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June 12, 2011

Erik Spoelstra


COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: Everybody is ready to go. No new injury updates. And I think, I think the storylines have been covered.

Q. You've had Dwyane now, he didn't do contact yesterday. He did participate in shoot-around this morning. Have you noticed anything different about him with the hip, any compensation --
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: No, he'll be fine. When he gets out there, he'll be ready to go.

Q. A question about LeBron's minutes: I guess the only player to play as many minutes, as many straight games in the playoff game is Allen Iverson ten years ago. How much consideration do you give to pulling him back even a minute or two today?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: I'll see if I can get him 30 seconds or an extra minute, maybe, possibly in the second half. He's going to play big minutes. I can guarantee you that. But we'll see. We'll see if we can monitor -- yeah, we talk about it. He's a competitive guy, too. He's probably a lot like Allen Iverson in terms of if you want to take him out, he looks at you cross-eyed even when he's probably a little fatigued.
It's something we'll look at. It will not be an extended rest if it happens in the second half.

Q. Erik, what different do you tell a team now that you're on the brink of losing?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: That's the storyline for you guys. What we talk about is playing our game. I think what we've been able to do, because of the season, because of a lot of things we've been able to deal with, we can focus simply on playing basketball and trying to improve on what we did last game.
We don't get caught up in all of that. We have a great opportunity tonight to extend it, and we worked extremely hard to earn this home court. So we're looking forward to this opportunity and this challenge.

Q. Coach, I imagine tons of people watching this dream of being in your situation right now. You're coaching a team in Game 6 of The Finals. Is it fun? Is it a good place to be?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: There's nothing else I would rather be doing. I can't imagine feeling more exhilarated in any other profession. Certainly I would rather be here than there. (Laughter).

Q. Erik, I was just curious, what is your perception of how Mike Bibby has played over the last three games? And what do you want to see from him over the next couple of games of the series?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: One, to anchor or to start, spearhead our defense by trying to keep the ball in front of him. He's been doing a good job of that. That's a challenge with Barea, obviously, his aggressiveness. But Mike has really improved his defense, I think, in his time with us. Offensively get us organized in the offense. And most probably important is to be aggressive. He's an offensive-minded point guard when he's at his best. He's a natural quarterback. But the more he looks at the rim, the better it helps our offense.

Q. Coach, I know at this point of the season you really don't need much motivation. But as per the NBA rules, yesterday after practice they practiced the trophy presentation on this court. Is that something you may use with the players to let them see? Is that something that can be some type of spark? Again, you don't need a spark at this time.
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: No. We already did that at the beginning of the playoffs. What we're trying to do is play better. We're not practicing any kind of celebration or even visualizing that stuff right now. Everybody has that vision imprinted in their mind one way or another from the very beginning of training camp this year, also the beginning of the playoffs. But there are more pressing things for us to address, and that's closing out games. It's something we've done very well in the last two or three months, and also what we've done well in the playoffs and the ability to do it on both ends. That's what we're looking to change tonight.

Q. What's your hurt team closing out these games in the fourth quarter? And how do you keep Dirk from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter of these games?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: You have to do it with better technique. There's no excuses. Have to be feet-first and everybody has got to be on the string. You have to be there early. If you're late or leaning, you are susceptible to drawing fouls against him. It takes an incredible amount of focus and discipline for a player defending a player as clever and as skilled as him.
In terms of closing, we just need to get back to our habits. We're confident in our game. We're not going to overreact. This is what we see as the norm in the playoffs. Sometimes things don't go your way. There are a lot of ups and downs. You try to improve on things. There's been different things in the three losses. Sometimes it was defensively. Sometimes it was our lack of execution. Sometimes it was simply make or miss. But we have great confidence in our ability to close, and that's what we plan on changing starting tonight.

Q. Erik, how do you bring out the best of LeBron considering his recent off-shooting in the fourth quarters of these Finals?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: Again, we're not going to overreact to all the noise out there. Part of responding in the playoffs is responding to the highs and lows. So he's a great player. He's somebody that obviously has impacted so many big wins for us. I don't want him to overthink about it. We worked on some things obviously to make some adjustments yesterday. I think he'll have an aggressive mindset coming in to tonight. And we'll go from there.

Q. Erik, based on the road records of these two teams during the season, can home-court advantage be slightly overrated in this thing?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: Yeah. We talked about it at the beginning of the year, the beginning of this series. Probably with these two teams it probably means a little bit less than other teams. And it doesn't guarantee you anything. But we have a great deal of confidence here at home, and I know the guys are looking forward to playing these two games.

Q. Erik, just curious with Mike Bibby, did you elect not to make a change there because you felt your best chance to win was with him on the floor to start the game? Or did you not want to instill any sort of sense of panic in your team?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA: Well, we feel comfortable with what we have had. We don't want to overreact to too many things. What we've proven is we can play guys different amounts of minutes regardless of who we start. A lot of what we want changed is what's happening in the fourth quarter, to be frank.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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