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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: PACERS v HEAT


June 3, 2013


Dwyane Wade


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Seven

Indiana Pacers - 76
Miami Heat - 99


Q.テつ Dwyane, was tonight a case of you physically felt better?テつ Was it a case of LeBron and Spo putting you in better position?テつ Or was it just a case of the desperation of the moment called for a performance by yourself like this?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Maybe a combination of it all.テつ And I got a lot of opportunities tonight.テつ Physically I did everything I could to feel as good as I can.テつ It was a Game 7.テつ These are the Conference Finals; didn't nothing matter.テつ The first six games didn't matter up until this point.テつ We was 3‑3 and there was one game deciding who was going to go to The Finals.
I thought we came out with the right mentality and put everything else behind us and focused on this game.

Q.テつ Dwyane, the first quarter kind of went the way the first six games kind of went for the most part, and then Ray hits a three, a couple of other guys hit a couple of shots and then it's 15 at the half.テつ How good was the mod at the break?テつ And did you really feel at that point it was over?テつ Or were you still digging in for one more run from them?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Yeah, you always got to dig in for one more, maybe two more runs.テつ We felt good at the break because we were playing the style of basketball that we wanted to play.
Defensively we were doing our job.テつ We was leading at rebounds at the break.テつ We didn't have a lot of turnovers.テつ Offensively everybody was involved.テつ And we knew we had more left in us.テつ So we was very confident obviously coming off the break.テつ But it was not to relax.テつ It was to come out and take care of business.
This team right here is a very, very good team.テつ They've proved it all year, all series.テつ We had to come out and make sure we took care of the business on the defensive end on the floor and I felt we did that.

Q.テつ At what point did you feel you knew your body had responded the way you wanted it to tonight?テつ And how much did not having to defend Paul George on the other end free you up offensively?
DWYANE WADE:テつ I don't know.テつ I just came out in the game with a different mindset just to be aggressive.テつ Obviously watching the film yesterday, talking to Coach yesterday about putting me in different situations, I felt more comfortable and confident into the game plan.
And like I said, physically you just do everything to the wee hours of the morning to feel as good as you can.テつ That's all I was able to do.

Q.テつ For all of you guys, you, LeBron, when you're building a legacy, when you're writing the story of who you are as a basketball player, how important a part of that is what you do in situations like a Game 7?
DWYANE WADE:テつ I think it has a lot to do with it.テつ Obviously it doesn't have everything to do with it, but moments like this can define your career.テつ Situations when you're looking like‑‑ when everyone is counting you out, you're looking down, to see how you respond.
And I feel like we as a team, we respond very well.テつ I feel like we have individuals on our team that respond very well when adversity hits.
So I kind of like it a little bit.テつ I kind of like the way our team is when we get to those moments, when our back is against the wall as individuals, because we have winners.テつ We have champions in our locker room.テつ You know you don't become a champion by luck.テつ I like the team we have in those moments.

Q.テつ Dwyane, you've talked about going to the wee hours and you've talked for weeks about doing everything you can.テつ Can you clue us in to how much time you're devoting to this treatment and what you're going through?
DWYANE WADE:テつ It don't matter.テつ I'm playing basketball.テつ I will continue to do whatever I need to do, and how my body feels from day to day to try to help my team win a championship, that's all it's about.テつ It doesn't matter.

Q.テつ Dwyane, normally two teams go into The Finals at least having a little bit of a sense of each other.テつ You have had two very unusual regular‑season games.テつ Can you go into that series having any sense of how the two teams match up, given no one was at full strength in the regular season?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Not from the standpoint of us playing each other throughout the year.テつ I think from the standpoint of both sides have great coaches.テつ A great coaching staff.テつ They're going to get their team prepared as well as they can.テつ Obviously San Antonio has a system.テつ Obviously they have certain players that's featured in the system, that have been featured awhile, many years for them.テつ That's not a surprise.
But that's a hell of a team over there.テつ We're going to have to make adjustments every game, throughout the series.テつ We're going to see something different that we ain't seen.テつ That's in every series, you have to make adjustments.
So it was a little while that we wasn't playing, where we played each other in this year, and it's crazy that it worked out this way that we are both in The Finals.

Q.テつ LeBron shared a conversation that he had with you basically talking about him maybe picking up Paul George in this game and wanting to get you going offensively early.テつ Can you go into your perspective on that conversation?テつ And he said he called the first play for you to make sure that you were involved from the very beginning.
DWYANE WADE:テつ Yeah.テつ As I said, most of the defensive match‑ups that myself and LeBron take, we kind of talk it out.テつ We talk in the shootaround today in making a change.テつ He starts out on Paul George because they wanted me to be more aggressive early in the game offensively, to look for opportunities.テつ So I was able to do that.
Obviously, like I said, Coach, and LeBron is like a coach on the floor as well.テつ To call sets, to put us in situations where he felt I would succeed early on, was pretty good.
So, yeah, we communicate.テつ I think he understood, as all of us, we wasn't going to win this game with just LeBron being amazing tonight.テつ He's been amazing this whole series, but we needed timely scores.テつ We needed everyone to really be involved, and I thought early on everyone was involved in the ballgame.

Q.テつ Dwyane, the playoffs is full of great stories.テつ Willis Reed, Isiah Thomas, guys who played when they were hurt.テつ You weren't hurting like those guys.
DWYANE WADE:テつ How do you know?

Q.テつ Were you?テつ How much do you pride yourself on being that kind of warrior and having the reputation of being a guy who plays through pain and not complain?
DWYANE WADE:テつ I'm going to play through pain because this is my job.テつ My team depends on me.テつ Like I said a couple of series ago, I would love to be one of the players who never has to deal with these conversations, never have to deal with these injuries.テつ But that's not my path.
I've been through so much away from the game and in the game that I'll find a way.テつ I'll figure it out.テつ Some way, somehow, you give me enough time, I'll figure it out.テつ That's what I was able to do tonight.
That's what I'll hopefully do next season.テつ There will be some moments next series where I won't be looking so great.テつ I'm sure there will be some great headlines out there about myself.テつ I'll continue pushing.テつ I'll continue to try to do what I can to help the Miami Heat win another championship.

Q.テつ When you shook Stephenson with the Eurostep in the first quarter, you just seemed to sort of take off from that point on.テつ Was it more of a physical thing for you at that point?テつ Or was it a mental thing in putting aside all the people that said you couldn't do it anymore?
DWYANE WADE:テつ It wasn't necessarily the people.テつ It was more so when you're playing the game and you don't see that ball going through the basket that often, it becomes a mental thing.テつ Obviously it's a physical thing.テつ It's a story.テつ We all know that.テつ But when that ball is not going through the basket as much as you're used to it, it becomes a little mental.テつ You start hesitating a little too much.
So that's why early on I wanted to come out and not hesitate and take my shots.テつ But I actually came out the first play and I hesitated on‑‑ LeBron hit me on a lane cut.テつ I didn't shoot it right away.テつ Then I wound up dribbling it out and posting up and shooting on the next shot.テつ After that the next time I said I'm going to let it go and make the plays I need to make and use my talent and my abilities.
Once you see one go in, I think my first shot kind of bounced in.テつ It played with me for a while and it finally went in and I was like "thank you."テつ Now my confidence is going.テつ So...

Q.テつ David West said that the difference between you tonight and earlier in the series is it just looked like you played harder.テつ You played with more aggression.テつ Is it as simple as that?テつ What was the buttons that you pushed to make that change, so to speak?
DWYANE WADE:テつ I just felt better physically.テつ Thank you guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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