, realizing that the road back to the Finals is going to be through Miami?

COACH LARRY BROWN: Well, I thought it was going to be through Miami originally, so we've got to win one game. You know, we've got to win one game. Hopefully we'll learn from this game. I think if we show them the film in Game 4 and then show them this film, there's a lot we can all learn. It's a huge task, but it's fun. I think this is fun. We got down 14, I thought, and down 20 in the second half and made a run, cut it to ten. I was proud of them then, and I'm sure I'll be proud of them when we play Saturday.

End of FastScripts...

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