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Q:Home court was not that much of a factor in the Atlanta series, but do you expect it to be more of a factor
TOM THIBODEAU: You have to be ready. Moving forward the next game, you have to concentrate on that game. So that's all we're doing. The fact that it's home, it's important for us to play well, because it's our next game. But we can't rely on just being home to think that's why we're going to win.
Q: Why do you think you've had so much success keeping this team on point all season? If you look to any player, they say, "We can play better. There's a ton we have to clean up."
TOM THIBODEAU: Because I think you build your habits throughout the course of the season. We wanted to be consistent with our approach. We didn't want to change from game to game or situation to situation, whether you were facing back to back, early start, late start, whatever it is.
In this league, if you look, you can find an excuse every night, or you can make it good. You prepare the same way, build the right habits, do the right things and put everything you have in it.
Q: Surely you've been around NBA teams that did not accept that, you know, procedure, though, or it might have gone different agendas, different ways. Is it a luxury to have that as a coach?
TOM THIBODEAU: Well, I think the serious teams do. When you look at the teams that do well year after year, that's the approach they take. They improve as the season goes along. They're all well balanced. They build the right habits. They play hard, and they play for each other.
Q: Do you feel your team is improving as the playoffs go along?
TOM THIBODEAU: I'm hopeful. That's what we strive for. Every day in the season we want to improve.
Q: When Wade and LeBron go 12 for 32, what have you done right?
TOM THIBODEAU: Well, the thing is you don't guard those guys individually. You have to guard them collectively. They missed some shots that they normally make. So we know we're going to have to do a much better job in the next game.
Q: You've been associated with two teams now that have had obviously good defensive success against LeBron. Do you feel like you have a good sense for I'm not saying you solved the guy, but do you feel like you have a good sense for how to attack
TOM THIBODEAU: Well, you know, I think you want your team committed to defense. They're great players. You want to make them work for their points. I think to their credit, both Wade and James, they're both unselfish. When they're double teamed, they're going to pass the ball. And then from there you have to be able to react out and cover the next situation. But because they play unselfishly, sometimes people think they're not doing a lot. But they are. They are creating easy offense for others. Then the challenge for us is to protect the paint and get back out and try to cover all the other guys.
Q: What is the key to the team defense being successful? Is it communication? Is it energy? When everything is clicking.
TOM THIBODEAU: It's probably it's a lot of things put into one, where you have to tie everyone together. Whether it's your defensive transition, your catch and shoot defense, your pick and roll defense, your post defense, your isolation defense, if one guy is breaking down, your whole system will break down.
So they have to communicate, they have to make multiple effort, they have to challenge shots, and they have to finish their defense.
Q: At what point in this season do you feel your players understood your defensive concepts?
TOM THIBODEAU: It's not that complicated. It's pretty simple. Honestly, I think the big thing is it starts with your offense, like taking care of the ball and taking the right shots, which allows you to get back and get set. And then we try to play the ball a certain way, and everyone else has a responsibility to help. And from there, we want to make sure we're challenging shots, try to make our opponent take contested twos and finish our defense.
Q: One of the things Erik said over in the Heat practice today is he hopes that they can match the energy, effort and enthusiasm you guys feed off of off Noah. Do you think it's possible to exceed Noah's effort and enthusiasm?
TOM THIBODEAU: I think that's one of his strengths, is the fact that he can play with great energy every day, whether it's in practice or the games. But I think we have a number of guys who do that.
Q: How does his leadership (Indiscernible)?
TOM THIBODEAU: When you look at the leadership of the team and you look at Derrick, Luol, Joakim and Carlos, they help drive the team. I think every day they do a great job in practice. They set the tone for practice. All the things they do, they don't try to take any practices off. They practice hard. We also have great veteran leadership at the end of the bench. Guys like Kurt Thomas, Scalabrine and Bogans. They've done a great job, so you have a team that's committed. And we know we still have a long way to go, and we have to get a lot better.
Q: Tom, the way Luol played yesterday, does that basically sum up the season pretty much
TOM THIBODEAU: Well, you guys have been around. He's been very consistent all year long. His defense, his rebounding, his passing, his activity. And it's not only his individual defense; his team defense. It has a lot to do with the team being a good defensive team because of his ability to guard multiple positions consistently, makes multiple efforts. And sometimes you overlook all the stuff that he's doing out there. But I think to his teammates and coaches, we certainly understand how important he is to our team. Thank you.
