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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: HEAT v PACERS


May 18, 2014


Paul George


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA: Game One

Miami Heat - 96
Indiana Pacersテつ -107


Q. テつPaul, much has been made throughout the season about getting home‑court advantage for Game 7.テつ How important was it to have it today to get off to a good start?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ It was extremely important, you know, especially playing against the two‑time champs.テつ This is a game we needed, and we couldn't let this one go.
We had a past of dropping Game 1's in this playoff run, and that would have been a huge setback against this team.

Q.テつ P.G., in that first quarter and a half, you guys were shooting it like 85 percent from three.テつ Did you realize you were that hot, and did you just continue to shoot because you were in the zone?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ Yeah, yeah, I thought we just did a great job of moving the ball.テつ We didn't let the ball sit in one person's hand all night or all afternoon.テつ The ball constantly was in rotation.
So guys were coming and stepping into shots with a rhythm, and that's the reason why we were able to get off to a hot start and shoot the ball well to start this game off.

Q.テつ Paul, David said that he was a bit surprised that Miami went with a small lineup.テつ What was the effect to you of Battier coming out on you and LeBron coming out on David West?テつ How did that affect the way the game went?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ Well, having Battier on me, I think I'm a little quicker.テつ So it doesn't pose that much of a threat for me.
But I don't know.テつ It was a move to kind of change the game up, for them to stay small.テつ Obviously, LeBron can guard multiple positions.テつ And they're aware of that, so I think that's what that move was for.
In the past, David West has been pretty effective with Battier on him.テつ So maybe that was the reason for the switch.

Q.テつ How did you think it worked?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ I don't know.テつ I don't know.テつ That's something we'll have to look back on and a question Spo will have to answer about the adjustments they're going to make for Game 2.

Q.テつ Paul, this conference finals rematch has been a game in the series you guys have been looking forward to for 12 months.テつ What was it like to actually get out there today and have this matchup you guys have been waiting for for so long?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ It was great.テつ It was a fun matchup, the one that we've been waiting for all year, the chance to battle this team once again.
We had a great crowd, great atmosphere.テつ Just happy we were able to complete Game 1 and get this win.

Q.テつ Paul, even with the defensive switch, Roy was saying that you guys were able to go back and use some of the plays that you used against him before last season, even this season.テつ Specifically, was there anything you remember that you used that was effective against this small lineup?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ I think just getting into pick‑and‑rolls.テつ We veered away from pick‑and‑rolls.テつ I think we got back to being sharp as far as hitting a roll man and causing rotations against that.テつ That's what's consistent with this group is hitting the pick‑and‑rolls and hitting our roll man.

Q.テつ Paul, this team, when you all shoot about‑‑ or make eight, nine, ten threes per game, you don't really lose a lot of games.テつ Is that what you feel is the biggest key for this series?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ Yeah, because our bigs are great.テつ We need a support system to help them when they're posting up and give them one‑on‑one matchups on the block.テつ If we're not shooting the ball well, it's going to be a tough night for them as well.
I thought it was a great job on our part, again, of getting guys great looks, getting shots in rhythm, and helping our bigs out.

Q.テつ Paul, today, what do you think made the difference today, and how are you going to be able to take it with you to Tuesday?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ Energy.テつ We played with a great energy tonight.テつ That's been an area where we lacked this postseason, being consistent with our energy and urgency to start games off.テつ I thought we brought that tonight.テつ We brought a toughness.テつ We brought an edge.テつ We brought an aggression, or we were aggressive on both ends of the floor.
I thought guys‑‑ you know, if a play broke down, we made an extra effort to not, I guess, just take what was available, but we pushed the effort a little bit.テつ At the end of the day, that's where we were able to really get a good lead on this team.
A lot of times, we kind of just take whatever the defense gives us, but I thought George, Lance, myself, David, Roy, we all gave the extra effort to make plays.

Q.テつ Paul, the last time Miami was here, Lance got kicked out of the game with about five minutes to go because he got a second technical foul.テつ Seems like the last couple three weeks he's been much calmer, more poised, certainly was today; didn't get high or low over anything.テつ Can you talk about the change that you've seen within him recently regarding his emotions?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ He's been able to control them.テつ He's definitely been able to control them.テつ That's as much as I could say on that.テつ He's learned to be a professional.テつ He's just an emotional person.テつ That's what we need though.テつ We need a guy with that energy, that toughness.
He gets out of hand sometimes, but we can live with most of it.テつ But I thought he did a great job tonight of just staying poised and keeping himself within the game.

Q.テつ Paul, how much do you know about Miami's track record of losing a Game 1 in this situation and then coming back in The Finals and conference finals after a rest?テつ And how do you sort of bottle what you did tonight to keep them from gaining momentum in this series?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ I don't know the track record, but we know we're playing against the champions, two‑time champions, and they're going to come out and make adjustments.テつ It's not going to be nowhere close to Game 1.テつ We expect that.
So everything we did tonight has got to be that much more in Game 2 in order for us to move on.

Q.テつ Kind of going off that last question, Paul, you guys have had trouble with the killer instinct after going up in the series, playoffs especially.テつ How do you make sure‑‑ maybe it's different with Miami, but how do you make sure you guys have that come Tuesday?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ That will be the test.テつ That will be the test.テつ We've been complacent many times in series and throughout the whole year.テつ We just can't get complacent.テつ We've got to stay humbled off this win and come in with the same mindset that we've got to get another one and let it go from there.
We know Miami's going to play well at home.テつ They play well on the road as well, but we like our chances being at home.

Q.テつ Paul, huge free‑throw disparity.テつ How did you guys get to the line tonight?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ Roy.テつ Roy was big.テつ He was very big in the paint.テつ Any time Roy is in the paint, he has a huge size advantage.テつ So you've got to foul him.テつ You've got to foul him.テつ He's going to put himself in position to get fouled, and I thought he did that.
But our guys did a great job of attacking, attacking to the rim, attacking their bigs.テつ Again, posting with physicality.

Q.テつ Paul, what kind of game do you expect from LeBron on Tuesday?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ To really just shoulder everything.テつ I think he's going to be much more aggressive with the ball.テつ I think he's going to be looking to make more plays, looking to shoot more shots and really looking to get guys going.
So it's going to be a tough night for me, but it's part of the league.

Q.テつ Paul, it seems like in years past, it seems the correlation when Wade plays well, the Heat are at their best.テつ You guys won tonight by double digits.テつ What does it say about you guys imposing your style and winning with five guys?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ It's tough because Bosh didn't have a good game.テつ When those three are locked in, that's when they're really at their best, and their role players contribute from all over the floor.
I think, had Bosh had a bigger role, played a bigger game for them, this game would have been a lot more tougher than it already was.
But we got to just do a great job of containing the rest of their guys.テつ They've got three great guys on their team who are going to make shots, make plays, make the special plays, but if we do a good job of containing everyone else, we'll be all right.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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