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June 7, 2011

Erik Spoelstra


Miami Heat 83
Dallas Mavericks 86

COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: Well, that's what this series is about. This series is a jump ball. Every single game. And they outplayed us obviously there in the fourth quarter. And we didn't take care of our business on both ends of the court. We did not execute with a level of efficiency or trust, and we had a couple of breakdowns, even though we had the eight or nine straight stops there in the fourth, we were not efficient enough offensively.
So here we are. We're four games into this. Both teams have done what they needed to do. Both teams have won on the road one game. However you get to this point. And that's what we'll focus on next, Game 5, the swing game.

Q. Erik, LeBron didn't initiate a lot of offense tonight, despite being guarded by some smaller players. Is that by design? Or are you happy with that?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: Well, we'll have to look at the film. Obviously, we would like to get him involved. He's a very important piece to what we do. So we'll work to help make it easier for him next game.

Q. Coach, talk about the last play, what you drew up, and I guess it fumbled out of Wade's hands. What you drew up and what went wrong on that play?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: I don't know. It looked like he had a count where he might have had an opening. I think it was a missed catch. I would have to take a look at it.

Q. What did you draw up?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: It was a couple of different triggers with guys coming open. Obviously Dwyane was coming back. He might have been pressured. Mike might have been pressured by Chandler to make the pass a little bit off point. But, again, it looked like he had an angle, if it would have been a clean catch.

Q. Erik, you left LeBron out there with several different units. It looked like you were hoping to get him going. Was there something that was wrong with him tonight or was it just one of those games where he tried to defer a little bit too much?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: No, he's physically fine. I don't have to do a better job of making sure he's in positions where he can be aggressive and efficient. We'll do that in Game 5.

Q. Erik, you've been able to keep their depth under wraps for most of the series. Why were they so effective in getting other guys involved tonight?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: Well, they came in ready. Obviously they've been criticized quite a bit the last couple of days. That's great fuel, great motivation. We have to stay with our game. We had enough defensive breakdowns, even though you hold a team like that to 83 or 86 points and 39% field-goal percentage. We still could have been better defensively to give up a couple of easy triggers there in the second half. Particularly when we went up nine, and it was our game to take at that point. And we just did not close out on either end of the court.
Again, that's uncharacteristic for us. We'll work the next two days to make sure we're better the next game.

Q. How different of a team are they when they have other guys stepping up around Dirk?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: Obviously. We have great respect for their roster and what they've done all year. That's a great offensive team. We have a proven, tested defense. But they will challenge you with the spacing and when those guys are aggressive. And Nowitzki causing two on the ball in certain circumstances.
But we'll be able to respond. Once we get into work tomorrow, that's what this is all about. These guys live for these type of moments. It's a very competitive series. It's a possession-based series. It's going down to the end virtually every game. It's about execution and disposition there in the fourth quarter, being able to close out.
So we'll move onto the swing game. And we have a golden opportunity in the next game. So we'll move on.

Q. Erik, Dirk came in here and said he was struggling all day with a fever over 101 degrees temperature, he was wheezing. Could you tell and could your players tell he wasn't quite himself physically? And as far as the last play, did you guard him expecting him to go left and did he surprise Udonis do you think by going right?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: He made a heck of a move. He's a great player. It's a whole lot easier said than done when you're trying to contain somebody that size and skill level and then the shooting ability. And then the spacing that they have. I didn't notice anything different with him. Every time he shoots the ball, you hold your breath. It looks like it's going to go in, even with our defense. That's proven and tested.

Q. Dwyane has been giving you contributions all over the court. Can you describe that balance you have to find between maximizing that and making sure he's rested for the end of the game.
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: Well, he got his rest. He didn't even play over 40 minutes, I don't think. He's used to logging big minutes. And particularly now in The Finals when you have days off in between each game. He wouldn't have it any other way. He's one of the very best two-way players in this league. So he shoulders a big responsibility for us offensively. But just as big on the other end, he made some big defensive plays as well.

Q. Erik, just 14 points in the fourth quarter. Was it their zone that caught you guys off guard? Or did your offense just kind of fall apart?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: You have to give them credit, their defense is good. This is a possession series. Both teams are getting after it. This is what it's all about. We'll be better in Game 5. And certainly our efficiency and execution going down the stretch. We have had a great run in the playoffs. We have had a couple where we've stumbled. And they have a lot to do with that. Their defense, making plays. But it's about trusting and moving the ball and being efficient. We had six turnovers I believe in the fourth quarter. We were very uncharacteristic going down the stretch.

Q. Aside from those turnovers, what do you want to be better executing at closing these games?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: Not throwing the ball to them. That would be a start. And then trusting and moving the ball. That's when we're at our best. That's when we got the lead, when the ball is popping and finding the open shooter.
Again, you have to give their defense credit. They were playing a lot of pressure. But we will be better. And we've proven that we make adjustments and guys are able to respond as a collective group.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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