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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CELTICS v HEAT


June 9, 2012


LeBron James

Dwyane Wade


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Seven

Boston Celtics - 88
Miami Heat - 101


Q.  Guys, can you guys both talk about, I know it's hard to digest now, but the wild ride from that last game here against Dallas in Game 6 to getting back for another chance in this moment.  Can you just sort of sum up what these 12 months have been like.
DWYANE WADE:  Long.  It's been a long 12 months.  But obviously when you lose in The Finals, it hurts.  And you have to come into the season, you have to forget it.  But you can't forget in a sense.  So you play and you try to get back to this moment again, so you can in a sense redeem yourself or in a sense put yourself in that position again to succeed.
So we're blessed that we're able to be here again in our second year together, to be able to go back to the Finals.
LeBRON JAMES:¬† I mean, it's been a journey.¬† It's been a long ride, like he said.¬† But we're happy we've been able to put ourselves in the position, and not take‑‑ we didn't take any days off.¬† We knew it was a process once again this year.¬† We're just going to take each ride‑‑ each hump, each obstacle as it came to us.¬† We couldn't shortcut anything this year.¬† We're happy to be back in this position.¬† We look forward to the challenge.

Q.¬† LeBron, as you guys are going into the fourth quarter, 73‑73, 13 days, basically, all comes down to the next 12 minutes.¬† What are you guys saying to each other?¬† What's going through your mind?
LeBRON JAMES:  What we're saying to each other, it's time.  It's time.  We want to give a lot of credit to the Celtics.  They got a hell of a coach in Doc Rivers and great players.  They pushed us as hard as any team has pushed us thus far.
But everything we were saying going into the fourth, it's time.¬† Let's play our fourth‑quarter defense, what we're capable of doing.¬† I'm glad we were able to do that.
DWYANE WADE:  Kind of the same message.  We got to the huddle.  It was take a deep breath.  Everyone take a deep breath.  Breathe.  30 seconds before we start talking.  And then let's focus on what we need to do.  And what we needed to do, as LeBron just said, is we needed to lock down defensively.  And we needed to rebound the ball and get out in transition, and not see a set defense.  And we were able to do that to open the game up, get better opportunities to score and attack the rim.

Q.  Dwyane, LeBron, Doc said of his team late in the game, "we had nothing left."  Did you sense in the fourth quarter that fatigue was really kicking in with them?
DWYANE WADE:¬† For us, this team is a great team, a great champion.¬† Like I said, they have four future Hall‑of‑Famers on this team.¬† For us we just said, listen, we have to keep playing.¬† We have to keep playing.¬† And hopefully you see them look a little tired.¬† It might take 47 minutes and 30 seconds before it happens, but we just want to keep going and keep going.
So every fourth quarter that's what we try to do.  Some nights it worked for us, some nights it didn't.  But tonight we made the plays, we made the shots to put us over the hump.

Q.  Dwyane, can you sort of talk about, the pattern that you've played in this series has sort of been the same, slow starts, sluggish starts and you figure it out in the second half.  Just talk about that process, sort of figuring them out and getting your game going when you really needed it.
DWYANE WADE:  Yeah, early on I think I had five assists in the first half.  I was being aggressive, but I wasn't necessarily looking for my shot every time.  Just sort of looking to get my guys going.
When a team is double‑teaming you every time you have the ball, whether in the post or pick‑and‑roll, it's going to be hard to get going in the beginning of the game.¬† You have to let things open up, let them eventually get tired.¬† And maybe that blitz ain't the same no more.¬† Maybe that coverage ain't the same.
I was just being patient as much as possible.  No matter what everyone on the outside said about me, I'm a winner.  I'm a team player.  And that's what it was all about.  It wasn't about my numbers, it wasn't about my scoring.  It was about doing what I can at the right time to help my team come out victorious.

Q.¬† The follow‑up:¬† LeBron did you sort of see that and adjust your game to be more aggressive in the first half because of that?
LeBRON JAMES:  No.  I got to be in attack mode, no matter what's going on throughout the course of the game.  I always know that he's going to figure it out.  So it's not to say that I see what's going on with his game, so I have to be more aggressive; I have to stay aggressive.  It's going to help our team a lot.
I don't have to worry about him.  Last series in the Indiana game where he didn't play well, I didn't even go to him or say anything to him.  I know he's going to figure it out.  It's just the player he is.  For me I always have to be in attack mode and try to help our team.

