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LeBron after Game 3: 'Aggression was my mindset'

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 7, 2010

LeBron James post-game press conference (Courtesy Celtics P.R. department) 
(Necessity of focus and the feeling of the elbow) “My focus was on game 3.  It was a really important game for us.  Aggression was my mindset.  It was my mindset to come out really aggressive and just dictate tempo from the start of the jump and I was able to do that.  I think rest helped me. Rest helped all of us and we was able to put a complete game for the first time in these playoffs.”
 (Tired of hearing about MRIs and elbow) “I think it was much bigger than what it was, but I think that’s what happens sometimes in the whole media circuit.  But it didn’t bother me at all.  I wasn’t tired of hearing about it, I didn’t really focus in on it that much.  My only focus was on game 3, just having a whole 360 of what we did in game 2.”
 (Coming out aggressively) “I think one thing we did tonight was we moved the ball from one side to another, and we didn’t turn the ball over as much.  I think we had five turnovers in the first 6 minutes but they were all, if you ever heard of good turnovers, the first six minutes we got good turnovers.  We was trying to get guys open, we was looking for guys.  We turned the ball over being aggressive.  After that point we only had seven for the rest of the game.  I think the mark is defensively to hold this team, especially at home, to 42 % shooting was a tribute to our intensity and us focusing in on what the game plan was going to be tonight defensively.”
(Key to achieve consistency) “Well that’s one thing we do want to try to do.  We haven’t had consistent play all playoffs, but we’ve played well enough to win.  We don’t just want to play well enough to win.  Like you said, we know we’re not going to blow teams out every night, we don’t look to blow teams out every night, but if it happens throughout the course of the game we’ll take it.  We just need to understand that we have to play with a little more sense of urgency from the start.  We did tonight.  We didn’t wait to be down, we didn’t wait til we got up.  Once we got up we just kept the pedal down.”
 (Who does the consistency fall upon) “Well I think it starts with me, but I think it trickles down to everyone else.  We understand that this is the playoffs and every game counts, every possession counts.  But everyone playing with a little bit more sense of urgency to start the game will help us.”
 “Well being on the road, mindsets change, personnel change.  I think you can afford, saying myself can afford, to play the back role a little bit at home.  Guys are more confident at home, guys shoot the ball sometimes better at home.  You can feed off the crowd.  It enable to not do as much offensively and then wait til the second half, wait til the fourth quarter and then close games out.  On the road you can’t do that as much because honestly it’s just you and your teammates, the coaching staff and friends and family that has come here for the game.  So it started with me tonight and then everyone seen my aggression and just took advantage of it.”
 (Sense of tension of game) “Well I sensed guys was ready to get Game 2 past us and move on to Game 3.  There was definitely discussion.  That’s what you’re gonna have in the middle of a loss or a win.  We just look back and see the mistakes that we had, where we went bad.  We had an awful third quarter, we played an awful Game in game 2 and we knew we couldn’t repeat that performance.  We would have gotten beat up again.  It was a lot.  We had three days to just sit and feel the pressure of Game 2 if you wanted to make it pressure.  If not you just bounce back.”
 (Defense on Paul Pierce) “For me, I take the challenge defensively if there’s anybody.  Paul is one of the great players we have in this league, one of the best three’s we have in this league.  I just try to take the pressure off other guys wanting to guard them.  I take pride in my defense and when you have guys behind you that communicate with you it definitely helps.  It’s hard to stop a guy like Paul because he has so much to his game.  You just want to try to keep a body in front of him.  If he goes up and shoot it just try to contest.  Stay down on a lot of his pump fakes, but he’s a really good player.”
 (Feeding off Mike Brown’s displeasure after Game 2) “I remember you guys talking about Mike coming in real angry, but if you remember me I was real calm.  There was no reason for me as a leader to be very angry or feel like it was pressure time for us.  I understood we played awful in Game 2 and I came in that press conference and you guys were like ‘Why do you seem so calm and Mike seems so um…’.  It’s just I knew how important the next game was and I knew how important the whole series is.  We know defensively we always made our mark in the post season and we’ve always been the top tier of teams in the post season out of 16 teams.  In order for us to be really good we have to continue to get stops and that’s what we did tonight.”
 (Playing at the end of the game despite being up by 25 points) “It wasn’t something I discussed with Mike and it wasn’t sending a message.  It was just me seeing the game, how the game is played, making in-game adjustments.  I had it going, we had it going, and I wasn’t tired at that point.  I think I came out 6:15 in the second quarter and I was able to check back in with like 3 minutes left to go and we was able to close the quarter out.  I didn’t come back out til the fourth quarter til we had the game.  It’s just in-game, knowing the game and how it’s flowing.  Me being on the court being a threat.”

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