Run the same defense all year. Just we've been doing the same thing since training camp. Guys are just doing we're used to doing the same thing.
Q: Does the repetition ever get boring?
LUOL DENG: Boring? That's a trap. No. It works, so it's fine. So we keep doing it.
Q: Do you think that attention to detail and that repetition in practice throughout the season has helped you guys?
LUOL DENG: Yeah. It's becoming a habit. It's just instincts now. Especially our bigs. Our bigs were great last game, just stepping up on the switches. Did a good job on the trap. That last series also against Atlanta.
And it's just what we've been doing all year, so guys are getting better at it.
Q: What kind of luxury is it as a team to have a defense where you have big guys like Omer and Joakim and Taj, big wing players?
LUOL DENG: It's great. We trust each other. The trust is just there. The guards, we could go up and pressure the ball knowing our bigs are going to be there.
Q: When you signed that contract in 2008, I think a lot of people thought you're going to turn into a big scorer. Do you think versatility is under appreciated?
LUOL DENG: I mean, it's a lot of contract, not contract, whatever. Versatility definitely is. But when you're playing great, everyone sees it. When you're struggling, everyone sees it. People always going to have opinions, whether you're worth the money or not. It's just how it goes. It's just the league we play in.
Q: How do you prevent a letdown in Game 2. Maintain that emotional intensity?
LUOL DENG: I think we have to know this is best out of seven. We did a good job of winning game one. We did great, great result for us. But we have to let that go, especially playing a team like this. They have guys who just can take over games and could go off at any time. We have to realize that if they win the next game, it changes everything. It's still a big game.
LEBRON JAMES & DWYANE WADE
LEBRON JAMES: Same thing. Treat every game like it's its own. That's why this is a series. You see the mistakes we made in Game 1, the things that we can control, and you come out with a better mindset and try to get Game 2.
Q: First half you guys were pretty good. Why was that not the case in the second half?
DWYANE WADE: I think we gave up a lot of second chance points. Anytime with a team like that, you hold them and (Indiscernible) you give up, they come up with threes and lay ups and dunks, it demoralizes you. So we know we have to do a better job of cleaning the glass.
Q: Seems like energy and hustle was a factor. They seemed to get to every loose ball. How do you combat that from game to game?
DWYANE WADE: That's the way they play. I said it from the beginning of the series. They obviously have a good team. They do all the little things to become the best team in the league. So, you know, we have to match that.
Q: How does it change the two days?
LEBRON JAMES: It's the series. That's it. We learn from our mistakes and come up with a better game plan.
Q: What surprised you most?
LEBRON JAMES: We can't give a team like that 31 second chance points. We had so many turnovers. We can't allow a team like that
DWYANE WADE: We have to get better second chance effort. And rebounding. There's not just going to be one guy getting 13, 14 rebounds. We all have to chip in and box guys out.
Q: The total number of points that they beat you with the three games in the regular season was eight.
LEBRON JAMES: We can lose by 100. This is the playoffs. This is only one game. It's just one game.
Q: Tell me about the days off. Is it better to have two games off? Does it matter?
LEBRON JAMES: You have to sit in and see how bad you played for a couple of days. Just resting our bodies a little bit. We can use a couple of days off, to make a couple of adjustments. They're up 1 0. It's our job to come back in Game 2.
LEBRON JAMES: We have to go out and do the small things. We can't get outrebounded by them. We've been outrebounded four straight games.
Q: Does this feel like in the past against the Boston teams, because of the defensive schemes, does it seem similar?
DWYANE WADE: It is similar. You have to be patient. It's hard to attack on the front side of the defense because they load on the strong side. So you have to be able to get the ball from one side to another and attack their defense. They have a lot of athleticism. So you have to be patient.
Q: You didn't let that pressure you before. What's the key the nights you couldn't versus the nights you could?
DWYANE WADE: Just the preparation in between games, going over the film and seeing the things I could have done better. Come to the next game with more of a concerted effort to do the things I didn't do well the game before
Q: LeBron, emotionally, mentally, has this been a long, draining season for you?
LEBRON JAMES: It's not been draining. I planned on playing long this season. I knew everything I was going to cover this season as far as on the court and off the court. It hasn't been bad at all.
Q: Oprah is taking over the building one extra day. You guys are playing on Wednesday. Is this doing you guys a favor getting the extra day?
