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May 24, 2018

Tyronn Lue

Cleveland, Ohio: Practice Day

Q. I know after every game you probably do some reflection on moves you made and you didn't make. Is there anything you wish you had done differently last night, especially in terms of the rotations?

Q. Is the difference between the games at the Q and Boston as simple as home-court advantage?
TYRONN LUE: I think you have to play. You can't just have home-court advantage and not play well. Defensively, I thought it [Game 5] was one of our better games. But offensively, not taking care of the ball in the right and opportune times, and then just [not] shooting the ball well on the road.

Both teams have played well at home, but you've got to play well in order to win the game. They've done that. They've played well enough to win on their home floor. We've done the same thing. We've got to have the same approach coming into Game 6.

Q. As the head coach, how tough is it at times when you want to be loyal to guys who have come through for you before in the past but they're not playing well, and you want to maybe give somebody else an opportunity there? Are you at that point yet or no?
TYRONN LUE: It's tough, but the same guys that you may be talking about came in in Game 3 and 4 and gave us a huge game. It's tough. It's a read.

If you go down, you want to go down with the guys you know have been there and know what it'll take. It is a tough situation, but you've got to stick with the guys. At times when guys are struggling, you still have to stick with those guys because you've seen those guys perform at a high level on big stages. But it is a tough situation.

Q. You mentioned the offensive struggles that you guys have had in Boston. Offense has been such a huge key for you guys all season long, one of the best in the NBA. You've had great moments so far in the postseason. How do you explain losing that at this point?
TYRONN LUE: I think by them switching a lot of things, it made us stagnant. Taking advantage of mismatches. They're doing a good job of trying to double-team LeBron and Kevin [Love] when they switch smaller guys onto those guys. But we've got some good shots and good looks. We just haven't been able to make them and knock them down in Boston.

We've got to play well tomorrow. And then going into Boston, Game 7, we've got to be able to step up and take those shots and make those shots and play with the same pace and confidence that we play with at home.

Q. You've got them coming to your building. They haven't played well on the road so far, so that would be an advantage for you. But how do you make sure your guys are with the mindset, OK Boston is coming here, we've got this wrapped up. That you have to play aggressive and intense from the get-go?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, that has to be our mindset. I know we've played well at home, but we have to beat them. We just can't expect coming home and in front of our great fans and crowd that we're going to win the game. We've got to play well, and we understand that. I like what we've done the last three games defensively, even Game 5 in Boston yesterday. If we continue to play defense the way we've been playing, I do love our chances. I know we'll shoot the ball better and play better offensively at home.

Q. When you said last night you thought LeBron looked tired, was that just an observation of his body language? Or was it maybe something that he wasn't doing technically with his shot or anything?
TYRONN LUE: Just saw him clutched over a few times early on in the game and throughout the course of the game. I tried to get him out early enough in that third quarter so we could bring him back in the fourth quarter, but he just wasn't ready yet. It happens. But one thing about it, I know he'll be ready to play Game 6, so fatigue won't be a problem and an issue. I'm pretty sure a lot of guys are tired during this stretch of the year.

If I had to pick one guy and choose one guy to prevail, it would be LeBron. I know he'll be great come tomorrow, and then after that we'll see.

Q. Do you think a little bit of this, though, is the byproduct of him playing 82 games?
TYRONN LUE: I can't say that. I don't know his body. I just know that he always performs at a high level. Last night just could have been one of those nights. But believe me, he's not the only one that's feeling fatigue right now. When you get to the Eastern Conference Finals and you play so deep into the playoffs, a lot of guys are fatigued. A lot of guys on their team are playing more minutes than they've played all season. Like I said, it could have been one of those nights for LeBron, but no question in my mind that he'll bounce back for tomorrow.

Q. With having a game every other day and no extra day in between since what happened between Game 2 and Game 3, have you had to change anything in terms of the approach or managing the team or going through practices a different kind of way, film sessions a different kind of way because it's so tight together the way that it is now?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, I think because of the every-other day, the most you can do is just kind of watch film. I think we had a day or two to work on our offense when we had those three days off. But every other day -- like we landed, got in at 3:00 in the morning. The every-other day, you basically just show film. If you want to walk through something, you can walk through something. But there's not a lot of live shooting and there's not a lot of movement. It's so guys can kind of get their rest because every other day, it is tough. We understand that and the guys understand that. We've got to just do the best job we can taking care of our bodies, getting our treatments, getting our rest, so we can be ready for the games.

Q. Do you think it's having an effect on the guys?
TYRONN LUE: We've been through it before, so I wouldn't say have an effect. I thought the long gap in between Games 2 and 3 was good for us, especially being an older team. But I don't see the effect. We've been through it. We've been doing it before. We're not going to use that as an excuse.

Q. They were fronting LeBron last night a little bit more in the post and then on the wing and then quickly doubling. Is that the first time you've seen that, and if so, how do you combat that?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, they were trying to front him when they got [Terry] Rozier on him. We call it triple switch, where the bigger guy that's low comes over and takes LeBron and kicks a smaller guy out. So when they were going into the front, they were coming with a triple switch and kicking him out and leaving [Al] Horford on him one-on-one or leaving [Aron] Baynes on him one-on-one. I think the few times we got to that, LeBron scored on Baynes when they tried to do that. We kept Kevin high so it couldn't be Horford, and if it was Baynes, then Bron backed him out and took advantage of his speed and quickness and got around him. And if it was Baynes, then Tristan [Thompson] was ducking in, holding the smaller Rozier or [Marcus] Smart or whoever it happened to be on the weak side when they tried to kick him out.

Q. Yesterday Kevin picked up his second foul in that first quarter, and he was already walking over to the bench expecting to come out. Every coach is different. Brad Stevens has stayed with guys with two fouls early in a game. He came out yesterday. Were you planning on taking him out, or did you take him out because of the mindset that he was in that he was already thinking he was coming out?
TYRONN LUE: It kind of depends on when it happens. If it's early in the first quarter, I tend to let him play. But if it happens later on in the quarter when it's time to come out, it's about that time anyway and I just go ahead and get him out and be ready to have him for the second quarter. So if he was to pick up two early fouls like the first three or four minutes of the game, I would keep him in there just to play his normal minutes. If he picks it up later on in that quarter, then I would take him out most of the time.

Q. When teams are switching against you, how do you balance playing the matchup game like you guys do so well with making sure you have the ball movement that you want, the player movement that you want, too?
TYRONN LUE: When they're switching, you want to try to take advantage of it and hope that they double-team, that you're able to make those passes. When you have Tristan diving down the middle of the floor, you have a two-on-one on the backside with our shooters. The double team creates the movement for you. So they double-team and then we get the slash cut from our bigs and we've got two-on-one on the backside. That's basically what you want because you're getting free shots or free opportunities from our shooters.

I think looking at it, we had some time when we had some great shots and great opportunities to score the basketball, and we just didn't make. There were times where we had a chance to take advantage of mismatches, and we didn't make the right play or turned the basketball over or didn't make the right pass.

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