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May 23, 2006

Gary Payton


Q. Especially when someone like Dwyane gets sat for as long as he did, how much is it a conscious thing for you guys to step up and say to each other, hey, we've got to pick it up and how much of it is instinct and just shooting.
GARY PAYTON: When our top guy who scores all the time steps up, we've been doing a great job in all the playoffs stepping up for them because Shaq has been out sometimes. All we had to do was just stick together, everybody play as one, take the open shots when we got them and knock them down. That's what Pat has been telling us all playoffs and that's what we've been doing. Today was all conscious. We've been off for a long time and everybody was ready to play today and we just hit our shots.
Q. Pat Riley said we think of you guys as role players, but Gary and Alonzo, they still remember how to do it. What do you think of that?
GARY PAYTON: Well, we've been here before. We're into our careers and stuff like that. I've been here for 16 years, Zo has been for 14. We know what to do. It's not like we haven't ever been here. We know how to make plays. When we get the basketball, we're going to make things happen. It's not like we're rookies or anything. We've been in this situation, Eastern Conference Finals, before, the Western, so it's no big thing for us.
Q. You've had some rough playoff games in this building the last couple playoff rounds with the Lakers and then this one. How good did it feel to just shut them down and kind of hold Chauncey quiet?
GARY PAYTON: That don't bother me. It's only been the Lakers series that everybody really said I have a rough series, that's all. I really don't worry about that. I don't look at one year or one series or whatever. When we come in here we try to play as one, as the Miami Heat. I don't look at that. All I do is play basketball, and whatever comes, comes.
Q. Can you just talk about Dwyane Wade's performance right off the bat and then again in the fourth quarter?
GARY PAYTON: Well, that's what he's good at, you know. That's our go-to guy. He's the one that keeps us motivated and moving. Unfortunately he was in foul trouble. It would have been a lot better for us if he had stayed on the floor a little bit more, but we did a great job. A lot of guys stepped up. Game 2 might be different. I think he's going to know he's going to have to do more different things not to get in foul trouble. We held it, and it was good for us.
Q. Even though you weren't with the Heat last season, this time against the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals, is that especially a time for you guys and some of the guys, the acquisitions that were made were brought in for this purpose?
GARY PAYTON: That's what he brought us here for. He brought us to get over the hump, win the finals, get the championship. We're just playing. He brought us here and we're going to do whatever we can to help the Miami Heat get a championship.
Q. You made it look easy tonight. Was that something that the Pistons did differently? Was there anything they did that you didn't expect? Or was it just being in a zone?
GARY PAYTON: We just played. It was fortunate that we got a win. We take one game at a time. We don't come here and say nothing was easy. I don't know what they shot, I don't know what we shot. They might have been missing a lot of shots and stuff like that, but we just play. We go one game at a time, and that's our philosophy.

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