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June 7, 2011

Rick Carlisle


Miami Heat 83
Dallas Mavericks 86

Q. Rick, can you talk about holding them to 14 points in the fourth, and also the effort against LeBron James. 3 of 11 from the field today for eight points.
COACH RICK CARLISLE: Our team defense has really stepped up in the fourth, which we had to do because we were playing from behind. One of the big things we had to battle was the early problems on the offensive boards. Them getting nine offensive rebounds in the first quarter was killing us. They only got six the rest of the game, which really helped.
Look, I mean, they got great players, and those are the guys you have to deal with. And we just try to -- we've got a team system, and the schemes we're using aren't very complex. It's just all about hard play.

Q. Hey, Rick, just talk about how this game was difficult to manage from a rotation standpoint, from trying to keep Dirk fresh, to limiting Shawn's minutes like you wanted to. And was Dirk coughing in the huddle like he was here throughout the game?
COACH RICK CARLISLE: Yeah, he was struggling. He had a fever last night. He didn't participate in shoot-around today. He was trying to get rest, because he didn't get much sleep last night. So we knew it was going to be a bit of a struggle in the first half, and we were able to get his minutes to 17 or something, which was a good sign, I thought. And then the second half, after spelling him early briefly, the game goes at three-minute stretches. So we're able to get through it.
He did everything he could possibly do. The ball was moving to other people. He was creating when he could create. The play he made at the end getting the ball to the rim was a great play. So it's a great win for us, and I love the way he played. Fighting through that was not easy.

Q. Rick, I know you'll be reluctant to gloss yourself, but that was a hell of a coaching performance. You really had to try a lot of different things from changing the starting lineup, to playing Cardinal, to managing Dirk's minutes, to the zone in the fourth quarter. You really had to empty your coaching playbook today.
COACH RICK CARLISLE: Oh, no. Listen, the players play the game. And the guys you put out there, they got to be ready. This time of year we've done a lot of shuffling with the lineup because of the matchups. It's hard. You're talking about two guys with great size, dynamic, athleticism. Three, really, with Bosh. They have other guys that are underrated athletically.
Look, everybody has to be ready, and our game has to be a team game. We're not going to outrun or outjump these guys. But we've got to play a sound game, we've got to play a persistent game. It was tough. We had are a lot of shots that were there that didn't go tonight. But the guys kept believing. They kept battling. And then the defense in the fourth held us in and we were able to get out of here alive.

Q. Yes or no, though? You did coach a hell of a game?
COACH RICK CARLISLE: Who is this guy? (Laughter). Next question.

Q. Can you talk about the resiliency and resolve your team continues to show.
COACH RICK CARLISLE: Look, we're a tough ballclub. We've been tough all year. We don't have the appearance of a physically bruising-type team, but this is as mentally tough a group as I've ever had. I love this team more than any team I've had, because they just -- what they stand for, how they play together, and how they trust. It can be difficult, because Miami has some guys that make some breath-taking plays. Just to keep playing through that and to keep playing through situations where you're missing some shots you normally make, hey, there's some frustration out there, but they stuck together. They kept their energy up. And they found a way.

Q. Coach, in terms of contributions from your bench, talk about the job that DeShawn Stevenson did, as well as Jet as far as getting involved in tonight's game.
COACH RICK CARLISLE: Well, Stevenson off the bench -- I knew we had to take Marion's minutes down. He can't play 43 minutes. We can't expect him to be down in the stance and picking up James full court and all those kinds of things. Stevenson was great. About the lineup change, I explained to him we needed somebody to be ready to come in fresh and battle Wade or James, whoever happened to be in. If they both happen to be in, you have to get in and take one of them. Kidd was probably going to have to take the other.
He's a pro. He just kept himself ready all year. The threes he knocked down in the first half were huge, because we were fighting through some deficits there. And he was one of the guys that set the tone defensively for us in the fourth.

Q. Coach, can you just talk about Wade's start, got off really quick, and the challenge of trying to slow him down throughout the game.
COACH RICK CARLISLE: Well, you know, it's tough. He can knife places and get places and stay in the air and still finish. In the first quarter he was getting offensive rebounds. Again, just trying to adjust to his kind of ability level is something that our whole team has to do, because one guy is not going to stop him. You can't do it. It's not a one-man responsibility. It's a team responsibility.
When he hit the shot in front of our bench where the shot clock was running down, he had to throw it up there and it went in, that's tough. That's where a team can really get deflated. But the guys hung in. We just kept battling. That's what you got to do in this kind of situation.

Q. Rick, Dirk shot 6-for-19 in the game. You heard him wheezing and coughing. You knew he had a fever. But despite all of that, with the game on the line and 14 seconds to go, even in that condition, can you want the ball in anybody's hands other than him?
COACH RICK CARLISLE: Well, he's one of the greatest ever. He wants the ball, and he wants the responsibility of winning and losing the game. So we make every effort to put him in those situations. It's not easy, because teams do a great job of trying to deny him the ball. And in those situations, you know, Jason Terry has been one of the best fourth-quarter players in the league for a number of years. And Kidd's experience and -- you know. We're a team that has to find ways. And generally we want to play through Dirk as much as we can.

Q. How does this compare for you to Jordan's performance in The Finals when he was sick as a dog?
COACH RICK CARLISLE: Look, there's some similarities. I think this: You got a guy that's 7 foot, 7'1", there's a different kind of toll that it takes on your body when you're sick. Dirk just -- he did a great job. Everybody could tell looking at him that he labored. But during the time-outs he stayed down until the very end, until the horn blew, and he conserved his energy as best as he could. And we did as best as we could. But he made a lot of big plays. He came down with a lot of huge rebounds on the defensive end.

Q. Rick, in changing your lineup tonight, did you look at all at starting Terry perhaps? And what do you think you got out of starting Barea tonight?
COACH RICK CARLISLE: Well, it changed the dynamics of the rotation. I thought it helped Marion in large part. Look, there's a lot of different things you can do. I'm not going to get into every little thought process. Barea is a guy that we've asked to do this before. He gives us a different dimension with our team. I thought his ball pressure in Game 3 was a big factor when we were trying to come back from a deficit there, and he helps us from the play-making side.
So I thought he did a good job. His stats don't look great, but his penetration helped us, and his ball pressure helped us. So we'll see what we do in Game 5.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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