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NBA FINALS: HEAT v THUNDER


June 18, 2012


Dwyane Wade


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q. テつIt seems like neither team has played its A game yet, had its best moment.テつ Do you think it's because it's The Finals, the defense, or because of the quality of the teams in this series?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Well, you're right, you're 100 percent correct.テつ I think all those things come into play.テつ First of all, you've got the two best teams right now in the league going against each other.テつ As the series goes on, it's going to get harder and harder for guys to be able to get some of the things that we're accustomed to.テつ That's the series, and it's a tough one.テつ But we know they're very capable.テつ They're highly capable of having an explosion game, and we are, too.
So we know we can still play a lot better basketball than we have been playing.テつ But you've got to give credit to them and their defense, as well as our defense and give credit to us.テつ But you never know from game to game what can happen.

Q.テつ When a team, a good free‑throw shooting team doesn't shoot well, they say it's nerves.テつ How about the other way around, when a team shoots better at key moments, how do you explain that?
DWYANE WADE:テつ I don't know, man.テつ I think we got lucky that they missed some free throws.テつ They don't miss many.テつ Unbelievable percentage as a team.テつ And I think for us as a team, we've got to understand that‑‑ we shot poorly in the beginning of the Playoffs from the free‑throw line.テつ I think we understand that if we want to reach our goal, we have to step up to the line and we have to make free throws when we get our opportunity.テつ A lot of games can be lost at the line and they can be won at the line.
I thought that we got lucky that they missed some, especially in the midst of our run to help us get back in the game.テつ We missed a bullet there.

Q.テつ Spoelstra likes to call LeBron "One Through Five".テつ Is it a good nickname?テつ Is it appropriate?テつ Your thoughts?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Yeah, there's only a few players that can guard one through five.テつ I used to see kind of KG doing it back in the day where he used to pick up the point guard, full court, and obviously he used to guard the five‑man, etcetera.テつ Hasn't been many guys over the course of NBA history that's been able to guard one through five, and been comfortable doing it.テつ He's obviously special in that sense, and I think it's an accurate nickname for him.

Q.テつ From watching the film, if you guys get the same shots that you did from midrange as you did in Game 3, would you be happy with those looks?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Yes, we would be.テつ I thought that we got some good shots that was makeable for us.テつ I thought our mentality of just trying to attack, we got a lot of points in the point, but we missed a lot, as well.テつ I missed a lot.テつ When you get those same opportunities you're happy with those opportunities.テつ We want to shoot better.テつ We only shot 37 percent.テつ Like I said, you give credit to their defense, but also knowing that we have some makeable shots that we can make, so we would love to get those opportunities again.

Q.テつ You played the entire second half, second time in the Playoffs, didn't do it during the regular season.テつ Was it by design last night?テつ Did you ask for a breather, or did Coach tell you, "I need you the whole 24 minutes in the second half"?
DWYANE WADE:テつ No, I think it was around three and a half on the clock, Coach was going to take me out for my normal breather, but it was in the midst of us coming back.テつ We was down 10 at one point in the quarter, so I just felt that it wasn't time.テつ I've got to grind it out at this point, and I told him if I needed a break somewhere in the fourth early on, I'd give him that look.テつ But it just wasn't the time.テつ I felt good, and getting LeBron that quick rest at the end of the third quarter was big for us, because when he came back in the game, he was able to be on the attack more.テつ So I didn't have to do that.テつ So I was able to get a little breather during that, as well.テつ I was kind of watching him go to work a little bit.
Just it's all about winning.テつ In another game I did it it was the same thing.テつ I wanted to put our team in the best position to win.テつ If I feel like I'm hurting us being out on the court, I'd ask for a sub.テつ I didn't feel like I was hurting us at all being out on the court.

