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June 10, 2006

Dwyane Wade

DALLAS, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q. How is your health? Are you at full strength and where would you rate it percentage-wise?
DWYANE WADE: I've never been good on my percentages so, I can't give a percentage.
But, you know, I'm getting better each day. Of course, it's taking longer than expected, but I'm not going to worry about it. I'm just going to worry about what we can do as a team. I'm as close to 100% as I can get right now, so that's all I can worry about.

Q. Coach Riley talked yesterday and again today about just how really frustrated and disappointed that the team was with your play. You had two days now to think about it. Can you talk about how frustrated and how disappointed you are?
DWYANE WADE: I'm very disappointed. You know, like the saying goes, for this ballclub, we're 15 strong and the last game we wasn't 15 strong. We didn't all help each other. We kind of left each other out there too much.
We just want to come into this game and pick up our intensity defensively, execute better on offense, knock the shots down when we have them. I think defensively is the key for us, and that's stopping guys from getting open layups and making it tougher on them.
I think, like I said yesterday, if I know this team, we'll respond better and we'll be more efficient on the offense. I think you will see a better Heat team in Game 2.

Q. Made it sound like in that 90-minute session, was there one time that you guys just -- collective cursing or one thing that stands out about that game that really, really ticks you off regarding the way you played as a team?
DWYANE WADE: I mean, just like I said, just not having each other's backs like we have in this playoffs to get us to this point. I think we kind of got away from what we have done, on both sides of the ball, even on the offensive end, seeing them double-team Shaq was something we haven't seen in the playoffs. We kind of got discombobulated as a team.
That's why we watch film, that's why there's more than one game to be played. I think we'll make the adjustment going into the next one.

Q. What's the valuable piece of advice that either Gary or Zo has given you about the playoffs between Game 1 and Game 2?
DWYANE WADE: Given me? You know, when you've got guys as vocal as Alonzo and Gary, they are always talking. I think the main thing when you listen to them, you can hear is, this opportunity don't come around too often.
So, you know, you've always got to give it your all. I always do that no matter what, always give it your all. That's the main thing. We can't take this for granted. I don't think this team will, but I think we took Game 1 for granted, so we can't take this series for granted or this next game. Just go out and put your best foot forward.

Q. Coach said he expects a very big game from Shaq. How much do you think Shaq is going to break out in Game 2?
DWYANE WADE: I hope he breaks out in Game 2 and that's got a lot to do with his teammates getting him the ball in the right spots, him being a little bit more aggressive.
Of course we're looking for Shaq to have a big game for us, but we can't just depend on that. Everybody's got to be focused and be ready to play and be ready to make the plays when it's time. If he's going to have a big game, other guys need to step up and have big games, also, because this is a very deep Dallas team and we need four or five guys to have good games to win a ballgame, especially on the road.

Q. When you say increase in defensive intensity, can we expect this game to get a lot more physical than Game 1 was?
DWYANE WADE: I'm not going to say that. (Laughing) I'm not. I'm not going to have that to be said.
I'm just saying our rotations will be a little bit more crisp, we'll understand when a guy has the ball, we'll understand what their tendencies and what they like to do. We did give up too many layups so we have to do a better job, foul, go for the ball, make them go to the free throw line, but I'd rather them shoot free throws than gave up layups.
When I went in, they fouled me on some of my attempt dunks. You know, just make it off on them. I don't think we did, I don't think we made it a Finals Game 1, I think it was a regular playoff Game 1. Just be a little bit more aggressive.

Q. No layups is usually a code for, you're going to have to pay to go to the basket. Is that what you're saying?
DWYANE WADE: That's what you said. (Laughter) I didn't say that.

Q. Pat was saying something to the effect of when you get 50 touches or more, when you get up in that neighborhood, the team loses. How aware are you of finding that balance, and what's the thought process during the game because obviously you don't have to worry about getting the ball to Shaq because you can get it to the basket whenever you want, how do you go about finding that balance and not getting too many touches?
DWYANE WADE: It's a thin line. Of course I had the ball in my hand already in some ways as I'm feeling it or as I'm demanding the ball more. I feel that I can give my teammates shots or if I can give myself a good shot, so I don't really know.
All I know is that when other guys are making plays, we are better. I think that's the thing. If guys like Jason and Gary and Antoine are making plays, then that takes me off the ball more and that makes our team better. I think that's where it comes in, with one or two guys making all the plays or when it's three, four or five, we're a better ballclub. That's common, that's common sense.

Q. Did Pat make you aware that have number?
DWYANE WADE: He did make me aware of that number. I was shocked. I didn't know I had the ball -- that don't sound good. (Laughter).

Q. Be that as it may, Dirk scored 16 and they win by ten. Usually don't have that luxury that the team counts on you so much. How big of a burden and mentally exhausting is that for you being such a young player in the league?
DWYANE WADE: Mentally, not at all. You know me, the only thing in the last game was physical exhaustion. Mentally I'm used to it. I want the responsibilities of helping my team win, of making the right plays and making the wrong plays, too, I do that, also.
I love the responsibility of that and hopefully I'll continue to do that and hopefully physically I'm a lot better in Game 2. I know I can be better mentally and better physically and go out and help my team make the right plays.

Q. Knowing how tough it is to win all three games at home and it's 2-3-2, how do you guys approach Game 2 with that?
DWYANE WADE: We're not worried about the three games at home. You've got to take it one game at a time. And right now in the next game our next objective is to go out and give ourselves a chance to win in Game 2. It's not said who is going to win the next couple of games, you don't know.
But just take it one game at a time and we'll worry about the three games at home once we play all three of them.

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