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May 27, 2006

Flip Saunders


Q. The layup situation seemed like your team was getting to the basket and then for whatever reason dishing the ball off. Where did that come from, and then 11 assists, obviously that's not typical.
FLIP SAUNDERS: Well, we had -- I guess they were trying to make what they considered the right play. I'll have to take a look more. There is a situation when you do penetrate a lot and they have either Shaq or Mourning in there, those guys are coming. Their philosophy is not to give up layups. Sometimes the best play might be the kick-out as far as for open shots. We missed some of those. We missed some layups that they contested. We got in a situation the first half, a couple turnovers where we tried to almost force things inside when they were there. So like I said, I'll have to look at the film a little bit more and see.
Q. Obviously playing at a very high level, two points, three rebounds, four turnovers; what do you attribute that to?
FLIP SAUNDERS: They definitely made a conscious effort to take some things away from him which opened some things up for Chauncey. Chauncey had a bigger game. Our guards had bigger games. He had some good looks. He probably wasn't as involved as he had been. I thought that he fell behind Chauncey as he tried to get us back in and didn't. We're usually at low assists a lot of times. The one person probably affected more than anybody is Tay because he plays off everybody so much.
Q. Along those same lines, Tayshaun and Rasheed were so productive in Games 1 and 2. What did you see that they tried to do that consciously took them away from the game and what did you do to try to counteract that?
FLIP SAUNDERS: We tried to make a conscious effort to -- I think Sheed got taken out because he got in foul trouble early, made a conscious effort to get him the ball going into the third quarter when he got going a little bit. The guy that was somewhat hot was Chauncey, and we were trying to loosen him up and get him going a little bit and we were struggling somewhat.
Like I said, I think the biggest thing is their forwards were much more aggressive offensively, and our forwards had Tay back on his heels a little bit. Walker was extremely aggressive to the rim as far as on penetration. Tay had some good looks, missed some of the ones he's been very efficient as far as this time, but it's not where -- they were taking away a lot of his cuts and went in a different direction. Some guys came through and some guys missed some key shots.
Q. What was the major adjustment that you made in the first half of the fourth quarter to spark that run, and how did the Heat counteract that?
FLIP SAUNDERS: Well, we went with both Dyess and with Sheed, random things and we spread the floor a little bit more. But again, when you fall behind, you come back, you exert a lot of energy. We had a situation after we got within one we turned it over a couple times in a row and they came down and made a couple big plays.
Q. Considering how a win or loss can affect the series on Monday, how important is winning that game for you guys?
Q. Yeah.
FLIP SAUNDERS: Very important. I mean, any time you're in a series, whoever wins the last game has momentum. We've got to find a way to take that momentum back. I didn't think we played -- I thought they played -- I thought Wade was great tonight. I mean, the play of the game was we're down one, we're making a run, Dyess has a dunk and Wade comes down and blocks it and they come down and get a three-point play. Instead of us being up one we're down four, and then Tay missed the layup off his one play and they come down and score and it comes from us being one down to down six. That was probably the play of the game, and Dwyane had a lot of those. I thought he really, really took control for most of the game, and Shaq was extremely aggressive early in the game.
It's going to be important for us to come and compete, and somehow we've got to find a way to squeeze out a win down here. We're not taking care of business at all.
Q. Just talking about Dwyane, when you look at different opponents and take into account what they do against you, where does he stand or rank in terms of just his will at the end of the game?
FLIP SAUNDERS: Well, you do. As I said, I thought he's the most dynamic player in the game right now, and his ability as far as just his pure speed, his speed with the ball, his ability to offensive rebound, defensive rebound and his size and just the plays that he can create, he can make something basically out of nothing.
He becomes the -- and what's happening right now is when he's knocking down pretty much every jump shot it's extremely difficult because when you have to push on him more it opens up the floor for him, so everybody has to be locked in.
Q. Were they making Antoine Walker play maker tonight giving him the ability to create and dish?
FLIP SAUNDERS: What they did, off pick-and-rolls, they threw the ball back to him quicker and he was extremely aggressive with the ball off throw backs, getting to the paint, doing those things. Initially he was not the initial play maker, but it was Dwyane or Gary I thought made good decisions by getting rid of the ball quick off pick-and-rolls and letting Antoine be aggressive.
He was extremely -- especially the first half, he was extremely aggressive to the basket.

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