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May 25, 2011

Luol Deng


Q. The sun came up today. Maybe it didn't, but it did rise today. Is everything positive here today?
LUOL DENG: Yeah. Everything is positive.

Q. Is it hard -- I mean, you guys haven't been in this position where you've lost three in a row. It seems like you guys are shooting yourselves in the foot at times. Is it hard to stay positive?
LUOL DENG: We got to stay positive. We're not -- it's the position we're in. We're not happy with being down 3-1. But, hey, this is what it is. Got no choice.

Q. Can you say there's literally a few plays separating you from being 1-3 to 2-2 or 3-1?
LUOL DENG: Yeah, I mean, we look at every game we've lost, and we've really been in it. It could have went either way. But at the end of the day, it's about winning. Sometimes everything you do in that game is -- just when you don't win, nobody sees it, or it's all gone. The focus is all on the negative.
But somehow we just got to take the positive out of those and try not to repeat them. Right now the last three games -- I thought we were better last night going into overtime. We just couldn't do it. But we just got to keep on -- you can't give up. You have to keep on pushing. Every game is going to be close. We're going to keep on fighting. We just have to find a way of just winning those games, and we could turn this thing around.

Q. Is there any consistent element to the difficulties in the fourth quarter you guys have had in this series?
LUOL DENG: I mean, you just -- you're going through a fight. It's really -- it's just we have to do a little -- a better job of just executing and finishing plays. At the end of the day, it really comes down to making baskets. I think both teams are playing great defense. It's just making plays and making shots.

Q. Derrick has closed out so many games here in the playoffs and in the regular season. Last night he was taking it pretty hard on his shoulders that he was to blame for the loss. You guys I'm sure don't see it that way.
LUOL DENG: No, not at all. I think if we're in that position, we'll give him the ball again. Every time we're in that position, we're going to give him the ball. He's done it all year for us. Like I said, we win together, we lose together. No matter -- if anyone had a good game and we lose, it really don't matter. It's all about winning right now.

Q. Has Miami turned up their defensive intensity as this series has gone on?
LUOL DENG: I mean, I thought -- they've been playing D the whole time. The first game I just -- we played really great. It wasn't a close game at all. And every game since I think they've been playing the same way.
The games are really coming down to the end. Every game you could look at the last five minutes, and they could have gone either way.

Q. Luol, how much do you need the home crowd for you tomorrow, and can they be an extra lift for you guys?
LUOL DENG: Definitely. It's the difference right now. They've taken care of their home court. We didn't take care of our home court. We lost one game here. When you look at the score, 3-1, you know, it looks bad being down like that. But when you look at it, we gave one away at home. We couldn't get one over there.
Now we go back to the same game. We have to take care of home court and try to go back down there and win one.

Q. Do you think the confidence level of this team has wavered at all?
LUOL DENG: Not at all. I really believe we just -- we got a group of guys that are going to keep on fighting. I really -- there's no quit in us and there's no quit in that locker room. Like I said, it's really going to come down to the end of the game again. You're going to get knocked down a lot of times. It's just you have to keep on fighting it. And at the end it's who is still standing up. Right now we're not down. You know, you can definitely make a case that we're on our way down, but we're not laying down yet.

Q. Is LeBron a tough matchup for Derrick at the end of games? You've gone to him all year, so it's hard to go away from him, but LeBron on Derrick, is it tough at the end?
LUOL DENG: Derrick has seen a lot of different matchups. He's good enough to -- I really -- I don't believe anyone could guard Derrick one-on-one. LeBron has done a good job at times, but Derrick has seen a lot of different matchups.

Q. Luol, how difficult is it to see Omer go down?
LUOL DENG: That's tough. He really tried to play. You could tell -- we could all tell before the game, even at shoot-around, that he was hurt pretty bad. But he just -- he wants it just as bad as everyone, and he really tried to go out there and try to do something. But he really couldn't.

Q. Can you talk about how well you thought he played during his rookie season in general?
LUOL DENG: Yeah, I always say Omer is going to be great. He's going to be a good player in this league for years to come, in just the things he does or the things he's doing right now as a rookie. A lot of people don't notice it, but if you know the game, you see the little things that he does that a lot of rookies don't know or a lot of rookies don't get until later in their career, and he's doing it already.

Q. Mostly defensive recognition and rotations?
LUOL DENG: Defense, offensively, rebounds, he's smart, taking fouls, helping teammates, knowing the plays, setting screens. Just all the little things that really helps you win.

Q. Do you think he's become your best post defender? Has he gotten more confidence?
LUOL DENG: I think he's gotten a lot better. The one thing he does great is really help defense right now. He reads the play really well. And he's done a good job of just not fouling like he was doing earlier in the year. He's got better at that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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