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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: HEAT v PACERS


May 25, 2014


LeBron James


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q.  LeBron, how were you guys able to impose your style on Indiana late in the game?  It seemed like the second half of that game, you were picking up the pace.
LeBRON JAMES:  It's just our type of basketball.  Like I said, it doesn't result in a win all the time, but when we play our type of basketball, we'll be satisfied with the results.
So we came out, and we didn't start that way, but we finished that way.  Just happy with the outcome.

Q.  What's been the key to guarding Paul George in this series?
LeBRON JAMES:  Just want to make it tough on him.  Any great player, good player, whatever, just try to make it tough on him.  Make him put up contested shots, multiple bodies.  Make it tough.

Q.  What does it say about this team that any lineup can be out there at any given moment?  How much comfort does that give you?
LeBRON JAMES:  When you have guys that's been in the moment, it's not hard.  You have so many guys you can go to that's been a part of this whole run, and guys are confident enough that, when they get on the floor, they can make things happen.

Q.  Are you cognizant of wearing Paul out a little bit?
LeBRON JAMES:  Say that again?

Q.  Are you aware of trying to wear him out? 
LeBRON JAMES:  I try to wear any defender out in that regard.  I put pressure on him.  Got to do it on both ends.  So me as a player, I've got to put pressure on the defense, not only the person guarding me, but the second and third line.

Q.  You've played a lot of games against him in the playoffs now too.  Does he rank up there with guys you've played over the years?
LeBRON JAMES:  On Paul?

Q.  You've played almost [indiscernible] games against him in the playoffs.
LeBRON JAMES:  I have?  As much as I did with Paul?

Q.  Yes.
LeBRON JAMES:  That's kind of surprising.  I think he's an unbelievable talent.  I can't take a possession off against him.  I think last night to start the game he'd gotten me on two straight possessions where I didn't follow my keys and he scored.
Any player like that, you have to account for.  Just can't have any lapses.  You leave him open for an open three, he knocks it down.  If it you're not low into him in transition, he's going to get to the lane.  He's going to make free throws.  So he's one of the best I've went against in the postseason.
It's good, though.  It's great to have that competition.

Q.  LeBron, in the last two games, how much work have you done on making the Pacers adjust to you guys and vice versa?
LeBRON JAMES:  We've done a great job of that.  We want to play our type of basketball, like I said, very aggressive, very disruptive, and live with the results.

Q.  Can you describe in the fourth quarter of the playoff game, sort of how the intensity ratchets up?
LeBRON JAMES:  The winning time.  No matter what's going on the first three quarters, the postseason in games is usually decided by five points or less and one or two possessions.
So in the fourth quarter, you've got to be able to lock in and execute both offensively and defensively and give yourself a good chance to win.

Q.  So what are the qualities of this team that gets the results in the fourth quarter?
LeBRON JAMES:  We don't panic.  We've got guys that stay in the moment, that thrives on the moment, and just try to make the right plays to help our team win.

Q.  LeBron, one point made on the ABC broadcast last night by two of the commentators was it's not a good idea to start trash talking you.  They made that comment in regard to Lance.  Does that have any impact on you when you hear noise from the opponent?
LeBRON JAMES:  I don't have any.  I'm not much of a talker, but I can.  I don't ever start it, but I can get involved in it, and I'm able to still keep my head and understand what needs to be done to help our team win.
But winning the game is more important.  I understand what the main goal is.

Q.¬† You're already very engaged regardless of that, but does that make you even more‑‑ I don't know what the word would be‑‑ focused, engaged, when someone starts doing that to you?
LeBRON JAMES:  Sometimes.

Q.  How did it work yesterday when Lance was mouthing at you?  What effect did it have?
LeBRON JAMES:  It doesn't matter.  The competition is already hot.  You don't need it.  I think it's a great competition.

Q.¬† LeBron, you trailed for long stretches in the first three games.¬† Even though you're up 2‑1, do you feel your best game is still out there?
LeBRON JAMES:  Yeah, we haven't played our best game.  They probably feel the same way.  We haven't started how we want to, how we need to.  So we think our best basketball is yet to come.