LEBRON JAMES: She's very important. Not only to the world, but to this city. We'll take a back seat to Oprah. We don't have a problem with that.
Q: Offensively in the second half, what was different for the team you couldn't get
LEBRON JAMES: We had a difficult time moving the ball. If you don't get the rebounds, it's going to be a long night. They did a good job of moving the ball, rebounding (Indiscernible).
ERIK SPOELSTRA: So we're obviously very disappointed about last night's performance. We have to come in the next two days and try to fix some of the things that gave us problems.
We all know obviously the effort plays, the second chance opportunities -- all those things really deflated our focus and our concentration and effort there in the second half. With all that said, and with all the evaluations about the game, we are still in a position to take control with a win on Wednesday. And this whole series will be about enduring and how long can you endure through the physical grind, but just as importantly, the mental grind, because it's two very competitive physical teams.
Q: Udonis Haslem is the kind of guy, it would seem, if healthy, to offer exactly what you would need with hustle and rebounding and movement. Is he in a position to offer that, or is that simply not an option for you at this stage?
ERIK SPOELSTRA: It's an option. I'll evaluate everything. The reality is a lot of the rebound, second chance effort plays were with our main guys on the court. And it's something we can do much better. We're a very good rebounding team. We've proven that all season long. We've got to revert back to our habits. And sometimes it's the little things, finishing off your defense, the next rotation to block out, and just as important, finishing the offensive rebound possessions. They had five big three pointers after an offensive rebound that we could have gotten to shooters and make an extra effort. We weren't able to do that.
Q: Similarly, Mike Miller is also another hustle kind of player. Very good rebounder, but also limited. Is he a guy who has the skill set that can cover, or is he simply not in shape enough to be an impact player?
ERIK SPOELSTRA: He's ready. All these things we'll look at. We want to do it better as a group, and everybody that's out there can do a better job of it.
Q: Two of your centers, Zydrunas and Dampier, are inactive. They offer a lot of size. Is that something you may need to rethink?
ERIK SPOELSTRA: I'll evaluate everything. We could do normally much better than we did last night.
Q: When you have conversations about the players (Indiscernible)?
ERIK SPOELSTRA: Everybody understands. But we're disappointed about last night's game. We still have an opportunity. And sometimes you have to have amnesia going into Game 2. You can't just let it go. The next two and a half days we're going to work to fix some of these challenges that we had last night. But we still have to understand that Wednesday is a golden opportunity for us. And it doesn't matter.
Sometimes there're good performances, bad performances in the playoffs. That's really irrelevant. It really just comes down to a win and a loss. We lost the first one. We still are coming up here to try to get one. And we have an opportunity on Wednesday.
Q: Do you prefer to play sooner or later or are you glad to have the two days?
ERIK SPOELSTRA: Like I said in the previous series, you probably would rather get going. But that's not the schedule we've been dealt. So we have to deal with it. And we can use the days to prep and work on some of these things.
Three turnovers I think in the first
Q:arter. Then I think we got ten total. I think one in the second half. It was tough. You just learn from it, look at the film after practice with coach. Just going through everything. I see the mistakes. It shouldn't happen anymore.
Q: Derrick, they're a great team, obviously. What do you expect out of them differently in Game 2?
DERRICK ROSE: Play aggressive and attack more. If anything, go
Q:icker, probably, in transition. Get the ball up the floor Q:ick so they can't go against our set defense.
Q: Are you surprised people looking from the outside saying this is one of the most complete defensive games you guys have played, that you guys are looking at the parts you need to improve on?
DERRICK ROSE: That's the way we've been all season. We're not satisfied. Every time we feel good about ourselves, something knocks us down. We're trying to keep things going, making sure everybody stays positive, stay right and stay hungry.
Q: Do you think this is one of the main reasons for this team's success, the focus you've had within yourself?
DERRICK ROSE: Definitely. And Coach Thibs, you see how he focuses and prepares for the game, it makes you want to do the same. Stay in the office after the game. Not have a life.
Q: It makes you not want to have a life either?
DERRICK ROSE: Not right now. I have to sacrifice a lot of things.
Q: Does his approach ever get boring or annoying?
DERRICK ROSE: We get used to it now. I swear. Sometimes you are talking and you get used to it. You have to live with it.
Q: What kind of message did you guys deliver to yourselves by handling LeBron and the rest of the Heat last night?
