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May 28, 2006

Udonis Haslem

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q. Pat brought it up again today, going back to this theme of energy and efficiency and all those infamous percentages now and how when you guys need a win, the numbers are up. When you don't necessarily need a win, the numbers drop. How do you prevent that tomorrow night?
UDONIS HASLEM: Just got to be a veteran team. Everybody has been here before. This is my second year being in this situation. Obviously Shaq, Gary and those guys have been around a long time. We should know by now what it takes to be in the game at the end or have a chance to win. It's up to us. It's nothing Pat can draw up. It's not about Xs and Os, it's just about going out and doing it.
Q. Detroit has had a problem when you guys are freelancing or scattering. When you go back to the last couple minutes of Game 2, talk about when you guys were capitalizing on the broken play last night. Pat said that he tried to orchestrate some of those moments where it may start with Dwyane and end up in your hands as a jumper or a dunk. How much is that important for you to continue to roll to Detroit can't anticipate what you're doing?
UDONIS HASLEM: It's very important because for instance when they trapped Dwyane up height, last night we tried to run isos, everybody knew exactly where it was. It was like clockwork. We got a dunk out of it, we got a foul for Posey, he got to the free throw line and he made two shots. Everything was like clockwork. We're prepared for things like that.
I think that's very important, especially coming down the stretch when you know teams are going to throw a couple traps and a couple defenses at you.
Q. Is that the best weapon against Detroit because obviously their defensive intensity?
UDONIS HASLEM: They're a great defensive team, and when they turn it up, they turn it up on you. The thing about them is they can play at one pace for four minutes, and the last eight minutes of the game they can turn it up on you, and before you know it, like they did last night, they're on an 11-0 run. It's great to have things like that that we can bounce back and go to.
Q. You've played on lots of teams with lots of different caliber players. What's it like in a game like last night where you can just be like we have Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade.
UDONIS HASLEM: I've been blessed to be in that situation the last two years, and both of those guys have made my job a lot easier offensively, just getting open shots, and I try to do my part and make their job easy on defense.
Q. How much fun is it to play with both of them?
UDONIS HASLEM : It's a lot of fun, not just on the court but off the court. They're great guys. No egos, no big heads. We have a great time off the court, as well, and I think that's one thing that since I've been here in three years, even though I've been on three different teams, we've always had great guys on and off the floor.
Q. Early on if Shaq can get those offensive rebounds like he did, what does that create, what kind of impact?
UDONIS HASLEM: He's going to go back and dunk it, so it's usually two points. If he doesn't dunk it, he's going to get fouled and get to the free throw line. He's probably going to get a foul on one of them bigs, Rasheed, any one of those guys.
Q. When Pat came to start coaching the team, what were the differences that he made when he took over?
UDONIS HASLEM: Actually I think even though he's legendary, he's been around the game a long time, I think he was kind of just trying to fit in a little bit, asking us kind of how we were doing things and asking the assistant coaches how we were doing things. That lasted about a week.
Then he put his touch on it, tweaked things a little bit, and we've taken off from there.
Q. How is the Pat Riley-coached Heat different than the Heat before he was coaching you guys?
UDONIS HASLEM: I think we're just a lot more together, but I don't think it has to do with coaching; it has to do with us being together longer, going through ups and downs. Whoever was coaching, we had to go through those ups and downs to get to where we are now. Based on the fact we went through those things, that's why we're at this point now.

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