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June 4, 2011

LeBron James

DALLAS, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q. LeBron, because everything tends to be bigger with this team and the fall-out over the enjoyment of the moment. Are you concerned that might temper your team's enthusiasm, or are you guys going to savor the moment and if you get emotional, so be it?
LeBRON JAMES: That's part of the game. We're an emotional team. When we make plays, we can congratulate one another. I don't see why this whole thing has been blown out of proportion. I just look at it in the case of I think -- I've seen Dallas go on plenty of runs before. You know, if JT hits a three and they make a big run, if he runs down the court doing the whole wings expanded, do we count that as a celebration as well? I just think everything gets blown out of proportion when the Miami Heat does things.

Q. LeBron, Spo talked after Game 1, and as he has throughout the playoffs, about all you did was win one game. The message clearly being don't get too high. How has this team avoided not getting too low after the game ended?
LeBRON JAMES: It's been our motto, it's been our make-up all year. In the playoffs it's a win or a loss. However it comes by, it's a win or a loss. We've moved on from Game 2, seen the mistakes we've made. Seen some of the great things we've done as well. It's a win or loss. The series is tied 1-1. We never get too high or too low in the series. We haven't gotten too high or low in the regular season as well. We move on to the next challenge and go from there.

Q. LeBron, you've been in a lot of situations in your career where it's been 1-1 after two, regardless of what the format is. Can you talk about how important a Game 3 in that situation is.
LeBRON JAMES: It's very important. We understand that. We are coming out with that mindset, like we had in Game 1 or Game 2. The same mindset. It starts defensively. We have to be in tune as close to 48 minutes as possible, especially versus this team who shoots the ball extremely well, who plays extremely well, especially at home. But it's a sense of urgency.
That's the only way we have approached games. We've never went to a game saying this isn't a must-win for us or it's not a sense of urgency. That's the only way we know how to play, when we feel like we're desperate. It's the only way we approach games.

Q. LeBron, Erik said when he replayed the tape today, he said you guys knew. You identified it immediately.

Q. Particularly on defense. Were there things that kept happening over and over, specific things? Was there one thing?
LeBRON JAMES: I think it was a few minor breakdowns we don't have. And once those minor breakdowns happened, it allowed them to get into a rhythm. Even though we played great defense in some of the later possessions, they were in a comfort zone at that point. We gave up two wide-open threes without contest to J-Kidd and to Dirk. A wide open lay-up to JT off a missed shot, a missed three, and he got a wide open lay-up. We did a lot of things uncharacteristic. It happened. I don't know why we couldn't score on offense. At the end of the day there's been times we haven't been able to score for quarters on offense, but we've been able to get the stops. That's the make-up of our team. We understand no matter what happens offensively we have to be in tune. We lost our edge.

Q. Now that you guys have been able to watch the film, what was going wrong offensively at the end of the game?
LeBRON JAMES: I don't think offensively -- after rewatching the film, we got into a lot of great sets. Besides two or three possessions out of our last 14 possessions, it was pretty good. We had a few shots, I missed a lay-up at the rim. Mario Chalmers missed a wide-open lay-up. We ran some offense where Chris Bosh got in the post. He mishandled it out of bounds. UD got an offensive rebound with a minute left and mishandled it, saved it and they got a lay-up to tie the game.
So we had some really good possessions. They just didn't go down. At the end of the day, that's not where we lost the game. Like I said before, our team -- there has been times we haven't been able to score offensively, but it hasn't stopped us from keeping that same concentration or even more of a concerted effort to play defensively in the game.

Q. What about you personally, when you have a break like this, when there's the off-day and this, are you watching a lot of film? Or is it more you get inside of your own head?
LeBRON JAMES: A little bit of both. I know I'm excited for the game tomorrow. It hurt. We had time to let it hurt us as much as it could yesterday after the game. But today is a new day. And we're back and focused. We're a confident bunch. Me personally, I'm looking forward to the challenge. It's going to be fun.

Q. Do you feel that Shawn Marion has been effective guarding you? And if you feel that way, why so? Also, did you guys anticipate the offense that he would bring, scoring a lot more than he has in the regular season or the last series?
LeBRON JAMES: I think Shawn Marion has done a great job. Especially offensively. He's picked up his game offensively. Hanging around the rim, getting some lay-ups, getting some tip-backs, playing around the rim. His activity throughout the first two games has been pretty good. I take it upon myself to not only lock in at the beginning, but whoever is on him to lock in a little bit more. Because he's been very effective.
I don't feel like it's one guy in this league that can stop me one-on-one. There's always a defense that's looking at me when I have the ball. He's the guy that's guarding me, but there's no one-on-one guy that can guard me.

Q. LeBron, you've taken on the challenge of guarding Jason Terry to a lot of effectiveness. There's been a lot of expectation you'll step up and take more of an assignment on Dirk. Have you guys talked about that and come to a plan with that?
LeBRON JAMES: Obviously, we look at it as we have enough guys not only can guard Jason Terry, guard Dirk. It's a team thing. It's not LeBron versus Shawn Marion, LeBron versus Dirk Nowitzki or LeBron versus JT or DeShawn Stevenson versus Dwyane Wade. It's not about that. It's about the team.
Even though you have a one-on-one matchup on the court, there's a team defense that's put behind it. So if I get caught on him, it's not like I'm playing him one-on-one. We have a team defense and guys help each other. That's how you become successful in this league by being able to have a back line behind you. When you guard someone as great as Dirk or as great as JT is, you have to have a back line. It's never one-on-one. It's not a one-on-one thing. We get caught up on the one-on-one matchups a lot. There's always a defense that's behind it.

Q. LeBron, you said the offense was working okay but it seemed many times whether it was yourself or Dwyane were taking shots with two or three seconds left on the shot clock. Maybe the ball was a little stagnant. Talk about that, why is that happening? Is it their defense? Also, you've only taken six free throws in two games. I think you're fifth in the NBA this year in free-throw attempts per game. Is it something they're doing? Is it something you're not doing? Can you talk about that as well.
LeBRON JAMES: I think personally I do have to be more aggressive in the paint. Six free-throws in two games -- I do that in my sleep in one game. So that's not me. So I'm going to make a concerted effort to be more aggressive to try to get to the rim, create some more opportunities for myself and my teammates. I understand that. But I think we just had a few -- they extended their defense late in the game. They did some things defensively that they hadn't done throughout the first two games all the way. They started to blitz me, D-Wade's pick-and-rolls, a lot of our sets kept us on the perimeter. We didn't get into our sets early enough to give us more time. So we had to take contested long-range threes. I think I took two. D-Wade actually took one.
So I think the best thing about our team and the best thing about me and D-Wade individually, we get an opportunity to watch the film and know when that happens again, we know how to attack it. And to not settle as much or to get the defense moving a little bit more where we can create not only better shots for ourselves but for our team, and we're not forcing things at the end of the shot clock.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, LeBron.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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