Heat’s LeBron, Wade, Coach Spoelstra Talk Pacers, Paul George
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra:
On the Pacers:
“We know what it’s about–pads up, mouthguards in.
“Offensively, you’ve got to be good. This is a very good defensive team, particularly here at home. Everybody focuses on their rebounding. Yes, they’re are an outstanding, physical, forceful rebounding team. But they do a very good job of keeping you out of your game and keeping you from playing together. They protect the paint, they have great shot-blocking, great size, they play physical.
“The last time, the ball didn’t did not move not nearly as much as we need it to…We only had 13 assists and that kind of works hand and hand. We weren’t really working possessions to get great shots. And then, they strangled us–77 points. That’s certainly not good for us offensively. That’s before you even get into the rebounding.”
On Paul George:
“We just have to wear on him, and get into him. Make him feel us. He got some open looks early. He’s a very good streak shooter when he can get it going. He’s a multi-demensional player so he can slash, offensive rebound, and post as well, but he got into a great rhythm shooting the ball that game because of his early looks, probably.”
“What you notice is what has changed every single year, more than anything. As a young player, when he first came up, you loved his aesthetics. He looks like a basketball player that can do a lot of different things and then you saw his skill set, where he was efficient in a lot of different areas, he just needed more experience.
On the Pacers’ defense:
“You always see their games in the 80s, mid-80s, and it’s because of what they’re doing defensively. They’re number one in field goal percent, they’re number one in total rebounds, they’re number one in three-point percentage allowed and the list goes on.”
On Paul George:
“I think it’s an opportunity and confidence. The talent was there. The ability is there. But now with the opportunity and confidence, his game has grown.”
“Me and Paul have been talking for a while. When he was in college and since he’s come out of college, I’ve always kind of inherited the mentor and leadership with these guys. I’ve just seen him to continue to improve and I told him to continue to get better. Don’t take a night off, continue to use practice as a gauge and then when you get the opportunity, get better. I was happy for him when he got the All-Star nod, for sure.”
On playing at a high-level on offense AND defense:
“You don’t learn that coming right into the league. It took me to year three or year four to finally understand how important both sides of the floor was.”
“This game is going to be won or lost on the glass tonight…if they get 22 offensive rebounds, we might as well start the bus up.”