DERRICK ROSE: They have great players. LeBron and D Wade and Chris Bosh, they are great players. We just tried to make it tough. That's the only thing we did. Last night we made sure we closed down the lane, stopped them from penetrating, and shoot jumpshots.
Q: What does that tell you guys about being successful the way you were?
DERRICK ROSE: We have to come out and play with that edge every game. Just totally play with that edge. It gives you so much confidence, especially with this team.
Q: When the Bulls defense is working, it's like a pack of Dobermans been let loose. Does it feel like everything is just working and attacking when you guys play like that?
DERRICK ROSE: It feels great when we are swarming the ball, everybody is communicating, we're getting rebounds, hustle plays, things like that. The fans are into it. They know we're playing hard. It gives us an edge.
Q: You guys have won a lot of games when you have had to score a lot of games and dominate. But also you've won a lot of games when it was a team effort. How much more satisfying is it to you when everybody is involved?
DERRICK ROSE: It makes my job easy, especially when everybody is knocking down shots and playing with that confidence. If anything, our defense starts everything.
Just making sure we play hard and we just got to stick together. There's going to be times where it's going to be tough. But we have to make sure we're all on the same page.
Q: You won in Atlanta, Atlanta won here. Do you expect that to happen in this series with home court not being as significant?
DERRICK ROSE: You never know. I think we'll have a good shot of winning the next game if we come out and play with the edge like we did, play with a lot of intensity. We have to be ready with the ball. Next game they are definitely going to go out there and play hard.
Q: Your penetration getting Miami out of position to get rebounds, you guys obviously had a huge game on the offensive glass. How do you expect them to counter that?
DERRICK ROSE: Everybody crashing. They are going to make sure they put bodies on people. We have to try hard. We've been doing this the whole season. I think we rebound the ball pretty well. So guys on our team, we just try hard to go out there and be together, have Joakim and Booze on the rebounding side.
We can play better. They'll come out looking to score more points. Better defense. They'll play better. We expect them to play better. But we feel like we can play better too.
Q: Do you think Ilgauskas and Dampier being inactive, they obviously chose to go small. Do you expect maybe they are going to switch that for Game 2 to offset the rebounding?
CARLOS BOOZER: I have no idea. I think like I said, we expect them to play very much better. We expect to play better as well.
Q: What did you think of Taj's game last night?
CARLOS BOOZER: Phenomenal. He was a monster last night. He's been a monster all season long for us. The two dunks he had were inspiring. His defense was great last night as well. But his two dunks were something special.
Q: Can you tell a little more about the bench, the so called bench mob and the impact they have had on this team?
CARLOS BOOZER: They're one of the reasons we're here. All season long they've been great, from the beginning of training camp all the way to now. Our second unit comes in. Most of the time they usually extend the lead or at least keep it even. So for us it's less pressure we have. Our best mob is phenomenal.
Q: Playing that kind of defense, maybe you have had trouble with that the first two series. How can you come back now and play at that level again?
CARLOS BOOZER: It's the way we've been playing all season. We played great defense all year. We've been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in defense all year. We do what we always do.
Q: Do you think LeBron's tough shooting night was your defense?
CARLOS BOOZER: I thought Luol did a great job on him. Made him take tough shots. Tried to take away the paint as much as possible. He's a good player. He makes tough shots. Don't get me wrong. He's one of them guys that can make tough shots in this league. We were fortunate last night.
Q: Not being on the all defensive team, you guys not being favored to win this series, feels like you guys are not getting a lot of respect.
CARLOS BOOZER: I think it's normal for us. We've been the underdog all season. We didn't have this many cameras during the training camp or during the season. We're used to that role.
Q: How much fun is this for you personally
CARLOS BOOZER: It's fun. Fun. This is what we've all came for. We came to win. We did a great job last night and we look forward to the next game.
Q: How do you avoid an emotional letdown?
CARLOS BOOZER: We won't have an emotional letdown. We're ready. We've been ready all season. We're pumped up. We're excited. If you can't get excited for this, what are you playing for? We're not going to have that.
Q: You're not playing until Wednesday. Do you wish you were playing tomorrow to keep it going?
CARLOS BOOZER: We would like to play every day. It's good to be able to look at the tape, look at the films, look at the mistakes we made, try to improve on that. And we'll be ready for Game 2. They will too. It will be a great game.
