Heat LeBron James And Wade On Game 6
Miami Heat’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade spoke to the media Sunday night after the game five loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Final. The Spurs lead the series 3-2.
Q. Dwyane and LeBron, can you try to explain another start like you had and talking all the time about trying to come back after a win and the way you guys started. And again when you got it to one, kind of the same thing happened.
DWYANE WADE: Can’t really explain it right now. But they continue to have great starts. We continue to start slow. We just digged ourselves in a deep hole very early, and unlike Game 3, we fought back. We got it, like you said, within one. We used so much to get back, and they continued to keep coming at us.
So the lead kept going back and forth. But we kept fighting, we kept feeling like we had a chance. This was a game that it was like we could steal it. But they continued to make shots. Credit to them. Their starters played big tonight. All of them made shots. They shot 60% from the field in a tough game.
So credit to the Spurs.
Q. For both of you: You have no choice but to say yes now because of the card you’ve been dealt, but if you got told way back two games at home to win this thing, do you take it?
LeBRON JAMES: Absolutely. That’s the position we’re in. The most important game is Game 6. We can’t worry about a Game 7. We have to worry about Game 6 and going back home, being confident about our game, being confident about getting a win, which we are.
So it is what it is. We have a Game 6 on our home floor.
Q. What do you take from your Game 6 experience two years ago that you could use to help your focus and also as motivation?
DWYANE WADE: Well, I mean we challenge ourselves to see if we’re a better team than we was. Same position no matter how we got to it. We’re in the same position going back home with Game 6 on our home floor. So we’re going to see if we’re a better ballclub and if we’re better prepared for this moment.
Everything happens for a reason. And this is not a bad reason at all to go home for Game 6 on your home floor.
LeBRON JAMES: He said it. He said it. We’re going to see if we’re a better team than we were our first year together.
Q. LeBron, after Game 3 when you guys lost here, you specifically said you had to play better. You were pretty good tonight. Is this on you? Is this game right now when you go forward‑‑ anything else you could be doing?
LeBRON JAMES: I have to come up big, for sure in Game 6. But I believe we all have to play at a high level in order to keep the series going. So me being one of the leaders of this team, I do put a lot of pressure on myself to force a Game 7, and I look forward to the challenge.
Q. How do you keep your focus small and not on the legacy of the implications of all of this?
LeBRON JAMES: I always kind of focus on the present. And for us the next challenge is Tuesday night. We will get better tomorrow. We’re going to watch film, see ways we can clean up our starts, especially our first quarter. We’re not playing well in the first quarter. We have to figure that out.
But our next challenge, biggest challenge will be Tuesday night. We have an opportunity on our home floor with our home fans to keep the series going, and we look forward to it.
Q. Dwyane, Spo said that the open looks, especially from Danny Green, are just killing you guys. Tony Parker was in here and said, “how is he getting so open this late in the series?” He just doesn’t understand it. How is he getting so open?
DWYANE WADE: I mean, this is the kind of team that I feel capitalizes on any mistake you make. So if you’re half a second late, they capitalize on it.
Give him credit. He’s making some hell of a shots. He’s also getting some stuff in transition as well. They’re running a lot. And he’s the beneficiary of Tony Parker’s penetration. And he’s getting some shots. But he’s making them. Give them credit, man. He’s knocking them down. Not many guys have shot the ball this well, especially in The Finals, that I can remember. We do have to do a better job like we did in Game 4 of knowing where the shooters are at all times. He got away from us a few times tonight, and he knocked them down.
Q. LeBron, having played with Danny at an early stage in his career, did you ever anticipate that he could do this much damage this late in the series and throughout the series?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, I mean, for me I think opportunity is everything. Pop gave him an opportunity. He’s trying to seize the moment, and he’s doing great for his team so far.
Q. LeBron, you had been asked about why this team has been unable to win two games in a row, and you said, “Now is the time. Now is the time.” Why have the Heat been unable to win two games in a row?
LeBRON JAMES: If I knew the answer we would have won two games in a row. I don’t know. Just haven’t been able to do it.
Q. This is for both of you guys: They made adjustments, you made adjustments. They countered, you guys have countered. At this stage how much is it two great teams playing great basketball? You have to give them credit, they have to give you credit, instead of what’s wrong with the Heat or what’s wrong with the Spurs?
DWYANE WADE: I think you said it. They’re a very great team. We’re a great team as well. So at this time we’re going to make another adjustment. It’s going to be very small. But that’s not what’s going to win the ballgame. Just like tonight the adjustment they made with throwing more isolations at Tony Parker didn’t necessarily win the ballgame but it helped. It changed things.
So we have to go back, we have to make adjustments. But more so than that, it’s a lot of mental mistakes we made tonight. If we make those mistakes in Game 6, it will be the same result. So we have to be more locked in from start to finish.
Q. LeBron and Dwyane, talk about how important it is for both of you guys to reestablish your individual offense inside the paint in Game 6.
LeBRON JAMES: I think that’s where it starts for us, honestly. Getting into the paint. I think between the two of us, we probably missed 12 lay‑ups tonight. Transition lay‑ups that we usually convert. I missed a lob. I missed two lay‑ups. Transition on the same possession. I know D‑Wade had a few lay‑ups that we’re accustomed to making. Those are points in the paint that we weren’t able to convert which we are not worried about. Those are shots we make. And maybe it would be a different turnout at that point.
Q. Ray Allen found his shot again in Game 6. How does that help you in Game 6?
LeBRON JAMES: Ray is a big part of our team. So when he’s on the floor, he’s a threat. We try to find him.
Q. You both have been in the same position San Antonio is in now, up three wins with one more to go. Can you describe those 48 hours before a closeout game, when you know if you win one more game you’re the champs? And conversely, what is it like you know if you lose one more game it’s over?
DWYANE WADE: I think obviously you cannot stop yourself from thinking that way, you know. Last year we had opportunity we were up 3‑1, I couldn’t go to sleep that night. All I thought about was all we have to do is win one more and we’re champions.
So obviously you’re going to think that way. You also have a game to play. And so I’m sure this team, they’ve been here before many times. They understand winning that last game is one of the hardest things you’re going to do. And we understand it as well.
But you know what, it’s the game, we got to play it. I like our chances, just like they like their chances, in this series and in Game 6. We’ll see. We’ll see which team, which style is going to prevail.
LeBRON JAMES: I think just to piggyback on what he said, it don’t matter if you are up, you need one more win or one more win you’re out. You can’t sleep. Especially at this point. It’s a great opportunity for both teams. For them to close this out for them to win it, and for us to force a Game 7.
So we look forward to the challenge. We’ve been here before. And like you said, we’ve been on both sides of the fences. See what happens, and we got an opportunity to do something special. And we look forward to it.
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