But before that, Stoudemire said he and Anthony wanted to run more pick-and-rolls in the two-man game but couldn’t get the coaches on board, probably referring to Mike D’Antoni and Mike Woodson. “I don’t think we had enough opportunities to play together,’’ Stoudemire said in the Heat locker room Monday. “I moved to the bench and [became the] sixth, seventh man. When I was in the game, Melo, he was out of the game and vice versa. When we did play together, we showed some flashes of what we could do on the pick-and-roll. “I don’t think that pick-and-roll offense between Melo and I was ever taken advantage of, which we could have. The way he shoots the ball, handles the ball from the outside and the way I attack the rim, it could’ve been a pretty good combination. I don’t think the coaching staff at the time really bought into that.’’
“Absolutely, no question about that,’’ Stoudemire said when asked if last season’s players did not buy into the system. “We had great talent. We had players who were athletic, physical, defensive-minded, offensive-minded. A well-rounded team that year. But it took more time than I was willing to accept to buy into the system. When you become a good team, you have a new system in place everyone has to buy in. Once that happens, the game becomes more fluid and a beautiful game.’’
“I don’t know,” Dwyane Wade said. “I guess the definition of a rivalry– I don’t know if a lot of guys understand what it really means. To me, a rivalry is not just because you played close games with somebody. It’s somebody who beats you, then you beat them, they beat you in the playoffs… The Pacers are a good team. They fight us tooth and nail no matter what. No matter who’s on the court for them, it’s always a tough game. I can’t say it’s a rivalry, but it’s one of our toughest opponents to play against. But when I think of rivals, I think of Miami-Knicks back in the day. That’s a real rivalry, when you beat guys in the playoffs and then they get your number when they’re not supposed to and you get their number and vice versa. The Pacers never got our number. We actually won all those series. I know it was good for TV, but we won all those. But they’re one of our toughest opponents in the Eastern Conference.”