Q: Carlos, you know LeBron. You know how good he is. Do you think he'll come out with even more of a vengeance?
CARLOS BOOZER: He's a great player. We look forward to playing against him again. It's a great matchup for our team and a great challenge.
Q:What kind of adjustments do you think they might make going into Game 2?
JOAKIM NOAH: I don't know. We're just focused on what we need to do. And we are sure we can improve in certain areas.
Q: Talk about keeping that defensive intensity going on another night.
JOAKIM NOAH: We know they'll be more aggressive, and we feel like we can be more aggressive as well.
Q: They went with a smaller lineup. Do you expect them to do that again, or change it up?
JOAKIM NOAH: I have no idea.
Q: Do you think that's been one reason why you guys have been so successful this season, because you focus on your own team and what you guys need to do, as opposed to worrying about what your opponent might be doing?
JOAKIM NOAH: Well, a wise man once told me control what you can control. I think those are words of wisdom.
Q: Was that wise man named Tom Thibedeau?
JOAKIM NOAH: No, it wasn't Thibedeau.
Q: In that last series the visitors won. Is home court going to be more of a guarded thing in this series?
JOAKIM NOAH: I don't know. We're just trying to take it one game at a time. We know that when we playing in the UC, we're tough to beat. But who knows what happens in a series, you know? Just focus on what you can control.We had a good day of practice today. I'm going to sit in the pool tank, get a massage. It's nice outside. Maybe sit outside and get ready for a good practice tomorrow.
Q: When Gar was building the team, they said they believed that defensive rebounding will build a championship. How long did it take for you guys to buy into that same formula?
JOAKIM NOAH: We have some very good rebounders. I think that our guards do a good job rebounding as well. We understand that winning the rebounding battle is important for winning basketball games.
Q: You guys were all talking about you have to do things better, the things you need to clean up. Is this simply a negative after the game works well?
JOAKIM NOAH: I don't think it's negative. Just being on edge, respecting our opponent. It's not one win that makes us satisfied. We're trying to do something bigger than just win one game.
Q: Have you had a chance to look at Taj Gibson' dunks? Do they look better on video?
JOAKIM NOAH: They are very nice dunks. They were very nice.
Q: What do you guys have to do different against Bosh?
JOAKIM NOAH: We have to do a better job on him. Me in particular. He got a lot of easy baskets around the rim, tip ins when I was helping off of him. Chris is a hell of a player. We just got to try to slow him down a little bit.
Q: How much of a factor was Derrick's penetration as far as you guys being in position to get offensive rebounds?
JOAKIM NOAH: That has a lot to do with it. Derrick gets to the rim a lot. The bigs have to help, to put smaller guys on us, trying to box us out. They are doing similar situations too with D Wade penetrating. Chris got a lot of his offense that way as well.
Q: What makes your defense so successful as a team?
JOAKIM NOAH: Repetition. Practice hasn't changed one bit since the first day of practice. It's the same practice every day. Overall, it's really the same thing. A lot of repetition.
Q: You mentioned yourself yesterday after the game, haven't given you guys a chance to win the series relishing a performance like yesterday changed a lot of people's minds about that.
JOAKIM NOAH: We're not worried about what people think. The only thing that matters is what we think of each other in our locker room. The mindset is the same. It doesn't matter if you're the underdog or the guy on top. At the end of the day you have to go out there and compete.
Q: What was it like in the locker room at halftime? Derrick told you guys that those turnovers were on him. He mentioned a few things? Derrick, he said he talked about wanting to cut his turnovers down at halftime. What was that? What was going on there?
JOAKIM NOAH: Just Derrick is always like that. He's really hard on himself all the time. That's what makes him a hell of a player. He wants to help the team. It's all about the team. And we know that if we can keep our turnovers down, we'll have a better chance of winning the game. They are so good off of turnovers, scoring off turnovers.
Q: It has to kind of want to make other guys play hard when you hear him talk that humble. When you and Taj were switched on to LeBron yesterday, what kind of luxury do you think that is for a team to be able to have bigs that can play that kind of defense?
JOAKIM NOAH: I think it's good. I think Omer did a great job as well.
JOAKIM NOAH: Taj did great. Omer did great. We just have to do a better job of staying on our feet and not jumping one thing they're very good at, getting to the line on pump fakes, on switches. They got to the line a lot all night. So if we can stop that, it's going to help us even more.