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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: HEAT v PACERS


May 29, 2014


Lance Stephenson


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q. Are you enjoying it?
LANCE STEPHENSON: Just playing ball, man, having fun. Just trying to win.

Q. Does that put pressure on you for the next game with the attention that you draw to yourself?
LANCE STEPHENSON: I don't think it's pressure. I'm just playing hard. I'm just trying to win the game and do whatever it takes.

Q. Lance, where did you pick those tactics up from, just trying to get into somebody's head? Did you learn that from somebody in the past?
LANCE STEPHENSON: Just comes out of the blue. Just playing ball, having fun. I'm just trying to win the game. That's about it.

Q. Is the game easier for you when you're engaged like that?
LANCE STEPHENSON: Definitely. When I'm engaged and trying to figure out what plays they're running and just doing a lot of stuff, just getting involved and helping my teammates win the game, I think it helps.

Q. What did you say to Spoelstra when you were in their huddle? You said something to him. Were you asking him something?
LANCE STEPHENSON: I didn't ask him nothing. I was just listening to see what play he was about to run next.

Q. I thought you said something or you asked him something.
LANCE STEPHENSON: No.

Q. Come on now.
LANCE STEPHENSON: I didn't ask him nothing.

Q. Has anybody ever tried to do that to you? If so, how annoying is it when someone's trying to play that game with you?
LANCE STEPHENSON: It's definitely annoying. Cole does it, but he does it in a different way. He gets under you, and he contains you, and he makes you do extra dribbles. I mean, he gets under your skin. They've got a guy that does the same stuff.

Q. Who are you talking about?
LANCE STEPHENSON: Cole Norris. He does the same thing but in a different way.

Q. You've been tagged as the bad guy or the villain in this series. What are your thoughts on that?
LANCE STEPHENSON: Just trying to help my team win, whatever it takes. There's a lot on the line now. Just trying to win games.

Q. How much do you expect to guard LeBron in the next game?
LANCE STEPHENSON: I mean, if Coach wants me to guard him, I'll guard him, whatever it takes to win the game. I think, when I'm on him, it helps the team a little bit more, and it helps Paul George get his shots that he wants. He won't be as tired.
So I think it definitely helps. Whatever Coach decides to do tomorrow, that's what we're going to do.

Q. It looked like a challenge you were really eager to take on, though, guarding him.
LANCE STEPHENSON: I mean, I have a lot of respect for him. He's a great player. You've got to do whatever it takes to get under him and win the game because he's that good. So if I got to do all that stuff, I'm going to do that to win the game.

Q. Do you wonder if you just give him motivation for the next game?
LANCE STEPHENSON: He should be motivated anyway. There's a lot on the line. Like I said, we're all motivated, and we're all trying to get one thing. We're all trying to win.
So he's definitely motivated. He's motivated, and I know he's going to come out even stronger in his building. He's got his fans behind him.
So we've got to come with pressure and play like how we play, and we'll be home.

Q. Lance, how much does that stuff actually help? What effects do you see?
LANCE STEPHENSON: I mean, just not having him feel comfortable on the floor. The whole series, I felt like he was comfortable, and nobody really bothered him. He's just bringing the ball up and just getting into his place, getting into pick‑and‑rolls.
I think getting under him and playing tougher defense on him bothered him a little bit.

Q. Did anyone encourage you to take this approach, or did this come from within?
LANCE STEPHENSON: It's within. It's all me.

Q. We found some video last year of you blowing in LeBron's ear as well. So this is not the first time? Is it something‑‑ have you blown in lots of guys' ears on the basketball court over the years?
LANCE STEPHENSON: Just playing ball, man, having fun and enjoying the moment.

Q. Lance, was this a conscious decision? Did you think I'm going to do something more to get into his head? How did it happen?
LANCE STEPHENSON: It just happened. I'm just playing ball and just having fun and trying to win.

Q. About midway through the third quarter, you're called for a foul on Wade, and you got focused all of a sudden. What happened? Was it something that Wade‑‑ you try to poke it loose, and the ball goes out of bounds, and they call a foul on you with 5:48 left in the third, and then you picked him up full court, and you go after him.
LANCE STEPHENSON: Like I said, it's a tug of war series. If you look at the numbers, they're all killing us in the numbers, and they're playing much harder than us and better than us if you look at the numbers.
So we've got to slow them down. We do whatever it takes to slow them down, make the play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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