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NBA FINALS: HEAT v SPURS


June 7, 2014


Dwyane Wade


SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q.  Each of the last 12 times you lost in the playoffs, you've won the next game.  Can you take us through what it's like with the team when you're coming off a loss, and do you sense a different feel when you are coming off a loss in the playoffs?
DWYANE WADE:¬† To answer the second part first, I think it's pretty consistent throughout the playoffs and in the season with this team, especially when it really matters.¬† I think this team has done a good job of‑‑ one thing we do is come in, learn from our mistakes, own up to our mistakes, figure out how we can be better coming into the next game and we make those adjustments, and it's worked out for us.
I'm not saying that's automatic and it means we're going to win the ballgame, but up to this point it's worked out for us.  Just being consistent, you know, owning up to what we didn't do well the first game and trying to come out and right our wrong.

Q.¬† Dwyane, I know you guys don't pay attention to it, but all the attention you guys have faced and the scrutiny, if you ever did fall behind 2‑0 in this series, can you imagine how bad that would be?
DWYANE WADE:  I'm sure the series would be over from the outside (Laughter).  Like you said, that's not really our focus.  Our focus is on how we can win ballgames and understand in the series it's the first one to four; not the first one to one, not the first one to two, not the first one to three.  You win a series by being the first one to four.  We understand the journey, we understand the path and what it takes to get there.
For us right now the only focus is how are we going to win Game 2, and put ourselves in position on the road to win Game 2.

Q.¬† San Antonio makes it a priority to defend without fouling.¬† Your team's free‑throw totals through late Finals games pretty much backs that up.¬† What do you do?¬† Do you try to challenge and get your way to the foul line or do you have to find other ways to get your offense that you normally count on from free throws?
DWYANE WADE:¬† Obviously got to make more shots.¬† We've done an unbelievable job of‑‑ one thing they do is try to flush you out, make you take a tough shots, contest it or if you drive the basket.¬† Try to get you to miss without fouling.
You gotta play with the flow of the game, gotta make more shots, shoot a higher percentage than we did in the first game versus this team.  That's what we did last year.  We made shots, and if you don't make shots they'll kill you.

Q.  You've played in Finals, big games where you have had to deal with injury issues, I know a knee injury is different from cramping, but I was wondering if you could explain a little bit of the mental challenge of when you had your body not do what you want it to do in a big game, and then you have to come right back in the next big game and you have to trust yourself to have your body do what you want it to do.  What is that challenge like?  What is LeBron facing going into Game 2?
DWYANE WADE:¬† Well, it's a mental challenge.¬† I think physically when you feel you've done everything that you could, before the game, getting prepared for the game, physically you might be more ready than mentally.¬† It's just a mental game, you have to play with yourself.¬† You have to go through the checklist in your mind, did I do this?¬† Did I do that?¬† And give yourself that confidence that you can go out and do the things that you normally do, even though‑‑ you know, when you come off a cramping game, no matter how many days you have in between, it might be a move that you make, it might tighten up real quick, something might tighten up in your body, but you just got to trust it and hopefully you did everything in between, so it won't happen again.¬† Not much else you can do at this point.

Q.  Dwyane, you grew up in Chicago, obviously, watching Michael Jordan, so two questions:  When you look at the size of this event and the international media is that part of Michael's legacy?  And what are some of your Michael Jordan memories from The Finals?
DWYANE WADE:  Yes, it is obviously a part of Michael Jordan legacy of being one of the first athletes to really take this game to new heights.
And obviously as a Bulls fan, my favorite memory is probably the first championship they won.  You know, just being proud your city.  You know the struggles that the Bulls went through, losing to Detroit two times in a low, winning that first championship.
As a city I was proud and I was 9 years old.  That was a time when I fell in love with the game, you know, basketball.  There was a time when I went in the back, in the backyard, cold, outside, whatever it was, and I was trying to emulate Michael Jordan's move against the Lakers when he decided he didn't want to dunk it, he wanted to go ahead and shoot the whoop-de-whoop  shot with the left hand.  I tried that so many times.  The impact that it played on my life and so many kids' lives at the time.  Obviously I'm still benefitting from that today.

Q.  You were talking about the first one to four wins.  With that in mind and the heat aspect in the first game, does that make that loss more painful that there was an outside affect that played a role in the loss?
DWYANE WADE:  No, no, not at all.  It was two teams out there.  They had to deal with the same conditions we had to deal with.  You know, what makes a loss painful is when you have an opportunity to win.  We was up seven in the fourth.  We're a team who closes games out and we wasn't able to do that for whatever the reason may be, we didn't do that.
That right there is what makes that loss more painful but that's the thing that makes you focus and come back for the next one.¬† We didn't win that first one so we don't have‑‑ we're not uptight, we're not overly loose.¬† We're focused to come back and win the next one.

Q.  So being that both teams had to deal with it, you're not blaming that?  You guys aren't talking about it in that way?
DWYANE WADE:¬† No, no, no, no.¬† To say we lost the game because of the heat, that's just‑‑ I mean, obviously it wasn't conditions that we wanted to play in.¬† Not conditions that we want to play in again for neither team.¬† It's not healthy to play in those conditions, but both teams had to play under those conditions.¬† At the end of the day, they made more plays to win down the stretch than we did.
So it had nothing to do with wins and losses, had nothing to do with playing in 90 degrees or whatever the case may be, they had to play in it, too.

Q.  Pop was in here earlier and talked about two things that we thought was funny, one, Timmy playing the point, which isn't going to happen and how much he hates the three.  Given how good they have been from behind the line, especially in the two Finals against us guys, does that surprise you at all, that he is very much not a fan of the three?
DWYANE WADE:  Obviously he was throwing you guys off, if he was talking about Timmy playing the point and him not liking the three.

Q.  He made it clear Timmy is never going to play the point.
DWYANE WADE:¬† I don't know.¬† I'm sure Spo has things he doesn't like.¬† As a coach he probably cringes.¬† He doesn't like it when me and LeBron go one‑on‑one.¬† He wants team basketball but sometimes one‑on‑one is successful when you have players capable of doing that.¬† But I'm sure every coach has something with their team that they cringe about because three‑pointers, they say if you live by them you die by them.¬† But as a Coach you want layups, high‑percentage shots.¬† And that's the weapon for this team.¬† They've used it well over the last two years.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, Dwyane. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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