DWAYNE WADE TALKS NBA FINALS
June 12, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day
Q. Have you ever been a part of a game like that where the other team just seems to make everything? And if so, is it just difficult to stop at that point in time no matter what you do?
DWYANE WADE: I mean, yeah, but it's been a while. You know, it hasn't been in a Finals game in the playoffs. But they did an unbelievable job of coming out and kind of changing up the way that they attack the game early on. They came in really putting pressure on our defense and putting us on our heels, and got a lot of opportunities closer to the basket, which opened up the outside shot where they made some unbelievable shots.
Seemed like they didn't miss at all the whole night. Tough game to play, but we kept fighting. Trying to give ourselves an opportunity. But to play a team like that, you can't give them that big of a cushion.
Q. There is always talk about how in this league defenses will take away what you do well. But after all these years, nobody's taking away your pump fake and the effectiveness of drawing fouls and getting to the line. How much have you adapted that through the years? Are you surprised at how often guys still bite?
DWYANE WADE: I don't know. I don't go to the line as much as I used to. So I really don't use my pump fake as much as I used to. I use it more so before the shot that I do after the shot right now. I used to use it a lot more after the shot, and now I use it a little bit before unless I'm down in the paint.
But I understand I'm a defender. We all are antsy, a guy makes a move and your job is to try to contest his shot. So you're able to get guys up in there a little bit. But haven't been doing as much lately as I have over my career.
Q. What is your evaluation of your individual defense in this series so far?
DWYANE WADE: I'm always tough on myself. I've had good moments, I've had bad moments. I have great moments of helping. I've had bad moments of helping. I've had good on?ball moments, bad on?ball moments.
Q. How difficult is a day like today, and I'm referring to the film session? Do you almost wince at it when you see the way you guys played? Is it tough?
DWYANE WADE: Oh, yeah. This is a part of it you have to deal with as an athlete. The one thing about this time of the year, it's never kind of a great, great moment. Even when you win, you've got to move on and try to get to the next game. When you lose, it seems like you've done everything wrong.
You know, so you come in and you learn. You have to come in and learn and take ego out of it, especially when you play as bad as we did from the start yesterday. You listen to everything your coach says, and you try to come in and correct it. That's all you can do, man. You've got to learn from it. We can't get on the court and go four, five hours a day to fix it. You have to mentally lock in and try to learn that way, and hopefully we did that. We had a nice long film session, and we listened to our leader. Now it is our job as players to go out there and try to change the outcome of the way we played the game.
Q. With the Finals format going from 2?3?2, back to 2?2?1?1?1, the prospect of going back to San Antonio down 3?1 for Game 5, does that make Game 4 a must?win for you guys?
DWYANE WADE: We're not that far ahead yet. If you know anything about us, we're an in?the?moment team. And right now in the moment is the day after a loss is getting better mentally, physically, and then coming into tomorrow and playing the game of basketball here on our home floor and trying to win Game 4. That is all we focus on.
Q. Yesterday I asked you about momentum, and you said you guys didn't have it. Do you think the Spurs have it now or do you think momentum is even important in a game?to?game series like this?
DWYANE WADE: It's tough to call, man. There is no right answer. I think right now they played very well yesterday. Their confidence level is higher. But from game to game the momentum changes.
So it's tough to answer that question who has momentum, who doesn't, when every game is different.
Q. Is it easier to maybe get over a game like this because they shot so well, and it's like you just can't do??
DWYANE WADE: No, no. No, no, you don't chalk it up to that. You don't chalk it up to oh, they just shot well. It was their night. It wasn't our night. No, you have to do something about it. They shot well for a reason. Each person individually has to look at themselves in the mirror to see what you can do better, and as a group see what we can do better to all help each other. Because that is the way we are on both ends of the floor.
Yeah, they shot the ball well, but they shot the ball well because of mistakes that we made. Then they got it going, and then there is nothing that you could do. But we've got to own up to it.
Q. In the off?ball defense on the perimeter, did you guys leave them too much space in those situations?
DWYANE WADE: Yeah, I thought we didn't help as much. And that is the one thing that they do. They make you think. They've got guys that can shoot it and put it on the floor and make passes. It's hard. When you get into a point in the game where whether you're tired or you're just thinking it's not going to be hard, that's when you make a mistake. It's hard. You have to help your teammates on the drive, you have to cover the shooter, and you have to stay in the play. You have to cover the cutter, and you have to rebound and go to the other end and execute. It's hard to win a championship. This is the top team to play when you're trying to figure it all out when it comes to how hard it is.
So we've got to do more.
Q. Specifically with Kawhi Leonard, did his outside shooting catch you guys off guard a little bit?
DWYANE WADE: No, maybe his drives early on, how aggressive he was driving to the basket. I mean, his outside shots that he did, the three threes that he hit, we'd take those. We felt one of them was in transition, Rashard was there. Another one, LeBron was there. We'll take those. I think it was more his ability to get to the basket and put so much pressure on our defense. He got to the middle a lot. He's a very aggressive driver, especially going right. He puts a lot of force on you.
So we've got to make the adjustment of when they're running pick?and?rolls, and you're chucking and closing out Kawhi, you have to be a little more conscious of where he's trying to go. Make him take the shot. If he makes it, you've got to get closer next time. If he's driving it, you have to make him make more than one move to get to the basket.
Q. Since Chris got here four years ago, he's taken an unusual amount of heat, not only about his game, but even about his manhood and just who he is. As a teammate of his, what have you felt for him seeing the way he gets sort of abused and misunderstood sometimes?
DWYANE WADE: I don't know, man. I mean, Chris handles it well. None of us was brought up to handle the scrutiny or the success, so you do your best. He does his best. He's his own man, and he doesn't concern himself too much. Obviously, everyone hears it, and it either drives you or tears you apart. But at the end of the day he's been what we want him to be, here in Miami. He's been a champion. And that's all that matters.
Q. You and LeBron had a combined 12 turnovers. How much was that a factor of just being aggressive and trying to force the issue or carelessness?
DWYANE WADE: No, well, I don't remember all of LeBron's turnovers, but I can recall mine. Some of them were just not being strong enough with the ball. I think Danny Green got two of them on me on a play that we called early on when Mario threw me the ball. I need to hit ball or whatever the case may be, just not being strong enough.
Some of it is, yeah, you get down 15, 20 sometimes you're trying to do too much as well. But we can't have that if we want to win ballgames. Myself and LeBron got to do a better job of getting our teammates better looks and being more aggressive ourselves at the same time. So us having 12 turnovers together, that is not winning basketball for us at all.