Q.¬† In the third quarter, when you had the cramp, you didn't want to go to the locker room until you saw what Dwyane did in that possession.¬† I know you expect a lot of him anyways, but is there even more of an expectation when he's out there without you that you think he's‑‑ when the onus is on him to carry it like that?
LeBRON JAMES:  He can.  That's what our team is built for.  When one of the guys goes out, we're able to still hold the fort.  It's great to see the way he closed out the quarter.  The way he's been playing in the conference finals.  We need it all.

Q.  What did you think of the way he went at Hibbert yesterday?  He didn't seem deterred by that at all?
LeBRON JAMES:  He shouldn't be.  Hibbert is a great player, a great defender, but you've got to put pressure on him.

Q.  LeBron, what's been the key in the fourth quarters the last two games?
LeBRON JAMES:  No turnovers and flying around defensively, creating turnovers.  We do that, and we're going to get good shots.  We're one of the best shooting teams in the league.  We're going to get great shots.  We just can't turn the ball over.

Q.  How much faith have you had in guys coming off the bench?
LeBRON JAMES:  We always have faith in them.  It's the postseason.  It's been there.  We have faith in everyone that comes into the game.

Q.  On a team with this much talent, this much star potential, if you will, Rashard's got tons of play last night for good reason.  What's that kind of say about the role guys accept coming off that bench?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† It's big time.¬† For the non‑basketball people, you look at this stat sheet and see zeros across the board.¬† When he was on the floor, it was a plus 21.¬† That's winning basketball.
He sacrificed, defended, and he helped us get the lead.  There's a plus on the floor with him out there.  So those minutes was key.

Q.¬† The point keeps being made that Ray in the fourth quarter, especially with the three‑pointers, you guys have felt the sting of that for years and to get him on your side was a big deal.¬† How much went into that thinking when you were recruiting Ray Allen?
LeBRON JAMES: ¬†That was the number one thing.¬† I've always joked with him over the years that we needed to team up, even when he was‑‑ even in Boston when we were going through our thing.¬† The fact that it happened and I was able to be a part of it.¬† This is what we envisioned.
His work ethic, his professionalism, what he brings to the game, it pays off.  Throughout the whole season, not just now, but it's great that it's happening now for sure.

Q.  Against a great defensive team like Indiana, how has Dwyane been able to be so efficient?
LeBRON JAMES:  Because great offense beats great defense.  He's a great offensive player.  He's a great player.  The rhythm that he's in right now, his pullup is going.  He's shooting the three.  He's getting into the lane shooting his floaters.
So that's how it always works.¬† I mean, great defense, obviously, we're going against, but D‑Wade's in a great rhythm right now, and we need him to keep going.

Q.  Do you like to see him play the three every now and then?
LeBRON JAMES:  Yeah, got to keep the defense honest.

Q.  Was it the offensive foul that was called against you that kind of set you off with Stephenson?
LeBRON JAMES:  No.  No, I don't need to get set off with Stephenson.
One thing I'm not going to do is give you all a storyline with LeBron and Stephenson.  I'm not going to do that.  It's the Pacers versus the Heat.  Not going to get involved in that.
I've already been involved in a LeBron versus Stephenson in my playoff career.  So I'm not going to start with another Stephenson.  Not going to do it.  You won't get me today.

Q.  Ray mentioned last night that you guys save the high energy on defenses.  The other guys [indiscernible].
LeBRON JAMES:  Yeah, we do.  We've got to do a better job of being more conscious about knowing that guys feed off us, especially at the start of the game.  We can't come out with such a low motor and just feel the game out.
I'm one of those guys.  I kind of feel the game out to start the game, but maybe I need to be a little bit different in this series because it's not gotten us off to a good start.

Q.  You said that you felt like the best game for this team is still out there.  Earlier in the series, you talked about the fact that this is a team that plays better as the series goes on.  Why is that the case?
LeBRON JAMES:  Just because we're a team that's got to learn our opponent, continue to lock in on their likes, their dislikes, what they like to do, what they don't like to do.  That's how we kind of like morph into a better team as the series goes on.
I think we've played better in Game 2 than we did in Game 1.  I think last night, besides the first 14 minutes, 16 minutes, we played better.  So hopefully, we can just ramp it up another level tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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