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June 8, 2021

Tyronn Lue

Los Angeles, California, USA

Press Conference

Q. By any chance can you give us the starting lineup tonight?

TYRONN LUE: No, sir.

Q. Okay. Do you see any similarities between Utah and Dallas as far as the pick-and-roll heavy based offenses go, because they both like to run a lot of pick-and-rolls, so I was kind of wondering, does this series, like the one against Dallas, help you prepare for Utah in that regard?

TYRONN LUE: Yeah, it does, because Utah led the league in 3-pointers made, they space the floor, they have a dynamic player in Gobert who puts a lot of pressure on your back line defense. That's a little different, Dallas had a lot of guys, five guys around the perimeter who can shoot the three-point shot. So it's a little different now the dynamic role he plays, we know at the end of the game, fourth quarter, Donovan Mitchell's going to have the ball in his hands, a lot like Luka, so we got to be prepared for that.

Q. Today at shoot around Quinn Snider said, Obviously we're a matchup that the Clippers felt was advantageous to them. Is he accusing you of tanking and are you offended by that comment?

TYRONN LUE: No, I'm not offended by anything. I heard it all. But we didn't even know if we -- we had to get past the first round first to even get to them. So if he want to use it as bulletin board material for his team, then that's just the way he has to do it, I don't worry about that stuff though.

Q. That small ball lineup with Batum at the five, is that a lineup that you kind of, did you hope to use as much coming into the playoffs and coming into the later rounds and you felt like maybe you had to just bring it in earlier than maybe you may have wanted to?

TYRONN LUE: You have to bring it out when you have to bring it out. First round, second round, third round, whenever you need it, we have to able to go to it with him. It's paid off for us throughout the regular season, so in the playoffs, Dallas, they forced our hand to go to that small lineup and it ended up paying off for us at the end.

Q. Can you talk to the receptiveness of both Pat and Zu, being benched most of the series against the Mavs, how did they respond to that coming out of that series?

TYRONN LUE: They were great. Both of those guys were engaged. We talked about it yesterday, when we came in and did our film and our prep to prepare for Utah. I just gave them credit from being starters all season long to not playing the last series until the last couple games, they were engaged, they were in the huddles, they were up cheering. And we need that support. If you want to win a championship, those are sacrifices you have to make.

Q. So the Jazz do a great job of taking the corner three. I think about the fewest of any team, I think you were right with them, allowing the some of the fewest corner threes in the league. How do you combat that on the offensive end and how do you stress to your team to continue to disallow threes when you know that the Jazz take and make more threes than any team in the league?

TYRONN LUE: The first part a lot of guys got to guard one-on-one. I think keep the ball in front of us is going to be a priority for us this series. We know that they shoot the threes, we know they love playing out of drive and kicks, so we got to do a good job. And then we'll try to take away Gobert's role, we know that they like that wing pass, and take away that corner skip, so we can try to get back out to the corner. So we don't want that pass out of the double team or out of the drop to go to that corner, so we want to try to prevent that as much as possible.

Q. Along the same lines, they, the Jazz do a good job of defending three-point shots and rim protection, they were able to balance both worlds. Is that sustainable in the playoffs or has that been a point to the guys to kind of make them shoot between whether they're going to guard the rim or guard the three-point line?

TYRONN LUE: They have been doing it for the last few years. They live with the 2-point shots and try to bring you off the three-point shot to go to Gobert. We have to do a good job of just attacking and when we do go to the basket we can't shy away from Gobert because it's going to be a blocked shot. We either got to go through him or we got to make the right pass and right play.

Q. When you look at this Utah team and of what you, what makes them so difficult to defend against guys like Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert?

TYRONN LUE: Because the ball's not in one guy's hands the whole possession. They do a good job of moving the basketball. They have a great continuity offense, everyone knows their role and everyone can handle the basketball and make a play. So they're tough to defend and we know that, we understand that, so we just got to lock into our principles and understand what we're trying to do and what we're trying to take away.

Q. Weave talked for years about when you get into the playoffs how much you like just being able to prepare at the level that you can, especially with days off in between. But given what you guys just went through and no time to prepare for this series, like how ready can you be?

TYRONN LUE: We're going to be ready. I think when you have a short time to prepare the best thing you can do is take care of the basketball and play hard and then after that you just kind of see what they're trying to do, how they're trying to attack and kind of go from there. But we're prepared, we're ready to play, no excuses. We had a tough series last series against Dallas, which I think prepared us for this series as well. So no excuses, we're ready to go.

Q. Question about what you guys did after the last -- well, since Game 7, to get you guys physically ready. Kawhi played six games in that series of 40 minutes or more. I know PG was up there too. What have the last couple days been like for recovery?

TYRONN LUE: Staying off their feet, resting their legs. Just more mental, I think understanding the plays that Utah is trying to run, what we want to do offensively to attack and try and get those guys as much rest as possible. And we know it's a tough environment to place, we know the altitude is strong, so we just got to come out and get out to a good start in the first quarter.

Q. Kawhi this year playing back-to-back for the first time in four seasons, do you see that, his ability this year to kind of turn it up multiple on very tight turnarounds as being something that carried over to that round where he played exceptionally well for on tight turnarounds for games?

TYRONN LUE: Yeah, I think so. I think him being healthy this year and wanting to play back-to-backs and understanding how important it was for our team and for his teammates to see that. And I think that has helped him out with the short turnarounds in the playoffs. So hopefully he has a lot of stuff left tonight and we'll just try to build off this one tonight.

Q. What do you think went into Paul's consistent presence on the rebounding end the last series as well as playing through make or miss shots and what does it take to carry that over into this series?

TYRONN LUE: The emphasis I think was strong on rebounding the basketball. We knew Dallas has 3 or 4 guys every time down the floor. So we wanted to make sure we box out and rebound the basketball. We challenged Kawhi and PG and Marcus that we had to rebound, especially playing small with Boban in the game, Porzingis, Kleber, and then with Finney-Smith crashing the way he does, we made a big emphasis on making sure we rebounded the basketball and PG did that for us.

Q. Quinn Snyder made some comments about kind of the job you've done with this group and making them so unselfish in the work you've done with them. What would you think has led to that success and what's your reaction when you kind of hear other coaches take note of the work you've done over the year?

TYRONN LUE: I think it's just our whole staff. I think our staff has done a great job just trying to prepare these guys, understand what we need to work on from last year to get better this season. And then I credit our players. PG and Kawhi have really bought into what we're trying to do on penetrations, getting to the paint. They're passing the ball 10 percent more, each one of those guys are passing the ball 10 percent more than they did last year, because they're great mid-range shooters, but we talked about them about getting into the paint, making a play for your teammates, and they have done that. So a lot of credit goes to those two guys as well. But I think our coaching staff is just being prepared, understanding what we need to work on from last year and understand what we need to get better at. So it's a total team effort and so that's pretty much why we changed the way we played and have done some different things.

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