Q.テつ Obviously your relationship with LeBron has continued to evolve over the last year, but do you find yourself having different conversations with him at this point this season than maybe you did a year ago because you've been through all of this once?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Yeah, totally different conversations.テつ I think now, you guys see, immediately after games, we're talking about what we need to do for the next game.テつ We're not satisfied in the moment that we're in.テつ As soon as we leave the court, we're walking off the court, we're talking about what we need to do for the next game, what we did in this game that we can get better at on the walk to the locker room.テつ That's growth.テつ It's a team that's obviously been here before, players that have played together in these moments before.テつ So it's totally different than last year.

Q.テつ So when you and LeBron and CB were walking off last night, I know you won't share much, but maybe a couple talking points from last night's walk?
DWYANE WADE:テつ No, it was just understanding how they was playing.テつ They made an adjustment how they was playing us throughout the game, and immediately we talked about what we have to do to kind of‑‑ that adjustment as three guys that are going to have the ball in their hand most of the time.テつ Just that conversation right there, but also working our brains and our minds already before we go watch to film to see and to know, this is what we felt.テつ Even though I didn't feel we did a great job of making an adjustment in the moment, we have an opportunity to do it.

Q.テつ I know when we've talked about the Finals last year, you guys think about that Game 2 a little bit, but if you move forward a little bit when you guys were up 2‑1, what do you think about how that slipped away and how you might change things this year in that same situation?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Well, remembering Game 4, I just remember us having‑‑ I thought we played well.テつ We had a lead in the fourth quarter late in the game.テつ I just felt that on the defensive end, we didn't make enough plays.テつ We didn't get enough rebounds.テつ We didn't make them make more than one pass to get to the shot they wanted.テつ Offensively we didn't get great looks that we wanted.テつ Our offensive package wasn't as smooth as it is.
But I thought we let that get to us a little bit, being a new group, a new unit in that situation for the first time.テつ We tried to do what we thought was right, but a lot of it was forced.テつ You know, now just having more confidence, not saying it's all going to go smooth as you see.テつ Yesterday we shot 37 percent.テつ We had a lot of turnovers in the fourth quarter.テつ But we kept believing in each other.テつ We kept making enough plays to put us in a position to win the ballgame, which I didn't feel that we probably was able to do last year.
It comes with experience.

Q.テつ They showed a little bit of Erik's speech to you last night on TV, and he was saying, "The pain that we've been through, the experiences we've been through, not everybody we're facing has been through that kind of stuff.テつ We can use that to help us."テつ How much does that experience of being up 2‑1 last year fit into what Spoelstra is talking about?
DWYANE WADE:テつ It plays.テつ It fits in somewhere.テつ You know, obviously experience, there's no substitute for experience, but experience don't guarantee you anything.テつ It just lets you know I've been here before.テつ That doesn't mean it's going to be successful for you.
So for us we've got to continue to play our game, continue to work the game, and continue to make the game that we're in, the moment that we're in, the biggest moment and the biggest game and not look back and not look forward too much.
Obviously the team that was here that lost the championship last year, that burning sensation is going to be inside of us until we change that.テつ But while we're in the moment, we've got to do what we've got to do.

Q.テつ LeBron hit a lay‑up last night where the back of his head was to the rim, he didn't even see the basket, against Perkins off the glass.テつ How much has he improved as a finisher, not dunking but using the glass, especially when he's getting fouled?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Yeah, it was all right.テつ (Laughter).テつ That's all I've got for you.

Q.テつ How important is it not to get too comfortable no matter the situation or the scenario?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Very.テつ I know this team, that word right now is not even in our vocabulary.テつ I can't even spell that word right now.テつ We don't want to think about it.テつ I can't even say it.テつ Like I said, we understand the situation we're in, and the situation we're in is we've got to get prepared for Game 4.テつ It's a very big game for us, just as well as it is for them, and we've got to come out and do what we have to do to win a ballgame.テつ We prided ourselves all season on being a very good home team, and we have another game at home in front of our fans, and we don't want to let them down and don't want to let ourselves done.テつ It'll be a very tough game, but it's a game that we're looking forward to.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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