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May 29, 2006

Alonzo Mourning


Q. The third quarter where you're trying to pull it back and hit the knock-down shots at the line, come in the third quarter and explode; did everything come together exactly how you wanted it to?
ALONZO MOURNING: Well, we just knew that riding the momentum that we had just coming off of Game 3, we wanted to carry that over and just start the game off strong. That was extremely important for us, to try to focus on starting off the game strong because I think just overall, just looking at our performances in the past, when we started a game off strong, then usually bringing that type of energy is carried on throughout the whole game, unlike Game 2 when they jumped right on us and we were playing catch-up for the most part.
But everybody came in and did their jobs. D-Wade and Shaq were spectacular again for us, and when they're playing that way, it's tough to beat us, especially when everybody else is playing their roles and doing what they have to do in order for us to be successful.
Q. You just mentioned at the start of Game 2 aside, you guys have been able to weather all the spurts. What's been the key to that?
ALONZO MOURNING: First of all, it started with the tongue lashing that we got when we came back here. Standing in this room, some of the things that coach said to us was basically a reality check. We need to be a more consistent team. We have the capabilities of doing it, but we haven't won anything yet, and sometimes we get to the point where we just settle. We just settle for where we are, yeah, okay, we went up one, so now it's time to relax. We did our job, we were supposed to go up there and just get one.
No, that can't be our mentality. We haven't won anything yet, and it's important for us to continue to try to get more and take more, take as much as we can until we're hoisting up that championship trophy. That's our main goal when we started this season, and that has been our focus in the decisions that he made before the season even started. The focus was this time of the year and putting ourselves in position to win a championship. He doesn't want to see that opportunity slip away, so he told us some things that was pretty much a wake-up call for us, and we responded. We responded from there, and like I said, everybody collectively is doing their job. D-Wade and Shaq, obviously they're playing spectacular for us, but it's the role playing, the guys coming in and doing their jobs that continues to keep the momentum going for us.
Q. You talked about a clock ticking as soon as a player steps on the court. Is there a sense of urgency with where you're at in your career wanting to win the championship?
ALONZO MOURNING: To tell you the truth, it's not just from my perspective. There should be a sense of urgency from all these guys, even Shaq, because he knows that he was brought here for one reason, and that's to bring the championship to this franchise. Unlike Shaq, everybody else, we don't have any right to even speak about how it feels to win a championship at all because we haven't been there.
Based on our overall approach we're going to turn our hunger toward accomplishing that goal. I think right now our approach has been pretty solid, and we're getting to that level of consistency that we need going into Game 5. This is going to be a very tough game because that team over there has a lot of pride, and I know that it's going to be a dogfight because the last thing they want to do is get closed out on their home court. I expect this to be a very, very tough game for us, and we've got to stay focused and do our jobs on both ends of the court.
Q. Being a veteran club, is anything Pat says motivation-wise necessary, or are you guys just motivated by being one win away from the finals?
ALONZO MOURNING: You know what, yeah, we are veterans, and we know how much it means to be in this position because you have to take advantage of this moment because there's no guarantee that you'll be here again next year. So you need someone like a Pat Riley who has coached the most playoff games in the history of this game, a man that has the experience that he has to give us that constructive criticism and remind us in his own little way how important it is to not be complacent in a situation like this because he's been there; he's been there as a player, he's been there as a coach, he's been there, he's seen it all. Just for him to be there and constantly remind us, this is what we need to do and to keep us on our toes, I think it's needed, regardless of the experience that we have, because we're human. It's human to exhale and relax sometimes, and we've just got to be reminded of the position that we're in and the opportunity that we have in front of us sometimes.
Like I said, he does it in his own subtle, constructive way, but we respond to it because we respect him.

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