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May 29, 2006

Pat Riley


Q. You've coached pretty much Magic, coached against Jordan when he was rolling. Have you ever seen a guy on a roll like Dwyane Wade?
PAT RILEY: Well, he's playing extremely well with every single ounce of energy that he brings and his talent is huge. I could not give him a rest in the second half. I just didn't feel comfortable taking him out. No, I've never -- to answer your question, he's right there. He's special.
Q. What about Udonis tonight and James Posey and the veteran G.P., what they did tonight.
PAT RILEY: Well, we came with a lot of energy to start the game, the whole message the last two days was to attack, attack, attack. Four losses that we've had in the playoffs have all come after games where we played extremely well offensively, or two players had 60 points like they did the other night, so there was always some kind of let-down. We just wanted to attack defensively, attack offensively. Ud was sort of the X factor tonight making some big buckets coming off rebounds, and I thought James was sort of all over the place. He was, like, projectile, and just created a lot of motion and had an impact. Udonis and Pose really helped us a lot.
Q. It looked like in the beginning of the third quarter things were slipping away, they erased a 14-point deficit and took the lead. What did you say to your team to get them to regroup at that point?
PAT RILEY: We were a little bit running past ourselves in the first half. I mean, there was so much energy being expended. We had 23 free throw attempts, only hit 14 of them. We shot 56 percent. We were playing extremely well, and they shot 38 percent, and we looked up at halftime and we were only ahead by six. I thought the last two minutes of the first half was a downer for us, gave them some life, and they went to the zone. They went to the zone in the third quarter and we tried to attack the zone very methodically instead of just getting the ball up the court quickly and trying to find seams and gaps and trying to drive the ball. It took six or seven minutes not to figure it out but to get some more energy back. They came out making a lot of shots.
We got down 57-53, and just like the other night, when they cut it to one, they gathered themselves and made a couple and went ahead by five or six and then it was eight and then it was ten.
Q. Even though it was a pretty complete game of second chance games, there was an edge 20 to 4. How are you going to counteract that?
PAT RILEY: Well, we have to block out. We have to pursue the ball. I think they definitely have figured out a little bit what we're doing defensively, how we're stunting to their scores, and we're taking our bodies off of their bigs when the ball is in flight to the basket, and we're not getting any what we call second "feels" back into the lane.
Rebounding has been part of this game, and we're very fortunate to overcome that tonight.
Q. A lot of the guys were saying in your pre-game speech to them you talked about unity and coming together. How did you use that?
PAT RILEY: Not really. This team is getting better. The one thing about basketball teams and basketball players, and I don't care if it's during the regular season or the playoffs, is they can't stay the same. You really have to keep moving forward. You have to keep trying to get better, and you have to keep looking at things and just not take for granted the talent as a basketball team. There's no doubt that from the end of the season to the playoffs that we're getting better as a basketball team, and I think last game the guys were feeling good about it, there's a lot of unity in the locker room, and we want one more win.
Q. How did the bowl come into play?
PAT RILEY: We'll keep filling it up with more things. We'll keep filling it up.
Q. What's in there so far?
PAT RILEY: Nothing. It's none of your business, Rachel, one day we'll show you. We just fill it up. It's a symbolic thing for our guys. We have a ritual. It's really about unity. I told you that yesterday.
Q. Given the pattern you mentioned about letdown after a couple guys have great performances, how do you avoid that going into Game 5?
PAT RILEY: Well, now it's the moving out factor, so we want to get the 12 wins, and if we want it, they want to get to the finals, it'll be a first for this franchise. So I think they're hungry and I think we're going to go get it. We have great respect for the Pistons, but I think our hearts are into moving on and we're going to go up to Detroit and try to close them out and move on to the finals.
Q. You have so many motivational sayings, that is your thing, but do you think that Dwyane Wade almost doesn't need motivational sayings, that he has some sort of internal motivation that you've never seen before?
PAT RILEY: Yeah, he listens. Dwyane listens. He listens. I know when he doesn't listen, but he's a great player, he's a good -- he's a great kid, and he's a great player to coach. He listens. Whether or not it motivates him, I don't know, but he listens. I appreciate that.

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