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May 20, 2011

LeBron James

Dwyane Wade

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

LEBRON JAMES: Those guys are trying to seize the moment just as much as we are. They have a game plan and we have a game plan. Whichever team executes at a high level close to 48 minutes is going to win.

Q. It took you guys until the second game of the Conference Finals to get the five free agents on the floor together.
LEBRON JAMES: We talked about that too on the plane. We were watching the film. This is the first time the lineup we envisioned at some point in the season finally had happened with us, Mike Miller, UD and CB out on the court at the same time. It worked.

Q. Is it under duress -- you guys haven't been able to ease into it. You had to do it under duress to make it work.
LEBRON JAMES: We haven't been able to ease into anything this year, right?

Q. LeBron, you kind of had a terrific performance to bail the team out last game, and you did a couple of times the last round. You usually don't want to have to do it again. Talk about the ability to --
LEBRON JAMES: I didn't bail our team out. We're all in it together. I made a few plays down the stretch. If we didn't continue to get stops defensively and give ourselves an opportunity to get in that position, we wouldn't be 1-1 now.
It isn't a bailout. This is a 48-minute game. I made a few shots, but the screen that Mike Bibby set for me to get open on the three, you know, the movement that we had, for me to be able to get open in those plays. It's not a bailout. It's about teamwork.

Q. Dwyane, you've been through a lot of physical series. Coach was saying this is an ice-pack, limp-on-to-the-bus type series. Is this maybe a little bit notch above some of the others, or maybe equivalent maybe to the Detroit series as far as physicality already just through two games?
DWYANE WADE: It's very physical. I was talking the other day, I don't remember when I was younger, was it as physical as it is now? Obviously, Detroit was a physical team. This is a very physical series. This is a grind-out series. When you look at our series compared to the other series, it's night and day in terms of style. They are very physical. I'm sure both teams in between games, you know, are in the ice tub trying to get their bodies ready for the next one.

Q. It seems like a very respectful series. Not as much trash talk. It's almost like they appreciate the effort you are putting in, and they seem to appreciate the effort you're putting in. Do you sense that as opposed to grudge series you have had, of rivalry series, that it's a deep working respect between these two teams?
DWYANE WADE: It's not a rivalry. We don't have the history between both teams. Because both teams are fairly new with the personnel that's put on the team. We're both coming in with our hard hats on and understanding our game, where we -- how we win is kind of similar in a sense. So we're working hard. It hasn't been yakking back and forth. It's been a lot of hard work. Who knows if it will get there. You always know it's going to be hard work between these two teams.

Q. How old do you feel compared to how old you are in the series?
DWYANE WADE: I don't know how old I am. I don't know. Heat years or regular?
LEBRON JAMES: Heat years, 50. Like 29 on his birthday.
DWYANE WADE: I feel good on game day. How about that.

Q. LeBron, you chased them pretty much the second half of the season trying to get that No. 1 seed. Now that you have home court, how do you value it? Can you exhale a little bit?
LEBRON JAMES: There's no time for exhaling. We're in the Conference Finals. We understand this team is a very hard-working team. They're going to try to steal home court back. We've done some great things on our home court in this postseason, and we're looking to do that. Our fans deserve it.
We're going to go out here and give it 110% the same way we played in Chicago Game 2 and see what happens with the final result.

Q. Dwyane, some guys when they go to their hometown to play they get wrapped up in all that. You seemed detached the past few days. How and why were you able to have that detached point of view?
DWYANE WADE: I've been going home eight years now. It's not like it's my first rodeo. I'm kind of used to how things go. Obviously, I haven't been in this kind of capacity. But my family and friends understand what my goal is and what my focus is. I have no distractions. I was with my team. Just like it was a regular road game, pretty much. The only thing is we had a little home cooking. Besides that, everything else was the same.

Q. They say defense wins championships and it seems like whoever wins the Eastern Conference Championship it will come down to that, making the stops, especially in the fourth quarter.
DWYANE WADE: Defense wins championships. But there's other things that win championships. Rebounds win championships. You have to have phenomenal players that are able to put the ball in the basket. A lot of things.
We focus on our defense. We understand that's what wins us games. That's at the end of the day how we look to win the games. But we have to have offensive execution as well. We have to have great players on offense to do some of the things that LeBron is able to do late in games. Just two great defensive teams, but a great player made great plays to win the game at the end.

