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Notes, quotes, postscripts from Heat's Game 7 win; UM player reports NCAA to police

Please check the last post for the odd story of a UM player going to the Coral Gables Police to report the NCAA.


Postscripts from the Heat’s Game 7 win against Indiana that catapults Miami into its third straight NBA Finals:

### Dwyane Wade’s 12-game streak without 20 points is finally over, but this wasn’t merely about Wade’s scoring. Don’t overlook his game-high nine rebounds, and the tone he set from the outset.

“I came out with a different mindset, to be aggressive,” Wade said after closing with 21 points on 7 for 16 shooting from the field and 7 for 7 from the line. Talking to coach yesterday, putting me in different situations. I felt more comfortable, confident in the game plan.”

And he said “I felt better physically.”

Of his struggles earlier in this series, he said: “Obviously, it’s a physical thing [with the knee]. But when the ball doesn’t go through the basket as much as [you expect], it becomes a mental thing. You start hesitating.”

On his legacy, Wade said: “Moments like this can define your career, situations when everyone is counting you out, looking down to see how you respond. I feel like we as a team respond very well. We have individuals on our team that respond very well when adversity hits. We have champions in our locker-room. You don’t become a champion by luck.”

James called the first play for Wade, and told Wade he would defend Paul George.

“They wanted me to be more aggressive early in the game offensively, looking for more opportunities,” Wade said. “LeBron is like a coach on the floor, was able to call sets to put me in situations where he felt I would succeed early on. We weren’t going to win this game with just LeBron being amazing. He’s been amazing this whole series. We needed everyone to really be involved. Early on, everyone was involved.”

### With his 32-point performance (including 15 for 16 from the line), LeBron is averaging 33.8 points in his career in Game 7s, highest of any player with at least two Game 7s. (LeBron has four.)

"I’ve been blessed to be pretty good in Game 7s in my career,” he said. “I dreamed about opportunities like this as a kid to have a Game 7. And that game allows you to advance to The Finals. I have had multiple dreams about it. To see a dream become a reality, I’m just very blessed. Our team is blessed.”

But scoring at the outset wasn’t LeBron’s mindset. The Heat attempted 11 shots before he took his first of 17.

“The first play of the game, I called a play for D-Wade,” he said. “Even though he didn’t shoot, he got a good touch in the paint. Just to make him feel like he was a part of the offense, make him feel in a good rhythm.  Obviously, we’re a much better team when we have everyone clicking at the same time.”

### LeBron, comparing this Finals appearance with his first (with Cleveland) against the Spurs in 2007: “I’m a much better player. I’m 20, 40, 50 times better than I was in the 07 Finals. We’re all better.”

He said the Spurs “are very good, very disciplined, well coached. They’ve got a bunch of Hall of Famers. So I look forward to the challenge.”

### Chris Bosh, who had 22 rebounds in the first six games, had eight Monday, as many as Roy Hibbert. Bosh drove to the basket more than previous games but closed 3 for 13 on a 9-point night.

“I just wanted to be aggressive,” he said. “I missed some shots but that was the best way to play for me. It worked out all right.”

### Ray Allen came alive with three three-pointers in five attempts, after shooting 7 for 24 on threes in the first six games of the series.

### The Heat handled Indiana on the boards after being outrebounded by 105 in their previous nine meetings since January.

Not only did the Heat close with a 43-36 edge on the boards, but Miami dominated on the offensive glass, 15 to 8. Nobody could have seen that coming, not after the taller Pacers grabbed 82 offensive rebounds in the first six games, compared with 59 for the Heat. Wade had more offensive rebounds (six) than the Pacers team through three quarters.

“They were relentless in crashing the glass at all positions,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “Not just their big guys. They were all coming.

“Look – they just had greater experience and great know-how, and they were able to reach a higher level than we were. They taught us a lesson. They know how to ratchet up their defense at a level that just imposes their will on a basketball game.”

### Paul George couldn’t rise to the moment, and Roy Hibbert didn’t do much when the game was still close. Both entered the fourth quarter with as many combined turnovers (six) as field goals.

George delivered a clunker: seven points  -- well below his 21.5 series average coming in -- and three turnovers. He entered shooting 50 percent in the series but made just 2 of 9 attempts on Monday. And he fouled out with 7:43 left and the Pacers down 21.

George scored 28 points in Game 6 with Dwyane Wade the primary defender against him. Before Game 7, LeBron James told Wade he would guard George so that Wade could concentrate on offense. But George insisted James’ defense wasn’t a big factor.

“I like LeBron guarding me because we’re the same size,” George said.

### Hibbert padded his numbers with the Heat well ahead, finishing with 18 points and 8 rebounds after a four-point, three-rebound first half. He entered averaging 22.8 points and 10.8 rebounds in the series.

“They were there on the catch and didn’t allow a lot of space, particularly to Roy,” Pacers forward David West said.

### Miami was 33 for 38 from the line, the Pacers 14 for 20. West noted that James made more free throws (15) than the entire Indiana team.

“We failed to counter what they were doing to us,” George said. “It [stinks] to not make it an interesting game, but we did a lot of good things this year.”

### The Pacers committed 21 turnovers, 15 in the first half.

The Heat pressured the Pacers more than previous games by frequently double-teaming in the post and off pick-and-rolls. “That’s definitely what us and forced the turnovers,” Vogel said.

“They doubled consistently, really got us out of our stuff,” George said.

### Mike Miller replaced Shane Battier in the rotation and shot 0 for 3. “It was fun out there,” he said.

### Wade, on the Spurs: “Both sides have great coaches. This is a hell of a team over there. We’re going to have to make adjustments in every game, throughout the series.”

### The Heat became the first team to reach the NBA Finals three straight postseasons since the 2008,’09 and ’10 Lakers, and the first Eastern Conference team to do it since the 96, 97 and 98 Bulls. Five other franchises have reached three straight Finals. 

### The Heat and Spurs will play every Thursday, Sunday and Tuesday until, well, one team wins four game. The Tuesday and Thursday games are at 9 p.m., the Sunday games at 8 p.m. It's a 2-3-2 format in The Finals, as many of you know, with the Heat hosting Game 1 Thursday.