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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: HEAT v PACERS


May 24, 2014


LeBron James

Dwyane Wade


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Three

Indiana Pacers - 87
Miami Heat - 99


Q.  LeBron, first off, how bad was the cramp issue?  Assuming it was a cramp.  Second, seeing Dwyane hit that three before you went into the hallway, did that help or hurt at that point?
LeBRON JAMES:  I'm fine.  Probably just got a little dehydrated tonight.  It's been four days since we played.  Just playing as hard as we could tonight.
I try to prevent that from happening, but it happened.¬† D‑Wade came in and closed the quarter out.¬† I wasn't going to leave until I saw what he was going to do.¬† He drained and put us up ten, and I was all right.

Q.¬† Dwyane, Ray said that he's never seen you so happy after hitting a shot than the first three‑pointer that you made.¬† Why were you so happy?
DWYANE WADE:¬† I don't know.¬† I don't know.¬† It was just a rhythm shot, and I just raised up and shot it.¬† I don't know if I was like giddy happy, I was just‑‑ it was a good way to close the quarter.
I was sitting on the bench.  So I'd just got in for those five seconds to get Bron out.  So I got a free shot at it, and it went in for me.

Q.¬† He actually said one of the reasons might have been because they give you such a hard time because you think you're a three‑point shooter and a lot of other guys on the team don't believe it.
DWYANE WADE:  That's not true.  I could shoot the three ball.  I just decide not to.  I'm not Ray Allen or these guys.  I can make it.  I just decide not to.
Guys always give me confidence to shoot it.  I just decide when I want to shoot it.  Once I got that one to go, then I was able to hit another one to kind of keep us afloat in the fourth quarter.

Q.  It seemed like this was really sort of the ultimate strategic test, maybe for Spo, the way he picked up the pace, went to pressure, the way he put Rashard on David West, the way you guys took advantage of West guarding Ray and then Norris' energy.  Did you just sort of feel that you guys started to push the right buttons along the way?  How does it feel when you see your coach pushing those buttons and getting the results you guys desperately needed?
LeBRON JAMES:  He definitely did that by putting the right personnel on the floor.  Obviously, we started the game with mental turnovers, mental breakdowns, mostly coming from us offensively.  He pushed the right buttons, bringing in Norris, giving Rashard a nod, Bird came in with his energy every night he plays.
Those guys off the bench, man, they did it for us tonight.  They got the game ball for sure.

Q.  [No microphone].
DWYANE WADE:¬† Yeah, when you're in a series like this, everyone has seen‑‑ we've been playing each other for a while.¬† So we've all seen what each other has.¬† It's always great to bring in just a spark at the right time.¬† Coach did a great job tonight of bringing these guys.
Just like in Game 2 as well, our second unit gave us a big spark.  That's the only way we're going to win is everyone being prepared and being ready to put their impact on the game.
Like you said, the second unit gets the game ball just by the energy and effort they brought for the majority of the game.¬† Rashard, if you look at the stat sheet, it don't look like he did much, but he did a great job of defending David West, did a great job on pick‑and‑rolls, et cetera, to give us the comfort that we needed when he was guarding the ball.

Q.¬† Dwyane, do you feel noticeably better right now than you did last time at this year‑‑ or last year at this time?
DWYANE WADE:  Yes.

Q.  LeBron, after you guys got through that first quarter, did you feel like the rest of the game this is as close as you've gotten to playing the style of game that you guys want to enforce in this series?
LeBRON JAMES:  Well, for us, we have to play our type of basketball.  We have to be disruptive.  We have to speed up the team that we're going against, and we have to fly around defensively.
When we lay back, we're just‑‑ everything that we've built, it just doesn't work.¬† We just lay back and allow teams to come down and set up their offense‑‑ or whatever the case may be, even offensively, when we're just passing the ball around and being very passive.
We're an attack team.  When we get into our game, so many things happen for us, and we're even able to cover up for some of the mistakes we make both offensively and defensively.

Q.  Dwyane, LeBron doesn't get hurt often.  So what were you thinking when he went into the locker room during the third quarter?
DWYANE WADE:  Actually, I didn't know he went into the locker room, but I was talking to him before I subbed in for him.  I was like, "What's wrong?  What's going on?"  And he told me what it was.
So all I was trying to do was close out the quarter, but I didn't know he went into the locker room at all.

Q.  LeBron, you guys ran a lot of great sets to get Ray open in the fourth quarter.  Was that a conscious change in strategy, or does that kind of just happen organically, when he hits a couple of shots, you all try to get him open?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Ray creates so much for our team, just his ability just to move without the ball, to shoot the ball.¬† He shifts the defense by himself, and it's a great‑‑ I mean, it's great that we have that.
No matter who's on him, him coming off pin‑downs, he's one of the few on our team that can do that, that can create two on the ball, and he's always in constant motion.¬† He's got it going, man, and we just want to continue to find him.
I was able to find him for the majority of the shots that he had tonight in the fourth quarter, and when you got a hot hand, you just keep going to it.

Q.  Over the last three years, you guys have been behind on the Pacers in the series and in games numerous times, but you seem like you've been able to come back and win most of the times in situations.  Do you just have a lot of confidence against this team?
LeBRON JAMES:  We have a lot of confidence versus our opponent, but we don't want to keep digging holes.  We hate the way we played to start the game.  We can't play that type of basketball.  We've got to come out and play like we're down 15 to start the game because they can't bite us in the butt if we don't prepare that way.
But we're a confidence group.  We don't panic.  We just work the game.  Obviously, the start of the game, it wasn't the type of basketball that we're accustomed to playing.  We turned the ball over way too much, and myself and a couple other guys had a few turnovers.
But we just got into our game.  We kept going, getting into our game.  We started putting pressure on them defensively, offensively, and we were able to get back into the game at the end of the second quarter.

Q.  LeBron, can you just talk about the play from Norris Cole tonight, especially defensively when he was pressuring their guards, Watson and Stephenson?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Norris, he's great.¬† He's great for our team.¬† He's a change of pace from‑‑ we have our starting point guard in Rio, and when we go to Norris, he changes the tempo.¬† That's when you need with guys off the bench, you need energy guys.¬† We have a few of them, but Norris, he's great.
He's been in‑‑ this is his third year.¬† He's still young, but he's been in all the pressure situations, obviously, so he's able to come in and be confident.¬† As the leaders of the team, we try to give him confidence.
Defensively, though, it's his mark.  He makes his mark defensively.  He makes us all step up our game defensively as well, and then offensively, whatever he gives us is always extra credit for us.  He attacks the rim, gets himself looks, gets our great guys looks, and it's great to have him.

Q.  LeBron, you mentioned all that Ray does to get himself open.  Were you surprised at all that they've tried David West on him now in three straight games?  It seems like an unusual matchup for them to work on.
LeBRON JAMES:  Not surprised.  They've done it for two years.  Two years straight, he's guarded Ray when we went small.  So not surprised at all.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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