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NBA FINALS: SPURS v HEAT


June 15, 2013


Dwyane Wade


SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q.  Dwyane, a few days ago the talk was about your knee.  Now it's Tony Parker's hamstring or it was Chris Bosh's slump and now it's Manu Ginobili's slump.  Has it just been your experience in The Finals that things can change pretty quickly?
DWYANE WADE:¬† Yeah.¬† It's these things that you don't remember when the season is over when you become‑‑ last year we became a champion, we didn't really remember all the storylines, that ebb and flow.¬† You kind of forget those things.¬† It's a part of the playoffs.¬† There's always high moments.¬† There's always low moments.¬† There's moments when you have guys who are in the slump, et cetera.¬† Guys who come out of it.¬† Great storylines.¬† It's all of it.
So it's a part of it.  Part of the journey the teams go through.

Q.  Dwyane, aside from the mental aspect in Game 4 and being more aggressive, did your health also allow you to do what you did?  Did you feel better than you have in recent games?
DWYANE WADE:  Well, I mean, like I said at this point, everyone is dealing with something.  So it's just a time where the Game 4 was a game where I needed a better performance.  My team needed a better performance out of me.  And mentally I had to change my mind.
But as I said at the beginning of this series, I felt better in this series than I felt in the Indiana series.  It's been a plus.  I just haven't been as consistent.  I've had good first halves and haven't been as aggressive in the second half.  Haven't had good second halves.  I wanted to put two together.  Finally I was able to do that in Game 4.

Q.  Dwyane, you just spoke of putting two together.  For a team that won 27 in a row, and I know the level of difficulty goes up a little bit this time of year.  The last 11 alternating wins and losses every step of the way, how hard has it been lately?  Why has it been so hard lately, other than just the competition, to put two wins together?
DWYANE WADE:  No excuse why.  It just hasn't happened.  But if we don't do two, we won't win a championship.  I wasn't that smart in school, but I do know that.  The numbers don't add up.  We have to find a way to put a string together.  And hopefully our mentality and our play in Game 4 can take over to the next game or into the game after that.
So I think this team we've always responded to a challenge, and right now this is our challenge.  Our challenge now as a team is to see if we can put complete games together, back to back.  So that's got to be our challenge that we have to look forward to.

Q.  Using the heat packs during the game, I would assume you anticipate doing that again.  Were you surprised that, I guess, how well it worked, since it seemed to work pretty well for you?
DWYANE WADE:  It wasn't magical.  The biggest thing was talking with Coach when I came out the game, not sitting too long, which I've normally done in the previous games, and it's kind of stiffened up, et cetera.  So it was just talking to Coach and the trainers saying when I come out, try not to have me out too long.  I was able to put heat back on and keep me warm.  But I was able to get back in there.
Even when I had four fouls in the third, Coach put me back in at the end of the third.  I know he didn't want to.  I would rather play with fouls than play stiff out there.  So he put me back in at the end of the third, and I was able to still be in it.  My body was still warm, and still keep playing.

Q.  When was the last time you remember you and LeBron and Chris playing so well together?  Why hasn't that happened as regularly as maybe your first two seasons together?
DWYANE WADE:¬† I wish I knew the answer to that last one.¬† I don't know.¬† It's been a while since we all had performances like that.¬† Obviously on this stage that's one of the‑‑ that's probably our best together all at the same time.
So it was good to see.  That game and stuff like that was the reason we came together, so we can have moments where we all dominate at the same time and to have moments where if a guy is not dominating, we have two other guys, et cetera.
But it was good to see.  It was good to see Chris get out of his slump and really play the way he did on both ends of the floor.  It was great to see LeBron be himself and just stay on the attack all night.  I'm sure it was good to see me back to doing what I wanted to do and needed to do as well.
That's what we envisioned.  It's not easy to do that every night, but hopefully with three games left, hopefully we can be more consistent.

Q.  Has it been, you guys coming together, what you expected it to be?  And what's been the biggest challenge of it?
DWYANE WADE:  It's a lot of challenges.  We talked about it over the course of our years together.  But at the end of the day, we came together for one reason.  And that reason was to win.  And to compete for a championship.  And we've been able to be in The Finals three years in a row.
So no matter what challenges we've been through, we've ended up where we wanted to be.  And that's what it's all about.

Q.  Dwyane, Spo went with a different lineup in Game 4:  Mike Miller starting, spacing the floor, perhaps.  What impact do you think that the lineup change, just the different look, had on you and on LeBron and on Chris Bosh?
DWYANE WADE:¬† Well, honestly I don't think it had no big impact.¬† We love Mike.¬† We love when Mike is on the court, because obviously he gives space, because they don't leave him.¬† Him and Ray Allen, they don't leave him.¬† Also Mike is a solid defender and he's a good rebounder.¬† So whatever he's on the court it's always a plus for us.¬† But I don't think that had anything to do with the reason we played better.¬† I think we just played better for one because there was some‑‑ if we lose that game, it's trouble.¬† We might not make it back to Miami.¬† So in a sense we had a little nervousness in us.¬† We played with that nervous energy.¬† And we did what we normally do.¬† We respond where we need to.
So I think we were going to play a better game, no matter who is on the floor.  Doesn't guarantee you a win, but I felt we were going to play a better game than Game 3.  We couldn't play any worse.

Q.  How would you characterize the competitive edge that you played with in that game compared to all the other games before that in the recent past?
DWYANE WADE:  I compare that to the Dwyane Wade my teammates and the organization and the Miami fans and fans around the world has became accustomed to, and I had became accustomed to.  It was good to see myself back on the floor again.

Q.  You're back in Texas again for a Game 5.  Critical Game 5.  What can you draw off the experiences from 2011?
DWYANE WADE:  I mean, 2011, we had opportunities in that game to win it.  And we justwe didn't.  We didn't.  Down the stretch we couldn't pull it out.  We had a lead in the fourth quarter.  But they executed better than we did.  They made big shots, and we wasn't able to win that ballgame.
So obviously it's a different year, it's a different team.  But we come in with the same challenge.  And hopefully we've grown from that, and if we get in that situation, we're better prepared and we give ourselves a better chance to win this time in Game 5 than we did two years ago.

Q.  What do you think the biggest change in maturity has been since then in the team and specifically in LeBron?
DWYANE WADE:  Well, in the team I think it's just been time together, getting the opportunity to become a better team.  Obviously going through a lot of trials and tribulations throughout a year, throughout a season, it makes you a better team, it brings you closer.  You learn from your mistakes, hopefully if you're a good team.
And I think LeBron he's just like every other player that grows and gets better every year.  Especially in that age right between 24 and 30.  That's normally the range where guys really take their game to another level.  And he has a level that not many has ever had that's put on an NBA jersey.  So we've seen the growth in him these last couple of years to become a dominant, dominant player pretty much every night.  When he doesn't do it, there's something wrong with him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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