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June 1, 2011

Dwyane Wade

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q. Dwyane, you guys have had a ton of comebacks this postseason. Including you're 6-0 trailing at halftime in the playoffs. Is there a concern that there will become a feeling of, we'll get them in the fourth quarter. We always come back, and is it something you would rather not have to go through?
DWYANE WADE: In a perfect world you would rather always be leading. For us we just -- whether you lead or not, you want to be playing the game well. You want to be doing some of the things you do and that you're good at. It's not always going to result into obviously wins. It's not always going to result in having the lead. There were some games in the Chicago series where the halftime lead was 2. Whether we were down two or up two, we felt like we were playing well.
So with this team, I haven't sensed it all year. Maybe previous teams we had that mentality and our coaches didn't like it at all. But with this team I haven't sensed that we're saying, we can get to the fourth quarter and win. It hasn't happened that way.
So yes, we're very confident in our fourth-quarter defense. But at the same time, it's the habits we built throughout the game that allows us to be that confident going into the fourth.

Q. Dwyane, you said all series that a lot of people are hurt with various hurts. Can you explain how much pain you are playing through at this time.
DWYANE WADE: Nothing. No different than any other player.

Q. I know that it's a great environment here with the fans and all of that, but beyond that, what is it about playing at home that's part of the routine you go through during the day? What makes that so valuable for you guys? You haven't lost here during the playoffs. What is it that makes that so key in grabbing this game tomorrow before going to Dallas for three games?
DWYANE WADE: Obviously our fans have been great. Our fans are like our bench; they get a lot of flack about what they're not and what they don't do. But they're pretty good. So the energy that they bring to the arena is very loud. I've been here eight years. The energy they brought last night is amazing. We feed off that. I think they understand that.
Yes, you get into a different rhythm obviously at home than on the road. But we've been a pretty good road team all year, because we try to do the same things throughout the year, home or on the road. We try to keep it as consistent as possible. But we just enjoy playing here. We understand that we put ourselves in position to have home court. And that's all you can ask for when you're in The Finals. You say if we can get home court, we're a pretty good home team. We put ourselves in position to be able to win a championship. That's what we've done.

Q. Is tomorrow valuable to get as a game just because every win in The Finals is so valuable or is it so valuable because it's a home game and you don't want to surrender that?
DWYANE WADE: Both. Obviously it's valuable, because it's a Finals game. It's the next game which is the next important game. But it's a home game as well. Like everyone knows and as Dirk said yesterday, their job is to come and have a split. If they've done that, they've done a great job. What we did in Chicago. We got a split in that series. Even after Game 1 when everyone was writing us off, we got a split and we took control of the series from there.
Our job is to come out and not only protect home floor, but win the next game. Each game in the playoffs is its own. And Game 1 is over with. I'm sure they learned from it, we've learned from it, ways we can get better. We are looking forward to the next one.

Q. Dwyane, you guys seem to have difficulty figuring out the defense of Dallas at the start. What changed for you guys? What did you learn and what were you able to go at as the game progressed?
DWYANE WADE: Obviously, Dallas switched defenses at different times. I think once we understood they were going to do that, we just said, let's just run our offense. Our offense is good enough, whether we're in the zone or man offense in the zone or vice versa. I think we did a great job settling in. It was first game of the Finals. You can tell both teams were very excited. Had a little jitters. Once we settled in, we were able to get back to running the offense the way we normally run, getting the ball in our sweet spots, and settling us in a little bit.

Q. Dwyane, you guys all said last night and again today, there are things you can do better tomorrow as opposed to last night. Outside of shooting, you outrebounded by 10. Outside of shooting better yourself, what is it you guys think you can do considerably better in Game 2?
DWYANE WADE: Obviously we hang our hats on defense. So we held them to 84 points. But we've seen a lot of possessions on the film that we can get better defensively. We can help each other out better, and try to make it a little tougher. Some of the shots they missed was open. We can't let that happen next time. We have to do a better job of contesting all of them. At least 75 percent of their shots.
As well offensively we've seen some ways we can get better opportunities towards the basket, get our shooters more shots, better shots, et cetera.
You always are going to find ways in the game, if you look at it and find a way you can be better. We can be way better in the game. It's saying the score going to be 150-149. But there's ways we can execute better. We can get better looks and we can get better opportunities.

