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May 23, 2006

Flip Saunders


Q. What do you have to do to get Rasheed more involved?
FLIP SAUNDERS: We have to take a look at the tape. They tried to front him a lot and do some high-low situations. Like I said, they were extremely active. They made a very conscious effort of not letting him as far as try to get going. They pretty much tried to keep Haslem on him as much as possible. That's pretty much his main objective, not worrying much on the offensive end.
Other guys are going to have to make some plays, loosen things up for him.
Q. The energy seemed to just kind of start, stop, start, stop, then fourth quarter --
FLIP SAUNDERS: It wasn't consistent, no question. I didn't think we had consistent energy or didn't totally play with the edge we played with the last two games, so I guess it's --
Q. The question I meant to ask was is that a reflection of the seven-game series, or was that a reflection of their strong play?
FLIP SAUNDERS: I'm sure it's a combination of both. I think that when you have a series and you come back, you become more emotionally drained maybe than physically. When you start another series, you've got to start all over again, and especially when you're in a situation where you fall behind as we did, we were swimming upstream the whole time. We gained a little bit of momentum, I think took the lead 63-60, and they came down and hit a couple threes out of our offense actually when we missed some shots and they got some shots on transition, and it was like the momentum changed at that point.
Q. You actually out-shot them 82 shots to 64. Do you think it was just a fatigue factor?
FLIP SAUNDERS: We out-shot them because we got them to turn the ball over more. We had nine offensive rebounds. I mean, I'm not going to use that as an excuse. I mean, are we tired, yeah, probably everyone is at this point that you play. But we had opportunities to take control, and we didn't do it when the opportunity arose. Whether it was fatigue that entered into that or not, I just know that we didn't make good basketball plays at times, and that's the thing that's the most disappointing.
Q. The second quarter Wade got three, Shaq got three, but you guys didn't really take advantage of that.
FLIP SAUNDERS: Well, we were down 11 or 12. We actually took advantage of getting ourselves back in the game. We had another opportunity when Wade picked up his fourth, and we just couldn't sustain our runs. That was it I think more than anything else. Even when we made stops, our pace as far as up the floor and into our offense and our cuts were not crisp, not what you're going to need as far as to get open and get open looks and try to get on some sort of a run, which we weren't able to do.
Q. Was Rasheed laboring any more tonight than he might have been in Game 7 or Game 6?
FLIP SAUNDERS: I think that Sheed is -- he's had a long stretch here just from the standpoint of not only just playing, but the amount of energy, he's had to go through rehab and a lot of things. He looked worn a little bit tonight. So we've got to get him and everybody else, we've got to get rejuvenated quick. The game on Thursday becomes a huge game, I mean, no question. We've got to grab the momentum of the series back, so that's got to be our main focus. And in order to do that, we're going to have to be both mentally and physically sharp as much as we can.

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