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May 28, 2006

Ben Wallace

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q. Statistics say if your team goes down 3 to 1, it's pretty hard to come back. How critical do you look at Game 4 coming up?
BEN WALLACE: Don't tell me about no statistics. We go out there and play basketball.
Q. How do you feel about Coach Riley going with the Hack-a-Shaq on you late in the game?
BEN WALLACE: It don't bother me, just make the game long.
Q. Does it motivate you at all, fire you up?
BEN WALLACE: No, I can't get no more fired up, no more motivated than what we are right now.
Q. Do you think it'll be effective?
BEN WALLACE: It's part of the game.
Q. People focus on you guys' offense, but do you think you're struggling with the defensive issue more than offense right now?
BEN WALLACE: Any time you allow a team to come down and shoot 60 percent for the better part of the game, then it doesn't matter what you do on the offensive end, you can't win.
Q. The rotations when they're lobbing with Shaq, it's like you're being forced to guard two people at once.
BEN WALLACE: Any time you let teams break defense down and get to the basket, good things happen. That's what they've been able to do.
Q. Talk about some of the frustration that went on last night?
BEN WALLACE: Some of the what? What frustration?
Q. Rasheed kicking over a chair.
BEN WALLACE: Well, you need to talk to Sheed about that. You're going to ask me about it? Don't ask me. That's Sheed's frustration.
Q. You weren't frustrated at all last night?
BEN WALLACE: Next question, man. I just answered that question.
Q. Are you guys having a hard time remembering what you're supposed to be all about?
BEN WALLACE: You know, there's some changes this year. There are times when we go out and play the way we're playing, we look like unbeatable. When we don't play that way, anybody in this league can beat you. Until we are playing the type of game we want to play, then it's going to be tough, we're going to struggle.
Q. Are you confident and comfortable with what Flip is doing out there?
BEN WALLACE: We're all confident, man. Confidence ain't never been a problem for us.
Q. Is there a different Flip from the regular season when he won 64 games until now?
BEN WALLACE: Ask him. Don't be asking me these Rasheed Wallace and Flip Saunders questions, man. Y'all want to talk to me, talk to me.
Q. When you talk about defense, is it an energy thing, is it a tactical thing? What do you think is happening to let them shoot 60 percent?
BEN WALLACE: A little bit of everything. A team shooting 60 percent, there's a little bit of everything. There's breakdowns all over the place. We've got to get on the same page and do something special on the defensive end. We get stopped, it leads to easy baskets on the other end, but it's tough to score when you're taking the ball to the basket every time.
Q. How important is it to have Dell help you out a little bit down low? He's been MIA a little bit?
BEN WALLACE: MIA? He hasn't been in the game forever. He can't help it if he's not in the game.
Q. How much of last night was bad defense and how much of it was just Shaq and D-Wade being awesome, playing the best that they can play?
BEN WALLACE: You don't play good defense, then everybody is going to be awesome. I think all the guys had a good game, from Shaq and D-Wade to everybody. They had a good game. I don't care how good you are, you can't allow teams to shoot 60 percent in this league and expect to get a win.
Q. You guys have always been able to handle this one way or another through good and bad times. If you can't do that, what happens to you guys?
BEN WALLACE: What happens is we struggle. You see it through the playoffs. When we don't play solid at the defensive end, forget what everybody else is talking about, Xs and Os, we've got to score. If you can't score, then you can't allow your opponent to score. If you can't stop them from scoring and you're not scoring, then that's a bad mix.

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