Q. What are you noticing about LeBron's game in the final five minutes of either regulation or overtime that you did not notice or see at any other point in the season?
DWYANE WADE: I think it's more than anything, I see him he's more comfortable at the end of games. You are going through the year, we had to try to figure it out, guys finding their way. And it's at the point now if LeBron is having a ball at the end of games, he makes the decisions for our team. Whether he wants to shoot or whether he wants to pass, et cetera. I think early in the year it was more so maybe thinking too much about the other guys on the floor.
We put the ball in his hands a lot at the end because obviously he's a great player. He's 6'8", he can see over the defense and he's a great passer and enjoys the moment. Confidence. I see more confidence in him at the end of games. He wants it. He wants to win games. He wants to be in that winning circle. So he's going to do whatever it takes.

Q. How recent is that development? Is it the playoffs only?
DWYANE WADE: No. You started seeing it develop towards the end of the season. As a team you can see our offense started to evolve. Obviously myself, Chris and LeBron is going to be the focal point of the offense at the end. You can see guys getting more comfortable in their roles. Normally I was the guy here in Miami that at the end of games I always had the ball in my hand. So it took me time to get comfortable with that and get comfortable with saying all right, LeBron, you take it. And that's a part of wanting to win and wanting to do whatever it takes to win. That's another part of putting pride and ego aside, figuring out what's best for the team.
Each game it changes. It's never going to always be the same. There was a play yesterday, Coach called a play in the huddle for LeBron. He wound up saying, no, I want D-Wade to have it right here, because he seen I had it going a little bit. We ran it. We got a loft for LeBron off of it. We got some good things out of that set. So that's just how the team has evolved and how guys feel comfortable with each other. Reading the game, seeing who has it going, who is in the groove, et cetera.

Q. Dwyane, I wonder if I can get a couple of reactions from David Stern's press conference last night. They said part of the problem with the system is all three of you guys are getting 10 1/2% raises every year, which is too high. Do you think you deserve a 10 1/2% raise every year? And two, the whole idea the Heat can be broken up if the salary range changes because you would be over the salary cap. How much would it bother you if you were never beaten, you were taken apart?
DWYANE WADE: That's nothing I want to focus on mentally at this time of the year. I'll have more comments on that when the season is over. Right now it's the least of my worries.

Q. Are you okay with the raise though?
DWYANE WADE: Am I okay with the raise? Anything with a raise, I'm okay with it. For the players.

Q. Dwyane, you've always talked about offensive closers. What's the make-up of a defensive closer?
DWYANE WADE: I think it's underestimated in this game how much -- what closer really means. Everyone takes -- they look at what a guy does on the offensive end to close games out, whether he makes a big shot, whether he's able to get his teammates shots. But for us, in Miami, our thought is we're going to close games overall. So offensively we're going to execute. We're going to get the ball in the hands of the guys that can make the plays. But on the defensive end, let's close it out. Let's make it tough for them to score. Let's rebound the ball, and let's give ourselves a chance.
So I think all year I think we've done a better job of closing games on the defensive end than we did on the offensive end. When we went through our five-game losing streak, we weren't closing games on the defensive end. All the talk was about what we wasn't doing offensively. Too much one-on-one, too much this. We weren't closing games on the defensive end.

Q. What's more important, offensive closer or defensive closer or can you make that distinction?
DWYANE WADE: No, they are both important to me. You can have all the defense in the world, but you obviously have to put the ball in the basket. You can have all the offense in the world but you obviously have to get some stops. They are just as important.

Q. How important is it that your three stars are so committed to defense? That's not always the case on some other teams.
DWYANE WADE: That's very important. Like I said, when we decided to play together, that was one of the main conversations we had. It wasn't about offensively what we can get done. It was about defensively what we can get done and what we can become. We understood it was going to take time because of the system, because of having new players, but that's what we wanted to become. We wanted to be a dominant defensive team.
You look at all the great teams in the past, they was great defensive teams. That's the reason they won championships, no matter how much offensive firepower they had.

Q. Dwyane, looking at you guy's offense last night, you weren't shooting jumpers primarily. I know a lot of that was because of Dallas' defense. Do you and LeBron need to get into the lane, need to get more free-throw attempts, or can you guys survive the way you did offensively last night in the series?
DWYANE WADE: Obviously, you look at it, you have to take what the defense gives you. But we have to mix it up. I thought I did a good job of mixing it up. I got three of my lay-ups blocked from behind. We was attacking. When the outside shot is going, it's going. Obviously it's not going to be there every night as much as driving to the paint, putting pressure on the defense.
So it's just about mixing it up. Who knows if we're going to hit 11 threes or LeBron is going to shoot four for five from three. As long as we're putting pressure on the defense, it doesn't always have to be a paint point, it can be a point attack that leads to one of LeBron's threes or two of LeBron's threes by drawing the defense in and able to kick it out.
So we didn't have a lot of paint points. We had a lot of paint attacks. We had a lot of times we had the defense cave in and we were able to kick it out to get open threes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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