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June 2, 2012

Rajon Rondo


Q.  You guys were in kind of a similar spot last year.  Lost the first two, won the third game.  You were playing with some injuries after that, the elbow and stuff.  Is it just a matter of sticking with your stuff this year to give yourself a better chance?
RAJON RONDO:  Actually, I didn't even notice what series it was last year this time.  So to me it's irrelevant.  It's a different team.  They're different, we're different.  So it's a whole new ballgame, Game 4.

Q.  Doc has gotten a lot of credit for knowing this team so well.  There's not a lot of teams that would go without a practice for a couple of weeks at a time in the playoffs.

Q.  How are you guys able to do so well without having a traditional practices and how come you guys have to?
RAJON RONDO:  I think our focus this year (Indiscernible) is key.  Do a pretty job of paying attention.  A lot of guys will watch film already.  So I think the key for us is to get our rest, get our legs.  We're beat up a little bit, but everyone is.
We're a veteran team.  We know what decisions (Indiscernible) to make the right time tomorrow in shoot‑around.

Q.  When to the last time you guys did have a real practice?
RAJON RONDO:  Probably like nine months ago.  I don't know.  It's been a while.  Obviously we're here in the Conference Finals, so it hasn't hurt us.  We'll be ready to go tomorrow night.

Q.  How good was it to see the bench play as well as they did in the second quarter, give you guys‑‑ you guys had a push to get back in there and keep it going?
RAJON RONDO:  They gave us a great lift.  Not just one guy, but about four or five of them that played well defensively.  Mickael Pietrus, Keyon, gave us great energy off the bench, Marquis.  They all (Indiscernible) but as a team, that's what we've been preaching all year.  We're a deep team.  When guys go down, we've been injured all year long.  Guys have stepped up and followed through.
We handled adversity pretty well.  And last night showed that regardless of the outcome, we were down 2‑0, backs against the wall, we kind of answered.

Q.  The defensive approach against Dwyane Wade, can you talk about how you guys were able to be so successful?   Really, not going to the line is a major factor.
RAJON RONDO:  I can't give you all the insides to what we do to try to slow him down.  He's been slowed down before, and he's come back pretty well.  We want to try to stop that from happening.  He did that in Indiana.
He's a strong player.  He's a good player.  He's going to be aggressive.  I'm sure he's going to try to attack and get to the line tomorrow.  I'm going to do the same.  Regardless of who they got on the side, we're going to try to do our thing that we do, is play team defense, shrink the floor and rebound the ball.

Q.  Keeping an aggressive tone, is that really the key‑‑
RAJON RONDO:  I think you have to.  The team that shoots the most free‑throws pretty much wins the game.  Also the team that wins the rebound war.  And we put it on the refs to make the call.
Both teams are very aggressive going to the hole.  Some nights you're going to get calls, some nights you're not.  That's part of the game.

Q.  How important has it been to change up the looks?  Especially when you're talking about guarding and defending Wade?
RAJON RONDO:  I mean, I think it's important, to an extent.  But the guys that are switching up have to keep the ball in front of him.  It's not just Wade, but it's a team defensive effort.
Kevin has done a great job of helping.  Brandon Bass.  (Indiscernible) It's a team effort.  Not one guy is going to stop Wade, not one guy is going to stop LeBron.  I'm pretty sure that's how they feel about Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Q.  Kevin being that close to the basket, throwing the lob to him, having that effect down low, because he usually likes to step out a lot‑
RAJON RONDO:  When they went small, we made our adjustment.  No one can jump as high as Kevin.  He's wiry strong.  He was able to defend LeBron off as far as reaching over and trying to get steals.  He did a great job shielding his body, jumping up and getting the ball and finishing.

Q.  Kevin did his thing, but taking it to the hole, you, Paul, that was key also with those points in the paint.  How important is it going forward to continue to push that tempo and get it into the paint, into the teeth?
RAJON RONDO:  Well, that's my game.  I try to get to the cup and make plays in the paint, whether I shoot it or kick it out for three.  That hasn't changed the entire series or the season.
For P, he's been aggressive in trying to get to the line.  He's doing a better job.  They are throwing different traps and different coverages on P and myself.  Other than that, we try to stay in the paint.  That's where we want to live at and that's where we've been successful at.

Q.  Rajon, you have to have trust in Doc to make those between‑game adjustments.  You made adjustments before Game 2 and before Game 3.  How did that trust develop that you just knew, Doc, you handle that, and trust his game plan?
RAJON RONDO:  That's what he gets paid for.

Q.  But you guys developed over time just knowing‑‑ he knows exactly what he's doing, and you just follow it?  Or do you make suggestions‑‑
RAJON RONDO:  You look at his resume.  Docwith this team he's been pretty successful the last four or five years.  He's a great coach.  He knows what he's doing.  He's being paid the big bucks.  He's showing up to work every day and making adjustments.
I'm biased, but I think he's the best coach in the league.

Q.  How much do you suggest?  How much do you give him tips in between games‑‑
RAJON RONDO:  I put in tips here and there.  But I don't try to overstep my boundaries.  He's the one out there watching films six, seven hours, him and his coaching staff, having meetings two or three hours before we even come in shoot‑around.
I make those adjustments, but obviously they watch the film four or five times, and I've only watched it once.  They know what to look for.  That's his job.

Q.  Have you been able to get Kevin closer to the rim even more than usual?
RAJON RONDO:  He's just rolling to the basket.

Q.  Did he just make adjustments in the series, and that's it?
RAJON RONDO:  He's just rolling.  Kevin is a pick‑and‑pop guy.  This series he's been rolling.  It's pretty simple.

Q.  Are you finding more as the series goes on, the more you're actually able to establish him that way?
RAJON RONDO:  I'm just trying to take what the defense gives us.  They're fighting a lot.  Doc is doing a great job in the huddle as far as getting our attention to throw the ball up. 'Quis did a great job coming in as far as throwing the high‑low pass.  Our passes are getting better from our guards.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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