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May 24, 2007

Rasheed Wallace


Q. In your opinion have you ever played defense this well before?
RASHEED WALLACE: (Laughing) Is that a real question, man?

Q. That's a real question.

Q. Yes?
RASHEED WALLACE: Yes. It's not the first time.

Q. The last play, a lot of contact, could have went either way. Benefit of the home crowd, the home calls?
RASHEED WALLACE: Probably, probably. Like you said, it could have went either way. It could have been a foul on Rip or it could have been a foul on LeBron with that off arm. I mean, it was just a playoff call, I'll say that. It was a good no-call.

Q. Tell me what happens to this team in the fourth quarter. Where do you get the poise and the confidence that you're going to win?
RASHEED WALLACE: It's hard. You know, the guys in that locker room, we don't give up, no matter what the deficit is. If we lose, okay, we will deal with losing, but if we go hard and losing then it's fine. But it's just resilience with the guys in that locker room. Veterans, guys that don't want to lose.

Q. Could you talk about Maxiell in the first half? He really seemed to give you guys that nice boost and lift you guys needed.
RASHEED WALLACE: Actually I just told Jason that this might have been his best game all year. Even though he's had some pretty big games throughout the regular season, had a big game in Milwaukee, but I don't think the meaning of that game wasn't like the one tonight. He showed up big tonight, a couple rebounds and blocks, was running the floor, got a couple offensive rebounds for dunks, got some open dunks.
Just my opinion, that might have been Maxiell's best game so far this year.

Q. In addition to the points that you put on the board when you scored, what do you see as your role in giving the team an emotional lift when you got the shots you did in the fourth quarter?
RASHEED WALLACE: Just playing. Every shot is big. We came down in that last minute and a half. I did a bone head play by turning it over trying to pass to Chauncey. Chauncey made a bad play. But the thing about it is, like I mentioned before, we had that resilience. We turned the ball over, and it's that man's job, who turned it over, to get it back, and that's what we're trying to do.

Q. What about when you make the shot that you did in that third quarter before crunch time, the rest of the guys seem to feed off that. What do you see as your role emotionally?
RASHEED WALLACE: I just told my wife the other night, I'm their megaphone. I'm the loudspeaker. If they got something they want to say is happening out there, I'm going to say it. There again, it's just resilience. I don't want to lose, I don't like to lose, and same thing for the other guys in the locker room.

Q. Talk about you just came out so strong and intense in the beginning but then the two fouls when you come out. Talk about how you maintain that intensity and how you're able to be there at the end and how you have to fight to come out.
RASHEED WALLACE: Unfortunately I didn't want to come out, but I didn't have fouls for that second half. If I do get in foul trouble, we have guys like Dyess and Nazr and Jason on that bench coming in to fill for the things that I do, just trying to keep that fire. I can't let the two early fouls get me down or myself get in a slump, then we're all in a slump. Just got to keep that fire lit.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about your battles with Varejao. Seemed like every time up and down the court --
RASHEED WALLACE: It ain't no battles. That kid ain't old enough to be in what you'd want to call a battle. They ain't had no battles yet. All that flopping, they need to make that a technical foul for next year. They did everything else do give me technical fouls. That's not defense in the fourth quarter, and I'm glad we have veteran officials to see that.

Q. What did you do differently in the third quarter second straight game you guys came out, blitzed them and could say that's where the game was really won tonight. What did you do in the third quarter to adjust?
RASHEED WALLACE: Just played a little bit harder. That first half we played somewhat hard, but that second half, the first five, six minutes in that third quarter we came out and had to play hard. They were up 12. We couldn't let that get any higher. We couldn't let that move to 18 or 20 and so on. It's like, hey, we've got to go out there the first five minutes, take what they give us and just be aggressive.

Q. Could you talk about what you anticipate when you guys go down to Cleveland. Two close games here at the Palace. They're probably feeling like they can do some things when they get home.
RASHEED WALLACE: Definitely. I'm sure that's how some of those guys feel. It's going to be a good game. I know their crowd is going to be ready and it's going to be rocking over there. That's what we like. We like the crowd on our backs and on our necks. That just makes us step up a little bit more.

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