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May 25, 2006

Pat Riley


Q. Any broken chandeliers in the walk-through today?
PAT RILEY: No, not today (smiling).
Q. Just superstition or is that what you stuck with?
PAT RILEY: I think that's what I would rather do. As I said, it's a long window from the bus back to the hotel, and it's just too much time. I think we can get as much done in a very solid film session and also a thorough walk-through without going through that whole travel thing. That's just the way it is.
Q. Yesterday Dwyane said that he anticipates Udonis having a big game, and I think part of why he said that is just to get him over the 70 he had the other day. Is Udonis the type of player after an 0-for-7 like that would try to have a big game, no matter how he does it?
PAT RILEY: Well, the game the other night, with him not making jumpers from the outside, but his defense, his rebounding, his overall, just on the court and what he does for us is screening for Dwyane, always transcends that. I would not put it past Udonis because he bounces back. If he's got open shots, tonight to be a good night.
Q. Considering the way Dwyane went through the Detroit defense in Game 1, would you consider a lot more trapping and pressure on Dwyane tonight?
PAT RILEY: I really don't know. I mean, they've always changed up their defenses on him. I think their play has always been to wear him down and put three or four defenders on him. Rip is an exceptional defender on him. Rip is and Tayshaun plays length, so just like any great player, just like we did the same thing with Vince Carter. They'll do the same thing with Rip and Rasheed and those players that are very aware, and they'll be very aware of where he is.
Q. We've kind of seen Alonzo coming back into form. If he is back to what he was in the regular season, how legitimate of an option is he offensively when he's down in the post rather than having the guards sort of work it all the time when he's in the game?
PAT RILEY: I sort of forget about that because for eight years I always threw him the ball all the time, and he still has the capabilities of doing that. He is a viable option for us to post-up when Shaq is out of the game against certain match-ups. As long as he's on balance and getting good jump hooks, I think it's a great option for us, and I'll look to him.
Q. Hubie Brown said yesterday that if you guys win tonight, you could break Detroit's spirit. Is that possible, to break a team's spirit this early in the best of seven?
PAT RILEY: No, I don't think so, not a veteran team anyhow. Your back would be against the wall that way. If I was in that position -- we found out we could win four in a row. You take a look at a number of teams in the past that were down 3-1 and everybody said it's over with, and everybody jumps to the conclusion, but until you win four games, especially when you're at higher levels of competition and there's only four teams left, you would never make that assumption.
Q. Everybody is aware of Dwyane's skill sets, but what have you seen about his ability to figure things out during the course of the game and manage the game the way he needs to manage it with the different defenses that he sees that you were talking about?
PAT RILEY: He's a big film watcher. We always prepare a film for him, especially on all of his touches and catches. So he has already, in three years, been a player that is used to seeing a lot of different things come at him, and one of the things that I've always been impressed with with Dwyane is his vision, his ability to pick out and to alert other players what's coming. He's had enough experience doing that. It doesn't mean that he'll always be successful at it, but he's seen enough of it, and I think he will attack it and he will get open shots.
Q. Specifically with this team and in general, can you kind of just take us back to the end of last season? When you sit down, can you kind of take us through the process of what you do in order to address the changes that you need to make? Do you write down on a piece of paper what you need, do you talk to your closest friends? Take us through the process of building a team.
PAT RILEY: That would be too long.
Q. Cliff Notes?
PAT RILEY: You always think about the ideal roster is what you're always doing, so ever since I've been in Miami, I've been very fortunate that the personnel was out there and available, and it started with the first acquisition of Alonzo Mourning and then trading for Tim Hardaway and then signing PJ Brown and trying to sign Juwan Howard and bringing Dan Majerle in and eventually going to Brian Grant and Eddie Jones. The process always changes. You're always trying to think about making your team better. You stay with a team for a certain period of time, and if it doesn't work, I think you realize it won't, and then you just keep moving on and tweaking it. That's where we are with this team.
Q. I know you trust your guys and know your guys, but what have you said to them or what will you say to them in the locker room about not being satisfied to go home with a split, about trying to actually go for the jugular and get this one tonight?
PAT RILEY: Didn't say much about it, but I know that Detroit is going to turn it up. They've turned it up in the past. Our players are going to be very aware of that. Everybody talks about Detroit being a very mature, very experienced team that's been there before in that situation and shown great inner strength. I believe overall in our roster we have about four more years of total experience, so we're right there with them in understanding how they're going to come. So I think we'll be ready.
Q. You talked about always wanting to have the perfect roster. I'm curious to get your perspective of Joe Dumars and the job he's done. Is he an executive kind of like he was a player in terms of being effective but kind of being under the radar all the time?
PAT RILEY: You know, Joe, as soon as he started taking a very active role -- I think the first year he came here he sort of just learned the ropes. But when he started making the decisions, the decisions that he made were always about picking out one guy, one guy that was a perfect fit, and it all started with Chauncey Billups, and he said I'm going to get that one guy, and then he got Rip Hamilton, or he got Rip Hamilton first. He went and picked out these players.
I think it was the same way with Rasheed. It was one more guy to the piece. I think when he does that, he makes a commitment to them because he does a lot of research on them because he's built a great team in a very short period of time.

End of FastScripts...

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