NBA FINALS: HEAT v SPURS
June 11, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Three
San Antonio Spurs - 111
Miami Heat - 92
Q. Lebron and Dwayne, was it a lack of effort defensively in the first half or execution?
LeBRON JAMES: Oh, they jumped on us, and they were the aggressor tonight, and they had us on our heels from the beginning. This is something that at this point in the season shouldn't happen, but they were more aggressive an us and they got off to that 41?25 lead at the end of the first.
Q. For both of you, is it more frustration than anger, more anger than frustration? What is kind of the mood right now collectively?
DWYANE WADE: A combination. Like you said, I mean, they jumped on us early, and that went from ?? to confidence when they didn't miss, and now you're fighting to get back. Now you're not playing the rhythm in the way you normally play. You're forcing things.
So little frustration, but you know that is the nature of the playoffs, man. It's not always good. As I told you guys before we start, this time of the year it's dark days for us. You know, tonight they came in and took care of business on our home floor, which we're a very good team here, but they're a very good team as well. So we've just got to learn from it and come out in Game 4 and make the adjustment especially early.
Q. How were you guys able to get back into it in the second half? And what was it like just getting it to a reasonable margin so many times but not being able to finish from there?
DWYANE WADE: Yeah, we dug ourselves a pretty big hole. But, you know, we're a resilient team. We're going to keep fighting. I thought third quarter we came out with a lot of energy, the way we'd have loved to start the game. Pushed it, got it to like 10.
But this team they still had a rhythm going, they made plays as a team to not let us get any closer. But we did what we wanted to do out of the timeout. We wanted to come out of the first timeout, we wanted to cut the lead, trim it down. I think we got it to 12, 13 the first one. We cut it within 10 by the end of the quarter, but we couldn't get it as close as we wanted. They had a good rhythm going. They made shots.
Kawhi Leonard was very aggressive tonight, and they just kept us at bay and they put us away.
Q. This is for both of you, you have a great defense. They're averaging 104 points a game. You have a lot of offense, you haven't broken a hundred yet. Is the problem your lackluster defense or is it the problems you're having offensively, lackluster offense?
DWYANE WADE: The problem is we're down 2 games to 1. That is the problem. We've got to figure out how to tie it up.
Q. Considering the stakes, is this about as frustrating of a loss you've had this season?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, I mean, of course. I mean, it's The Finals, so everything is magnified. You want to win at this point in the season but for us, we will get better from tonight. We hate the performance that we put on, but it's 2?1. It's not 4?1. It's 2?1, and we have to make some adjustments tomorrow.
We're going to come in and learn from our mistakes, as we always do after a loss, and get ready and prepared from the beginning. You know, this is the last team in the NBA that you can dig yourself a hole against. You just can't do it, and we learned from that tonight.
Q. Was this one of those games where, was it the defense or where it was like, man, they're hitting everything?
LeBRON JAMES: I think it was a little bit of everything. It was a cumulative of everything. Some possessions we played extremely well and they hit shots. Some possessions we weren't quite there and they hit shots as well. One thing about this team, if you make a mistake, they're going to make you pay, and they made us pay more often than not tonight from some of the mistakes that we made defensively.
Q. LeBron, you were in such a great rhythm in Game 2. Really played well in Game 1. But tonight you committed a Finals record 7 turnovers. How disappointed were you in your own performance?
LeBRON JAMES: I was in a pretty good rhythm tonight as well. I just turned the ball over way too much. I had two at halftime, I had five in the second half, and some of them were trying to make some plays to my teammates, and some of them were just overdribbling at times.
So I've got to do a better job with that for sure. It's not surprising that I have a Finals record for something I don't want to have, you know, so there we go. It's a new storyline for LeBron.
Q. And for a team that is now in its fourth Finals, how do you explain coming out with such a lack of urgency in a game at home?
LeBRON JAMES: I don't think we had a lack of urgency. Just they were very aggressive and we didn't match that. They came in with a desperation that we just didn't match.
Just because it's our fourth Finals doesn't mean anything. That doesn't guarantee you a win. It doesn't guarantee you that you'll be more urgent or less urgent than the next team. You just have to prepare for each and every game. We've got to have a better performance in Game 4, for sure. We definitely can't get behind this team like we did tonight.
Q. For the last couple of days guys have talked about trying to pick up Mario and he's talked about it a little bit, too. At this point he says he doesn't want to be the reason you guys struggle. He said that tonight. At this point what do you do with him to get him playing or help him to get playing where he's played during the regular season?
DWYANE WADE: Well, you know, we're going to continue to give him confidence. Mario is a big piece of what we do, and we're missing that piece right now, for whatever the reason is. But as a team, we're going to continue to give him confidence so when he has his shot, shoot it, take it. Defensively, Mario is someone who we depend on to cause havoc, and we need him to do that.
He's our guy. He's our point guard, you know. Obviously, we've all been to the point where we've struggled before, and we're not going to leave him out on the island at all. So we're going to continue to pull him in. It just takes one. It takes one performance, it takes one shot, and things can turn around. So as long as he stays confident in himself, he can bounce back from it.
Q. You guys obviously probably don't expect Mario and Norris to have to match Tony and Patty Mills. But what can you get from those guys to be more consistent in this series? What do you expect from that position?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, we want them to run the offense and we want them to defend. When they get open looks, we want them to take them with confidence. When they have an opportunity, we want them to be aggressive. Obviously, with Tony and Patty, those guys are very high motors, so we want them to match that effort.
One thing you can't control in the game of basketball if a shot goes in or not, but you can control how you defend. You can control how much energy you bring to the game, how much effort you bring to the game. If our two point guards do that, we can be okay with that. I know our two point guards, they're very passionate. They've got a lot of pride. And I know they're looking forward to learning from what they did tonight, and trying to be much better in Game 4.
Q. LeBron, it seems like even when they're missing they're getting good, quality looks. What is it about that offense that's so tough to defend?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, they spread you out. They have multiple guys that can make plays. It's kind of like us. They share the ball extremely well, and those guys are always in the right spot. I mean, if they ran the set and closed their eyes, they know exactly where the guys going to be at. It's a system they've been in. They do a great job of feeling one another out. And every guy that's on the floor can make a play. You know, it's very challenging mentally and physically for a defense. So you always have to be in tune.
Q. LeBron, you gave a shoulder shrug after they hit a three midway through the second quarter. But both of you guys, what is going through your head when the team shoots lights out like that?
DWYANE WADE: Well, when they're missing, defense is great. When they're making shots, your defense is lackluster. You know, it's the nature of the beast. Tonight they shot the ball very well. We helped them early on by giving them rhythm, and they knocked shots down from there. It's things that we've done in previous games. You contest them. You look and see, Danny Green was 7?for?8, but only hit one three. He got a lot of dribbling and we closed him off the three. He went to the basket a lot tonight. Little different than what he's done, but that's the job that we're supposed to do.
Now we've got to figure out a way if they make that adjustment, we have to be aware of it. But it's a hit?or?miss league.