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May 20, 2011

Tom Thibodeau

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q. Coach, so much has been said after that game, kept asking the same question, whether it's on sports radio or blogs -- they just want to know more about the end of the game and Kyle Korver and having him in for most of the rest of the game. Can you explain that strategy?

Q. The strategy of having Kyle Korver in the end -- the last nine minutes of the game.
TOM THIBODEAU: That's the way we finish games. That's what we've done all season. You need shooting on the floor. We have to try to open it up. Kyle is fine.

Q. Would you like to see Derrick be more aggressive down the stretch, maybe take over games or continue to defer to the teammates, try to get the team involved?
TOM THIBODEAU: That's what he tried to do. You have to give their defense credit. It's 73-73 with 4:36 to go, and, you know, it's a make or miss league. He's got to be aggressive. We have to play with more pace. Defensively I thought we were better in the fourth quarter. It was hard-fought. Derrick had some shots that he normally makes.
But we have to execute a lot better. We have to screen better. We have to keep the ball moving. But we have to get some easy baskets too.

Q. Derrick has adjusted, whether it's the playoff series before or the regular season, he always seems to come back better the next game. Have you seen that?
TOM THIBODEAU: Yes. This is the playoffs. Everything is hard-fought. We have to do a better job. We have to execute and set better screens. Teams have loaded up on him all year long. So he knows what he has to do. He'll study. He's prepared. He's got to be aggressive. He's got to finish better. And usually that's one of his strengths. He's a great finisher.

Q. It really is amazing, your team has not lost two games in a row in over three months. When they do lose, knowing the psychology of your players, do they almost take it like an insult where they want to get back on the court and take care of matters?
TOM THIBODEAU: Well, again, it comes back to how you approach things. We have to come in, we have to study. It's important how we respond to what happened to us. So make the necessary corrections, practice well and hopefully play better in their next game.

Q. Is it just true in nature you think that they would play better after a loss, that your team is a little better at doing that?
TOM THIBODEAU: Well, I think sometimes it calls more attention to the things you need to correct. And then the big adjustment is you have to come out and play with great intensity. To me that's the big thing. Sometimes it's one or two hustle plays that makes the difference. I thought when the ball was up on the board, they got to those balls.
So we have to rebound the ball better. We have to finish our defense better. And offensively we have to execute better. We didn't shoot the three particularly well. 3 for 20. And we didn't shoot our free-throws particularly well. Those are two areas we want to clean up.

Q. Coach they have done a great job in closing the lane for Derrick. How do you open it back up?
TOM THIBODEAU: Well, part of it is you have to make some shots. If you're not shooting well, their defense will be sitting in the lane. And they're a great help team. So that's why it's so important to play with pace. So you make a miss, you rebound and outlet the ball and get it to the open floor, the defense is spread out. Now you can get into the paint and get into seams and either score or create easy offense for others.
I think we have to look to post the ball more.

Q. Tom, you've also said all year that Kyle can't shoot enough. Right now he's in a little bit of a slump. What do you say to him? What do you do for him? Or do you say just keep shooting?
TOM THIBODEAU: As with all shooters, you look at the type of shots they are getting, and, you know, when he's raising up to shoot, before the ball goes in, you ask yourself is that a good shot or bad shot? So those are the same shots he's made all year. He's proven he's an excellent shooter. If he's open, we want him to take.
As with the entire team, there's other things that he can do to help us. He spaces the floor. He's an excellent passer. A very good team defender. There's a lot of things he can do to help.

Q. You gave the team a day off yesterday. Did you take the day off? Or were you here?
TOM THIBODEAU: I was in. I was in.

Q. Looking at tape?

Q. How many hours?
TOM THIBODEAU: A couple of hours.

Q. Even though Derrick is a young guy on a new stage in a lot of ways, he seems to be thriving on this. Can you talk about how he's handling all the things coming at him?
TOM THIBODEAU: His approach is great. He hasn't been on this stage, but he has been on a big stage, as have a number of our guys, in terms of college Final Fours, that sort of thing. Carlos has gone deep in the playoffs before. Scalabrine has won a championship. Kurt has a number of playoff games. We have guys some with a lot of experience, some with a medium amount of experience, like Luol. Then we have some who are getting experience. And I think you learn as you go.
I think Derrick's approach is very sound. He studies, he prepares. He's never satisfied. He just tries to get ready for the next game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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