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May 21, 2011

Tom Thibodeau

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q. How much is it going to be adjusting and how much is it going to be executing what you're doing?
TOM THIBODEAU: Well, it's a combination of both. But, again, your strengths and weaknesses as a team don't change. It's going to come down to how hard you do it, how well, you do it and how long you do it. You have to be able to sustain that intensity throughout the game.

Q. Do you look again to see how the bench is contributing and then maybe give them more minutes at times?
TOM THIBODEAU: Yeah, once the game starts you don't know exactly how it will unfold, whether there's foul trouble or there could be injury. Whatever might come up, that would change things. But for the most part, you have a pretty good idea about your rotation and what it will be. Yes. So we're not going to change a whole lot.

Q. We know you know X's and O's inside and out. We don't see this like pep talks like right before the game and at halftime and practices. Are you big on stuff like that?
TOM THIBODEAU: If you have to rely on pep talks at this time of the year, there's something wrong. To me right now it's more about the habits than anything else. All the things you've built up over the course of the season, how well you can handle tough situations, the ability to continue to concentrate throughout the game, to move on to the next play, be ready for the next play no matter what happens.
And during the course of the game, you're going to be faced with a lot of different things. Sometimes things will be going your way, sometimes they won't. You have to be able to navigate through all that. And you have to make tough plays. This is what it's about right now. The ability to make tough plays, make hustle plays, make great-effort plays, to do all the things that would help unite and inspire your teammates.

Q. You're always imploring Derrick to attack and attack. Game 3 in Atlanta you were on him for like two days straight. Right off the bat he was attacking the rim the first opening tip. Are you wanting him to have that same mentality here?
TOM THIBODEAU: Yes, but that doesn't change. That's every game. That's been his mindset the entire year. So it's not -- it happens to be our next game, but I don't want him to change anything that he's doing. That's how we got here. We want to continue to do all the things that we did well throughout the course of the season. We're not going to change who we are now.

Q. They seemed to have an intensity edge in Game 2. Did you address that or was that understood?
TOM THIBODEAU: I thought it was a hard-fought game. 73-73, I'm not sure anyone is saying anything. You don't know what the outcome is. It's the same thing with your shooting. It's a make-or-miss league. Sometimes you go up and the ball goes in and out.
But our defense, it has to be good. It's got to be great. And we have to be able to count on that. The rebounding has to be consistent. We have to make great effort. It's about will right now.

Q. Tom, you talked yesterday about the need to get some easier baskets. How do you get Carlos going early?
TOM THIBODEAU: Again, the same thing. Just like with Derrick, the more we can run the floor and get out into transition before their defense gets set, it makes our offense much more efficient. And I think it also plays to what our strengths are, the ability for Joakim to run the floor. Carlos is a good runner. Luol.
We have to try to get easy baskets. If a defense is set, now you have to move the defense. Now the clock starts working against you. I think that if you're settling for long jumpers at the end of the shot clock, you're not going to be very successful against this team.

Q. Do you think you got a little bit away from playing inside-out last game offensively?
TOM THIBODEAU: Well, you know, the thing is when you're 3 for 20 from the three, you analyze how you're getting the threes. Oftentimes it was off penetration and post-up. And then the other thing is the fact that we were able to get to the line 26 times. We didn't convert. So you're getting to the line because you're driving and posting the ball.
We just got to do it with more force. We have to have that balance. Even on the kickout, we don't have to settle for the three. We can re-post and we can drive. I think we have to have a good mixture of that.

Q. What was your impression of the way Russell Westbrook sat in the fourth quarter?
TOM THIBODEAU: I have enough problems worrying about our team. I can't worry about everyone else's team. That's part of the game. It's the way it goes. I'm worried about our team.

Q. Carlos, there's times he looks like the same old Carlos. A lot of bounce going. There's other moments it looks like he's still feeling some of the ankle and toe effects.
TOM THIBODEAU: I don't know. This series is going to be hard-fought. You're going to have to earn everything. I think we have to continue to search him out different ways. He has to get some more touches. He's got to be more active. It's compilation of things.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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