Q.  LeBron, how many times this fall when you were working with KD in Akron did you envision this moment?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† I envisioned it every day we worked out.¬† I understood what his passion was.¬† I understood what his drive was.¬† We pushed each other every single day.¬† That four‑day span, we called it hell week, that we worked out in Akron.¬† He was a little upset about the series in Dallas, where they got eliminated by Dallas, and I was as well.¬† So we pushed each other each and every day.
I envisioned us getting to this point.  Like I said, I was happy for him that he's able to get to the Finals.  I'm looking forward to going against him.

Q.  (No microphone.)
LeBRON JAMES:  It's only right.  It's only right.  We look forward to the challenge.  It's going to be a big test for us.

Q.¬† What would you like to say to all those people‑‑ this is for both of you‑‑ to all those people that essentially dug a grave for the Miami Heat after losing Game 5?
DWYANE WADE:  Thank you.  Thank you.  Appreciate it.

Q.¬† This is for both of you guys:¬† Did Chris tell you guys that that three‑pointer in the corner would be available?¬† Because he said he saw it in tape, whatever, especially after the last game.¬† And what does it say about him that he's able in his third game to come back and perform like that in a Game 7?
LeBRON JAMES:  Chris is big.
DWYANE WADE:  Huge.
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Game ball automatically goes to him.¬† Without his production tonight, we don't win.¬† Come off the bench, 19‑8.¬† It's huge.¬† It's something we haven't had.¬† We haven't had that type of activity, that firepower off the bench since we got here.¬† It's unique.¬† It's very unique that CB is coming off the bench, but it may be something great for us.
As far as the play, the three‑pointer in the corner, I felt like when I got the drive, that KG may sink in and try to take my drive away.¬† So when I seen that happen, I just kicked it to him, and he just lined it up and made it.¬† He made three of them tonight, and all of them was big.
The game ball definitely goes to him.  He was big time.

Q.  In the last five years of playing against the Celtics, what have you learned from playing against Allen and Garnett and Pierce?
LeBRON JAMES:  Competitors.
DWYANE WADE:  They're great.
LeBRON JAMES:  They're great.  You can never relax.  You can never relax at all on the court when you're competing against those guys.  You can never feel comfortable.  You always feel on edge when you go against them.  This is their chemistry that they built over the years.  It's like no other team that I've ever faced in the postseason.  They're great.  They're great.
DWYANE WADE:¬† I think one thing we take away from looking at the Boston Celtics is you want to talk about someone throwing dirt on them, they get dirt thrown on them all the time, said 2‑0, they can't do it again.¬† They've been saying that three years now.¬† They continue to come out and prove they're going to be there.¬† Kevin Garnett is 36 years old, you can't tell.¬† He looked amazing.¬† He had an amazing series.¬† All of them guys.
So we look at them as a team and say, look what they deal with, look what they go through on a yearly basis.  That's something that hopefully one day we strive to be.  Because that would mean we're successful and that means we're still together.
They are great champions.  It was tough to beat them the last two years.  We thankful we were able to.

Q.  LeBron, Doc Rivers calls you the most scrutinized athlete that he can ever think of.  Do you agree with that?  And how do you kind of continue to overcome that the way you did the last two games as you play in your third Finals?
LeBRON JAMES:  As far as the scrutinized, I don't get involved in that.  For me as a competitor and as a player individually, I just try to do whatever it takes to help our team win.  I do the things in the offseason to prepare myself to come into the season to be dominant, and I try to lead by example and lead by my voice every night we step on the floor.  That's on and off the court.
I can't worry about what people say about me, about my game, about who I am as a person.  I can't get involved in that.  People can have their own opinions, and rightfully so they can have their own opinions.  For me I just go out and play at a high level, and do whatever it takes for us to win.  And I can be happy with that.

Q.  LeBron, you called it unique I guess that Chris is coming off the bench.  You don't think he's going to come off the bench in The Finals, or do you?
DWYANE WADE:  Our coach.
LeBRON JAMES:  'Spo talk already?  I'm starting (laughing).  This guy is starting.  That's all I know.
DWYANE WADE:  I'm starting.

Q.  That it's even up for debate, it's interesting, right?
LeBRON JAMES:  No, I don't think it's interesting.  I don't think it's interesting at all.  We've played some good ball.  It doesn't matter who starts or who finishes the game.  James Harden doesn't start, but he's always on the court at the end of the game.  Jason Terry doesn't start, but last year in The Finals he was in the fourth quarter every game.  CB didn't start tonight, but he was in the fourth quarter.  It doesn't matter who starts, or finishes the game, it's who is being productive.  That's what it all boils down to.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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