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June 8, 2013

Erik Spoelstra

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q.  Two things, Erik:  How normal was today as far as a preparation‑game day?  You always speak of habits.  Is today similar to a regular day before a game practice?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  Yes.  We had to get to work.  I mean, obviously it's not a grueling training camp practice, but we have to prepare and do it with clear minds and just get ready for tomorrow night.  We've been able to compartmentalize a lot of emotions over the last three years.  We knew we had to get to work.

Q.  The fourth quarter of the last seven or eight games the offensive numbers have been down compared to the regular season.  Admittedly you're playing good defensive teams.  Are there other elements you can put a finger on as to why that's the case?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  That's the biggest part.  The competition is better.  If you're playing against the best defenses, every single night, that's what's going to happen.  But we need to do a better job of getting organized, making sure the ball gets to where it needs to go, and then the trust factor.  And being able to do it efficiently without making mistakes.
You have to credit their defense the other night.  The turnovers we had were strange, uncharacteristic turnovers; we tripped, we missed a catch, that type of thing.  But that happens and we still had an opportunity to execute probably three or four more possessions that were empty that we could have at least been more organized.

Q.  Coach, how much does this 2‑3‑2 add to the urgency of winning Game 2?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  You know, that's an element, but more than anything, you don't want to lose two at home.  We take a lot of pride in bouncing back after losses.  So now we have an extra day to commiserate about it.  But we understand the urgency.  This isn't the first time we've been through it.

Q.  What has been the key to your success on bouncing back from losses?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  There's a maturity with this group.  It's not a guarantee.  We don't take that for granted.  But our guys get angry.  They own it.  We all own it together.  And then we just work together to try to get better.
And so we know that we're playing against a very good basketball team.  We have to bounce back and play a better game.
We played three quarters very competitively and then faded in the fourth.  And that's probably the deal with this series.

Q.  Erik, you said that you practiced today with a clear mind.  Does that mean you completely forget about Game 1 and move on to Game 2?  Or how does that work?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  Yesterday we had an extra day.  So that was spent in large part on all the pain from the night before.  Today was just coming in and getting to work and making sure we're getting to our best game.

Q.  Erik, in watching the film, did you see more opportunities for LeBron to get shots or with the way their defense was, was 16 about all he was going to get?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  It just depends.  They did a good job of protecting the paint.  It's not the first time we've seen loaded‑up defenses.  We've seen it the last two series, for sure.  But we need to be committed as group, and it helps everybody.  Not only LJ but Dwyane, our guards, and CB.  We have to be committed to playing our style and our pace.  88 points, 16 in the fourth, is not good enough.  There's a lot of factors that go into that.  Only forcing four turnovers.  Not having any in transition, even off of rebounds in the second half.  Not being aggressive enough when the opportunities presented themselves in the halfcourt, to put the ball on the floor, even though it's a packed defense and working the offense side to side to loosen it up.  A lot of different things.
We know we have to get to our game and that will open up opportunities for everybody.

Q.  How critical is it against this team in this venue to even run a little bit when the ball goes through the basket and not only on turnovers and on misses?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  Well, I don't think either team was walking the ball up the other night.  It's probably the fastest pace 92‑88 game in the playoffs this year.  Both teams understand that you have to try to get some easy ones.
So we weren't walking it up, but in the open court would certainly help.  But even if we're facing the halfcourt defense, we have to be committed to being aggressive.

Q.  Erik, it seems like in the playoffs and also in Chicago you bounced back with a strong game.  You haven't lost consecutive games since January.  What is it about this group that you've either responded to losses with a win or just playing your best basketball?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  I think I mentioned that before, but our guys have a lot of pride.  It's not guaranteed, but all good teams respond after losses.  We're not the only team.  We understand just because we've done it before, doesn't mean it's a guarantee against a team we're playing like right now.  We have to play well.  We have to finish all the way through.
That game was four or five possessions all the way down to the tenth of a second.  That was the difference.  And we have to win those possessions next game.

Q.  Just wondering, in the three years that LeBron has been here and of all the playoff matchups that you have had, is San Antonio clearly the toughest one to this point?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  Way too early to tell.  When you're in the series, it always feels like the toughest one.  Look at what we just had to survive this past round.  All of them felt tough.  Last year, I mean, every round was a survival with Indiana and Boston.
So we'll just see how this one plays out.  We have great respect for them.  We're in a hole right now that we need to get out of.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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