Q. Watching the film, can you talk about stopping Derrick Rose, what worked and what you guys were able to do?
LEBRON JAMES: Just try to keep a body in front of them. Try to make him stay out on the perimeter. He's so quick and so fast, he's going to break your defense down. When he does, our bigs did a great job of being there for us and having a high hand. When he hit the floor, had to go to the free-throw line to shoot two free-throws or making him take some contested lay-ups.
We did a good job. He missed a few shots. You have to just try to stay in front of him as much as possible. It's easier said than done. But we have the personnel and the lineup changes that we just throw different bodies at him and continue to try to keep him off balance.

Q. Dwyane, can you talk about that too, the challenge of keeping him in front of you and how well --
DWYANE WADE: The challenge of keeping in front, as close as possible. The guy can change speeds better than any point guard to that sense. So it's of course hard to keep him out of the paint. It's our job to try -- if he beat us, to continue to have a body on him, know we're going to get help. A lot of the game that's all we did, tried to make it tough for him.
He's one of the best finishers in the game. You have to make him come to the hole and finish over three or four outstretched hands. That's what we tried to do. Obviously he missed some shots. I think our defense did a pretty good job. He's going to hit some of those with us playing the same defense. We can't get discouraged. We have to take the ball out and understand that's a great player making a great move or taking a great shot.

Q. After everything he's been through, what did it feel like to see Udonis get comfortable, be a contributor and be a big factor in that second game?
DWYANE WADE: It was awesome. All of us knew how hard he worked to try to get back in game shape. Let's not forget he had to come back from a surgery. But to come out there and give us -- a lot of things he did will make the highlights. A lot of things he did won't that was big for this team with his hustle, him getting in there fighting with those guys under the basket.
Like I keep saying, he's the heartbeat of this team. We missed him for a while. We're glad he's back. And hopefully he continues to improve.

Q. Dwyane, that was just a scrape on your elbow? No stitches?
DWYANE WADE: No stitches. I don't know. It's fine. All good.

Q. Will you have to play with the sleeve again? Or is it now sort of closed up, that it's not an issue?
DWYANE WADE: Closed up. Not an issue.

Q. Was that an issue at the end of the game where you had to wear a wrap or something like that?
DWYANE WADE: Yeah, I'm glad I had this guy. It wasn't comfortable on my elbow. So I didn't really want to shoot the ball too much.

Q. You were a decoy at the end?
DWYANE WADE: I was a good decoy at the end.

Q. A very expensive decoy.

Q. LeBron, can you guys address having a second half that was successful in Chicago and what it took?
LEBRON JAMES: We knew that our third quarters haven't been the greatest in the postseason. We knew in order to even the series, we had to come out with a sense of urgency in the third quarter, and we did that. We got up by as much as 11 in the third quarter that gave us enough lead that when it was tied and we couldn't make a shot in the fourth, a couple of balls go here, a couple of balls go there, we were able to have enough of a lead in the third quarter where we could manage. That's what it's all about.
We got out and we changed our halftime, our warmup thing. Usually guys we play so many minutes, we use it as downtime. We got out and got a good warmup and came out with a sense of urgency in the third quarter.

Q. Has your conditioning routine throughout your career been the same, or have you improved it or enhanced it over the years?
LEBRON JAMES: It's improved over the years. When you first -- of course, my rookie year you don't -- after game 30, you are about ready to quit. You hit that rookie wall. I played 27 games in the season in high school. It took me a couple of years to get into NBA-game shape. My first two years I didn't make the postseason, so after a few years in the postseason, I started to do more to try to enhance my wind. I've been able to be in some pretty good shape where I can play 40 to 45 minutes in a postseason game and be okay when the next game comes.
At this point, it's the postseason. Whatever it takes. If I'm able to be out there and I'm not hurting the team by being out there playing 40 minutes or 45 minutes, I'll be out there for my team.

Q. You've done different things, pilates and other things? What are some of the things you've tried over the years?
LEBRON JAMES: I did a lot of swimming this past off season, just try to take a lot of the grind off your legs when you're in the pool. I do pilates and yoga to stay in front of the curve. I feel like it's helping me. Does it work for everybody? I don't know. I'm not a guru on how to be in the best condition. Let me sit here and tell you that. But it works for me.

Q. Can you expect that kind of production from Udonis at this stage? Or is it still considered a bonus? How do you guys move forward --
DWYANE WADE: What we expect from him is his energy and effort. We don't know what we're going to get on the offensive end, but we know on the defensive end and what he's going to bring is going to be consistent. Some nights he's going to make shots. Some nights he's probably not. It's going to take him a while to get back into -- he's never going to get back into game shape like that. There's only so many games left, if we go all the way and go seven.
He missed 69 games. What he can bring is his toughness, his energy and the fight to get in there. He's going to do that. That's the make-up of Udonis Haslem. Everything else he does we'll see from game to game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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