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NBA FINALS: HEAT v THUNDER


June 17, 2012


Dwyane Wade


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Three

Oklahoma City Thunder - 85
Miami Heat - 91


Q.  You had an eventful second half.  I don't think you came out of the game, and you got the fourth foul on Durant, and you got some big plays in the third quarter, and you had an eventful fourth quarter.  Could you summarize the way you saw everything go.
DWYANE WADE:  Yeah, Coach asked me to come out.  I just wanted to keep going.  We were down 10, and by the time it was time for my rest, we were still down.  I was like, you know, got to go.  So I just tried to make plays throughout the game, had some shots that I felt I normally make that I didn't make.
I was still confident down the stretch, able to make a couple plays to help my team win.  So just being aggressive.

Q.  When he had three fouls, were you trying to get the fourth one with the pump fake?
DWYANE WADE:  Yeah, I knew he had three.  I knew this team is very athletic, so sometimes you go in there, can't leave your feet.  So when I went in there and he jumped, I knew I had him for his fourth at that time.

Q.  Chris came in here before and he actually alluded to the Dallas series, and he said, "We cannot leave anything on the table."  LeBron spoke about that a little bit, also.  As much as you guys talk about not reflecting back, did last year give yourselves an appreciation for the moment that you, Chris and LeBron, that it's your moment, that you've got to make your statements now because these are such fleeting opportunities?
DWYANE WADE:  Oh, no question.  Nothing is promised.  You can't always say we have next year, because you never know what can happen.  Last year, I don't know, we experienced enough as a unit to deal with what came at us, and it showed.  This year, no matter what's happening or no matter what happened, I feel like we're a more experienced team, and it's not saying that we want it more, I just feel like we understand the situations more, we can deal with it better.  So that's the biggest thing.
We come from The Finals from last year to this year, experience is not overrated at all.  Tonight that helped us win the ballgame.  Last year we had leads in most games, and we let the leads go.  Tonight we were down 10, and we kept grinding and kept grinding until eventually we took the lead and was able to control the game.

Q.  At one point in the first half when Kevin Durant hit a shot over you, the cameras caught him saying, "you're too small."  Is that what he said?  And on that note, how used are you to making up for a size advantage, not just this series or these Playoffs?
DWYANE WADE:  Yeah, we're not the biggest team, to answer the second question.  We're not the biggest team, so we're used to it.  We've been playing at times small basketball pretty much the whole year.  Chris is the tallest guy that's in our rotation.  It's fine.  Yeah, he told me I was too small.
Actually I had to run down the court and asked him what he said again.  He said, "You're too small."  He's got seven inches on me.  I played good D.  He's a scorer, he made a good shot.

Q.  Have you ever been involved in a game where everything happened in the paint?  You guys had four threes and then one other field goal that came outside the paint.
DWYANE WADE:¬† I didn't even know that.¬† I don't know, man.¬† We was just trying to be aggressive from the beginning of the game, even from Game 2.¬† Our mentality is just be aggressive, attack the paint, play inside‑out, but we're not a post‑up team per se, so we have to play inside‑out with our penetration, with our attacks to the basket.¬† Tonight we were aggressive.¬† We got in the paint a lot, and when you do that, a lot of triggers get pulled.¬† We got pretty good finishers as well.¬† So we just kept putting the shot on the rim, and we are going to have to do that Tuesday to come out victorious again.¬† But I'll continue to go down in there no matter what.¬† If you get fouled, pick yourself up and go to the free‑throw line.

Q.  This series is a boxing match.  You guys managed to win the later rounds tonight.  What did you learn?  You're a veteran team but you've got to learn from every win.
DWYANE WADE:  Well, one thing about this team is we always understand that we can get better, and we feel throughout every series, especially this year, that we've gotten better.  We've learned from our mistakes, and we try to correct it the next night and the next game that we have an opportunity.
We're not a satisfied team at all.¬† So tonight we won a ballgame.¬† It was an ugly game, and we can't wait to look at the film.¬† You've got guys in the locker room saying, I can't wait to look at the film and see where we can get better and get better opportunities.¬† We are a team that prides ourselves in winning any style game, whether it's ugly, whether it's up‑and‑down, high‑scoring or low‑scoring, we feel that we can win those games.¬† It's good to win that kind of game in these Playoffs.¬† We might never have another ugly game, you never know.¬† But we was able to find a way to dig deep down inside and win this game.

