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NBA FINALS: HEAT v THUNDER


June 16, 2012


Scott Brooks


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q. テつLeBron got a lot of criticism last year for allegedly disappearing in the fourth quarter.テつ What are you seeing of him late in games?テつ What's the demeanor?テつ What are you seeing as far as wanting to be involved, confidence, things like that?
COACH SCOTT BROOKS:テつ Well, I see one of the best players to ever play the game.テつ He's aggressive, he's so talented, strong.テつ I see determination.テつ But I've always saw that.テつ The thing I really admire, LeBron, he makes the right plays.テつ When you talk about a guy that demands so much attention, he's not going to get the shot every time.テつ Defenses are not going to allow him to get the shot every time.テつ He demands so much attention. テつBut he makes the right play.テつ He's an incredible passer, and that's part of his strength.テつ He gets criticized for making the pass.テつ Most people, I know myself, I like to see guys make passes for his teammates, and he does a great job with that.

Q.テつ What have you seen from your guys all year long in terms of learning on the fly and during his Playoffs kind of problem solving during the midst of these series?
COACH SCOTT BROOKS:テつ Well, I've seen all year long a group that's always committed, that always sticks by one another, that believes in the work that we put in, and that's who they are.テつ It's not going to change.テつ They've always had great ability to bounce back after a tough loss, and we expect the guys to come back tomorrow night with better effort, better play, and for 48 minutes.

Q.テつ Erik Spoelstra was saying last year they lost at home, Game 2 had an extra day to think about it, their mind began to race.テつ Has yours begun to race about what you could or should do differently?
COACH SCOTT BROOKS:テつ Well, we got off to a bad start.テつ I mean, that's the obvious to everybody.テつ We got off to a bad start.テつ We have things that we could have done better.テつ We missed some shots.テつ We missed lay‑ups, we missed some pull‑up shots.テつ Defensively we didn't match up in transition.テつ There's a lot of things that we could have done better, and hopefully Game 3 we do better, and that's going to allow us to have a better start.
My mind is not racing that I'm going to throw everything out that we've worked on all year that we've got to this point with.テつ I just want to do things better, and I think that's always been our battle cry.テつ Every time we have a tough stretch of the season, just get back to what we do and let's just do it better, and I think that's what we're going to do into tomorrow night's game.

Q.テつ Is there something that the Heat's defense is doing to allow Westbrook to make more shots than Durant, especially early in the games, or is that a function of Westbrook looking for some shots?
COACH SCOTT BROOKS:テつ Well, I think Russell is an aggressive player.テつ We need Russell to score.テつ I know some of you don't like that, but Russell is a very, very gifted, talented player, and we would not be in this position without Russell Westbrook.
He missed two lay‑ups, he missed two 14‑foot pull‑ups, and he normally makes those.テつ He got off to a bad start, but he came back.テつ Without Russell in that second half, we don't cut the lead to two with a chance to tie at the end.
Him and Kevin are both terrific players.テつ They both have to score points for us to be successful.テつ I don't look at who gets more, who doesn't get more.テつ I look at the quality of shots.テつ Could Russell have taken two or three better shots?テつ Absolutely.テつ Going into tomorrow night's game, hopefully that's the case.テつ But they both need to score.

Q.テつ What's been the key to you guys playing so well on the road?テつ And also, with some of the younger guys, is there any worry about them being allured by what Miami has to offer?
COACH SCOTT BROOKS:テつ What about the coaches?

Q.テつ Well, that, too.テつ You've got a week.
COACH SCOTT BROOKS:テつ My wife's in town.
I don't think‑‑ I've never had any issues with our guys playing on the road.テつ They've always been focused.テつ I don't think when you get to this point on guys that are not committed, guys that are not really locked in, geared in to what we're doing as a group.テつ Miami is a great city, there's no question.テつ It's a great environment, but we're here to play basketball.テつ There's only 10 days, two weeks left of the season, then there's plenty of time to vacation.テつ I think our guys have always been good on the road because they've been committed.テつ We've always had a very‑‑ we have toughness on the road, and I expect to see that tomorrow night.

Q.テつ What are some of the keys to actually getting better and finishing more effectively in the paint?
COACH SCOTT BROOKS:テつ Well, you know, the way we started the game, we talked about toughness all the time, at least I do, and one may think it's just about the defensive end, but I always look at it as offensive, also.テつ We have to do a better job of setting screens.テつ That's one of strengths of our offense, we set screens, and we shoot a good percentage and score in the paint and we get to the free‑throw line.テつ But we have to have better screens, we have to be able to come off our screens harder and we have to make the passes on time.
They do a great job.テつ They're a good defensive team just like we are.テつ They make you make the extra pass, and we have to do a better job with that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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