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NBA FINALS: HEAT v THUNDER


June 16, 2012


Russell Westbrook


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q.  When you look back at the last two out of three games, you go back to Game 6 in San Antonio, you guys were down 18 there, came back.  Down in Game 1, you guys came back.  You weren't able to get it done in Game 2.  Why do you think the slow starts are happening?  And what is it going to take or what have the conversations been like about changing that?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:  The slow starts is just us coming out and being ready to play.  The last game they came out and was a little more ready to play than we were, and they got into a big lead.  Some of the conversations we had is just us playing harder.  That's all we have to do, come out and play harder and play our game.

Q.  Coach said that all year you guys have been able to adjust and learn on the fly.  What have you seen from you and your guys in terms of problem solving in the midst of these series?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:  You know, our guys are always ready to play, regardless of after losses, after wins.  Adjusting is not a big issue for us, just us coming out and playing our game, especially on the defensive end.

Q.  Some people have been very tough on you, on your development in the last game, telling you it's one of the worst performances in history in an NBA Finals by a point guard.  What type of adjustments do you think you have to make to Game 3 to become a better point guard?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:  I'm not making no adjustments.  Regardless of what anybody says or regardless of what you guys say about how I play, it doesn't matter.  I'm going to play my game regardless of what happens.  I'm going to go out and give 110 percent, and try to find a way to help us win the game.

Q.  But do you feel like you need to improve in your defense, your offense, something like that?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:  Definitely.  Definitely.  There's always room for improvement, always room to get better.  But the style of play that I play with, that's not changing.

Q.  You say that coming out in slow starts, it's not being ready to play.  How do you change that if you're in The Finals, not being ready to play to start a game?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:¬† You know, you can't‑‑ I don't know.¬† I mean, it's The NBA Finals.¬† You're the last two teams standing.¬† You've just got to come out and play harder.¬† Xs and Os, it's nothing about that, just come out and play harder from the jump ball, and you've got to want it.

Q.¬† How do you develop that mentality, because the last two years people have always said that‑‑ how do you get the tunnel vision and block out the noise to play your game?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:  I definitely had to develop it.  I didn't really get that much attention in college until I got to the NBA.  But it's just something that comes along with the territory.  I feel like I'm doing something right.  I feel like every year I come back a little better, the more negative I'm going to hear.  So I feel like I'm doing a good job of getting better, getting my team better.  We're in The NBA Finals now, and the more negative you hear, the better you're doing.  That's how I look at it.

Q.  How has Derek Fisher been able to help you?  And I know it's only been a short time since he's been on the team, but what's your relationship like with him?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:¬† It's great.¬† Derek is a great guy.¬† He knows a lot about the game.¬† He's been in many different situations, down 0‑2 in The Finals, different things, he knows how to handle certain situations.¬† Sometimes I just sit back and talk to him and pick his brain a little bit about different things.¬† He's been a great help for me.

Q.  From a point guard's perspective, what has the Heat's defense been able to do early in games to limit Kevin's shots?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:¬† Nothing really.¬† Kevin has got shots the last game.¬† I think we just missed a few open shots.¬† They have been aggressive on our pick‑and‑roll, so it takes the ball out of me and Kevin's hands at the start of the game.¬† But we've just got to do a better job of getting easier shots.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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