Q.  LeBron has already made more free throws in these Finals than he attempted in the entire Finals last year, and he's almost reached his point and rebound totals from last year.  Can you put into words how much differently he's playing at this point than during the series last year.
DWYANE WADE:  Yeah, he's just a totally different player.  Obviously up until The Finals last year he was having an amazing Playoffs.  He had a game where he struggled and he kind of let that get into his mind a little bit, and he was thinking too much.  Now he's playing, he's on attack and being very aggressive.  When he puts his head down to go to the rim, you have no other choice but to foul him or he's going to finish.  I love when he's attacking the basket because good things happen for us.
He's playing aggressive, and that's the difference obviously from last year to this year, and the difference in our team.

Q.  I note when you say that you're playing a little bit, you note that experience matters and you contrasted last year when maybe you gave up some leads, and this year you're grinding it away.  I want to ask you about that specifically.  The feeling, maybe it's subtle, maybe it's little, are you calmer this year than last year?  Are you more desperate?  Are there things being said in the huddle that weren't said last year?  Or are things just working out and then you're saying, I guess they worked out?
DWYANE WADE:  No, I think we're more confident.  I think besides Shane, maybe Norris that's in our rotation, everybody was on this team last year, and everybody really felt what it felt like to not feel as confident at certain moments.  I think now we're not saying that it's going to work every night for us, but I just think now that we've seen pretty much almost everything, so we're able to adapt and adjust.  That's the difference.  Last year a lot of things was new for us, especially in The Finals.  Dallas was an unbelievable offensive team, and they picked us apart, and we wasn't able to regroup.  This team is a great offensive team, and we feel like when they're picking us apart, our conversation is different.  We understand a little different.
And we chalk that up to just experience, together playing again in these situations, and just being in The Finals once again.

Q.¬† You talked about your defense, you guys being down.¬† Do you guys actually prefer almost to be down to rally behind your defense?¬† It seemed as if‑‑
DWYANE WADE:  No.

Q.  It seems as if you guys get your energy when you guys are down a little bit and you rally behind that defense and effort.
DWYANE WADE:  You become desperate, you know.  Looking by the clock, you're down 10, you know if you don't get this back right now, it could be ugly.  In a sense you become a desperate team.  We're a pretty good team when we're desperate.  But that's a dangerous game to play.  You don't want to play that game, especially versus this great team, this unbelievable offensive team.
No, we don't want that.  But we are confident at that time that we can make plays to bring us back, to give us an opportunity.  But we don't want to keep playing that game.

Q.¬† Since the 2‑3‑2 format started in 1985, when it's 1‑1 the team that wins Game 3 is 11‑1 but you were the only loss in that category last year.¬† How much do you look back to last year with a sense of learning to make sure that history doesn't repeat itself for you guys?
DWYANE WADE:  Well, we don't want that.  We're going to continue to do what we've been doing all year, and that's focusing, staying in the moment, just focusing on each game is its own.  Game 1 is over, Game 2 is over, now Game 3 is over, and we move on.  We come in tomorrow and move on and get ready for Game 4.  Our job now is protect our home floor as we've been doing all year.  We was the best team all season with that.  We're not going to think about how we had the same situation last year.  We are going to come in tomorrow and think about what we can do to get better and take Game 4 as Game 4.

Q.¬† You talked about your experience earlier being a benefit to your team.¬† Do you feel like the series has now turned based on their inexperience tonight where they coughed up a 10‑point lead, and they coughed up a one‑point lead in seven minutes?
DWYANE WADE:  That's not the phrase I would use that the series was turned.  We done nothing but came home and won a game, and we're up two to one; it's the first game to four.  We've got another game to get ready for, and we want to win and they want to win.  We're not going to talk about the series turning at all because each game is its own.  This game is over with.  We move on from it.

Q.  Did you think they showed inexperience with unforced turnovers late in the third and late in the game?
DWYANE WADE:¬† You know what, I can't say that.¬† We had eight turnovers ourselves, eight to, what, seven to nine turnovers in the fourth?¬† It's the game.¬† Every team goes through it at some point where you're going to have those moments where you're not scoring as much, where you're giving up second‑chance points, you turn the ball over.¬† It's just when you do it.¬† Tonight even in the fourth quarter we turned it over too much.¬† We didn't get opportunities at the basket to allow them to get out in transition to get shots to get back in the game.¬† So it can go either way.
Once again, happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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