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June 7, 2021

Tyronn Lue

Los Angeles, California, USA

Press Conference

Q. Do you have any update on Serge? I know he was listed as doubtful, but do you have any update? Did he travel? Is he doing anything?

TYRONN LUE: He didn't travel.

Q. And then as far as -- I know you went small the rest of the series against the Mavs. Do you think that's something you could do as much against the Jazz? Their lineups really have either Gobert or Favors out there the entire time. They don't really play without a center.


Q. I'm saying do you think you can play small as much against that kind of team?

TYRONN LUE: Yeah. I mean, what's the -- I mean, we played against 7'3", 7'4" Boban and 7'2" Porzingis, so it's not really that big of a deal because I know they're going to pose a little threat up there. There will be points in the series where we have to go small, doesn't matter who's on the floor.

Dallas was a good test for us of having to block out because all their guys crashed from having Boban out there, or with our small lineup, having Porzingis out there with our small lineup, and we was able to do a good job.

We'll definitely going to have to go small at some point in the series.

Q. You mentioned before the Dallas series how you would prefer to study the first 15 plays or so of a team. I just wanted to know how that helped you prepare for the Mavericks, how effective you thought that was, and what the short turnaround is going to be like as far as preparing for this Jazz team.

TYRONN LUE: You know, I think it was good with Dallas. They really didn't run a lot of stuff after the first two games. It was really pretty much Luka seeking out the matchup he wanted with the switches and running a lot of high five and that's basically it.

We pretty much did the same thing with a small lineup because Nico doesn't do a lot at the 5 position. As it became a battle of taking advantage of the mismatches and trying to attack from there and trying to get two on the basketball to make plays, so both teams did that, so the plays were really out the window pretty much after Game 2.

With Utah we're going to do a great job of running our sets with continuity, and Gobert, who's a dynamic roller to the basket, puts a lot of pressure on the rim, and they have a lot of guys who can make shots. You know, it's pretty much the same thing except they got a dynamic roller instead of having five guys face around the perimeter that can shoot the basketball.

Q. Is there anything in particular you've noticed about Donovan Mitchell's improvement or anything he's enhanced in his game over the last couple years?

TYRONN LUE: Yeah, his shooting. He definitely became a way better shooter. He could always make shots, but becoming a really good shooter has been -- has made his game go to another level actually, because now teams can't go under or teams can't play him for the drive. He has a mid-range pull up, a three-point shot, off the dribble and catch and shoot, and what he's also improved is going right and being able to shoot it off the dribble as well.

So he's really expanded his game over the last couple years and that's why he's a great player.

Q. You mentioned Utah's continuity. How much does their continuity play into their success, do you think?

TYRONN LUE: Oh, because they're the ones touching the basketball. They live to play off closeouts, drive and kicks, getting into the paint, spreading it out for threes, and like I said, they led the league in three-point makes this year, just sharing the basketball, running their stuff with pace.

We know we've got to do a better job this series than we did last series of taking away the three-point shot, making those guys put the ball on the floor, and then having our back line ready to help.

Q. Mike Conley, obviously his status, he's going to be reevaluated for the hamstring. Just curious how you evaluate the Jazz when he's able to play and when he's out of the lineup, the difference it makes?

TYRONN LUE: They play the right way no matter who's on the floor. Conley is a big part of what they do, but then they just insert Joe Ingles, and he's 6'8" point guard, and they just run their system. They all play well together. They know exactly what they're looking for, who they want to play through, and how they want to play.

So Mike Conley is a big part of it, but they still play the same way no matter who's in the lineup.

Q. Relating to Serge, I know he made the trip to Dallas for Game 6 to watch that one. Was him staying home something that trainers decided was better for his rehab, or did he want to do that? What kept him home?

TYRONN LUE: Yeah, they thought it was better for his rehab.

Q. On the Mike Conley question, I'm kind of curious, how does it change your preparation when you're not sure if one of their starters are going to be playing? Do you just kind of prepare as if he is? How does that typically change in a playoff preparation setting?

TYRONN LUE: Prepare for if he is playing. We can't just speculate and guess if he's going to play or not, so we have to prepare like he's going to play and then go from there.

Q. With the roles that Terance and Luke had in the last couple games the last series, do you kind of foresee them having similar ability to impact the games in this series?

TYRONN LUE: We'll see. Every series is different. They both did play well when they got the opportunity, especially in Game 7. I thought Terance and Luke both did a great job, but every series is different, so we've just got to see how they're trying to attack us, see the flow of the game, see the flow of the series and kind of go from there.

Q. Last game you all did a great job of balancing out the scoring. You guys had seven players in double figures. How important is it for you to keep the momentum going, going into this series against this tough Utah team?

TYRONN LUE: It's very important. I thought in this last series we really played with pace, probably the most pace we've played with all season, and Kawhi and PG and those guys attacking.

We really wanted to get the ball out early and attack early before they can get their zones set. The same thing has to happen again, having 30 assists last game, and we were due to make some shots and some threes and we made 20 threes last game.

We've just got to continue to keep building off that, continue to keep sharing the basketball, making the right plays, and hopefully knocking down some shots.

Q. Several of the Jazz players today were obviously extremely complimentary of Kawhi, kind of speaking to his do-everything ability. As someone who's been around him for a few years now, to what do you attribute his ability to go from already being an elite player to a guy who was able to take things up to an even higher level once you get to the postseason?

TYRONN LUE: The work he puts in every day. A lot of times me and my coaching staff, we say he's probably overworking or working too hard. Every day it's the same routine. He's an hour there before practice, working out, getting his shots up, and then after he's doing 30 more minutes after practice. It's been the same routine for the last two years since I've been here.

Sometimes you think he's tired and he needs to get the rest, but he continues to put that same work in every day. So I think just from him putting the work in and understanding that he's trying to get himself ready for the playoffs and the postseason, he's stepped it up for us, like I said, in this seven-game series.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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