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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CELTICS v HEAT


June 3, 2012


Ray Allen

Rajon Rondo


BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: Game Four

Miami Heat - 91
Boston Celtics - 93


Q.  Ray, it seems like tonight you weren't just taking the open looks that they gave you, but you were looking for your shot, more so than you have basically in all the playoffs.  What's changed for you over the past few days?
RAY ALLEN:  Just my legs, they've gotten considerably better.  Actually, my leg, my ankle.  Just going into the game, starting the game, having my legs underneath me is for me it's a huge deal now.  How I feel now is a lot different from how I start the game.  But that's what it's all about, like getting ourselves prepared, getting ourselves ready.  So I feel like I have my lift starting the games.
For me and for this team, that's huge.¬† I try to keep myself ready.¬† Off‑days you do what you can to stay off your feet.

Q.  Ray, is this something that, in terms of just getting your lift back and getting to the point where you are now, is this something that you could have envisioned like two weeks ago, or whenever you were at your lowest point in terms of the foot?
RAY ALLEN:¬† Well, at my lowest point I was ready to have surgery.¬† I didn't think that I would get any better, because I was doing all the things I needed to do treatment‑wise and just staying off of it.¬† It didn't seem like it was going to get any better.¬† So I just stayed with it and stayed off of it and did what I had to do, and it just progressively got better over time.¬† We'll see how I deal with it once the season is over.

Q.  So it's not a question of mind over matter right now, it actually does feel better?
RAY ALLEN:  I would say there is a percentage of mind over matter.  For me as aggressive as I run coming off screens, I have to almost be a little ginger going into certain directions, so I don't aggravate it too much more than it already is.  I know what I'm dealing with, so I try to work through that.

Q.  Kind of go through your thoughts when LeBron fouled out.  Did you feel like maybe, we attack more?  Just your thoughts when that happened.
RAY ALLEN:  It was like chess, they took our queen, and we took their queen, so to speak.  Paul went out, they both had five fouls.  We always talk about getting it to the end of the game, and making sure we don't do anything where we get a call against us.  And that was one of those situations.
I told Paul before we came out of the timeout, be smart out there because you never know what can happen.  That was just a bad situation we were in.  We got plenty of guys.  MP and Marquis and Keyon came in, and they did a great job defensively for us.  Our guys were ready.

Q.  Ray, just talk about the oddity of two players of that nature fouling out on this level with so much time left in the game, such a crucial time.
RAY ALLEN:¬† I don't ever think I've seen that before, but Rondo was on the floor, I'm on the floor, Kevin is on the floor, Wade is on the floor.¬† All the game has to be done‑‑ all that has to happen is it has to be won.¬† We don't care what it looks like.¬† We just want to win the game.¬† We have plenty from that point moving forward, we had an idea what we needed to do to close the game out.¬† That was all that we cared about at that point.

Q.  This question is for either of you:  Could you just talk about the energy over the past two games from the crowd.
RAY ALLEN:  For me, the crowd has been great.  It's as good as I've ever seen it.  We all have friends in town, family, that's the one thing they commented on after Game 3, how amazing the building was, and how energetic they were.  They got loud to some point where we couldn't even talk to each other standing next to each other on the floor.
That's what you love about being home.  And this building for me more than any building I've played in ever, it's my favorite building ever to play in.

Q.  This question is for both of you guys:  With Keyon Dooling and Marquis Daniels off the bench, can both of you guys discuss what those guys have meant to you guys, beyond what we're seeing these last couple of games as far as scoring and defense.
RAJON RONDO:  I think they've been great for us.  Their play speaks for itself, but not just on the court, off the court.  Those guys have been great.  Great veteran leaders.  Coming in and showing young guys how to do it.  Haven't played many minutes in the playoffs, but when their name has been called, they've been delivering.  That's what we need.  It's a team effort.
It's kind of similar to '08.¬† It's not the superstars that get all the praise‑‑ well, they do get all the praise, but the guys like the PJ.¬† Browns, the Poseys.¬† It's similar to what we're doing this year.

Q.  Rondo, can you talk about Kevin's defensive impact in the overtime period.
RAJON RONDO:  Kevin is our best defender.  That's not a secret.  When he's out there, obviously our pluses are a lot better.  He does so many little things on the floor as far as helping on everyone.  He's our best communicator.  He's our best, you know, defensive rebounder.  He does it all.

Q.  Rajon, after that fourth foul, which all four of them were offensive fouls actually that they called.  You can talk about that if you like.
RAJON RONDO:  No, I can't.

Q.  But you weren't involved in the offense for quite a long time after that.  Until the last few minutes you hit two of those nice teardrops.  Take me through your mindset a little bit there, if you can.
RAJON RONDO:¬† I didn't want to be too aggressive, because I already had four offensive fouls.¬† I tried to get my teammates involved.¬† It's not a one‑man show.¬† It's not a two‑man show.¬† We have five guys on the court that can put the ball through the hole, and we look for each other.¬† I didn't feel like I had to force anything.¬† I just tried to run, call the sets which were for Kevin, Ray and Paul, and they delivered.

Q.¬† I'm not a lip‑reader but I think you said at one point to Kevin right after Pierce went, you looked and said, "time for us to step up."¬† Am I correct?
RAJON RONDO:  It was a little something like that.
RAY ALLEN:  You got good eyesight.
RAJON RONDO:  No, I told Kevin, it's time.  We have to take the game over.  I didn't look at Ray and tell him, but he knew what time it was.  At that particular time in the game, when your leading scorer goes out, you have to step up and make plays.  And that's what we did as a team.  Like I said earlier, I didn't want to force anything.  I tried to take what the defense gave us.  They got a couple of switches, and I tried to throw it up to Kevin which we did in Game 3, and make plays.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, both.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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