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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CAVALIERS v HAWKS


May 25, 2015


LeBron James


CLEVELAND, OHIO: Practice Day

LeBRON JAMES:  I'm feeling all right.  I've been better, but I've been worse.  I think I've been worse.  I don't know.  I'm all right.

Q.  Did you get any IV treatments or anything after the game?
LeBRON JAMES:  Yeah, I got extensive treatment.  I'm not going to elaborate on exactly what I got.  Just right after the game, just started trying to prepare my body and get ready for Game 4.

Q.  (Inaudible question.)
LeBRON JAMES:  Well, I'm not concerned really in what other people have to say about what I do on the floor.  I know what I bring to the game.  I know how much I work on my craft.  When you give everything and you work on your game and you give everything to the game, there's nothing really anyone can say to you that can really bother you.

Q.  You said (inaudible) will be your toughest challenge in the season.  What you're going through right now, keeping this team on track.  Do you feel this is your toughest challenge?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† I felt it would be, and it is.¬† We just haven't been whole since the first round, obviously, and then our All‑Star point guard goes down.¬† It's been a tough task for the guys that have been in the lineup, but they've done a great job of accepting the challenge.
For me, I just try to lead those guys the best way I know how every single night.

Q.  Are you, at this point in the season right now, do you feel like you're more banged up than you were previously at this times?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† I don't know.¬† I've been banged up going into the postseason, going into round after round after round.¬† I don't know.¬† I would say yes because I just feel my body right today.¬† But it's all‑‑ I think, when you want to win, you've got to sacrifice your body feeling good.¬† I've been fortunate enough to play until May a lot lately the last few years, and my body has sacrificed feeling good.¬† That's just what it's about.

Q.  Obviously, (inaudible), but how good would it feel for to you get this city back to The Finals?
LeBRON JAMES:  It's been my goal since I got back here, not only to get back, but to win, win the whole thing.  That's my goal.  It's part of my drive.  That's what it's about.  Obviously, we've got an opportunity to go back to a place where we haven't been in a while.  So I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Q.  What's the key to closing out a series like this?
LeBRON JAMES:  Just play like you played the last few games, the first three wins.  You don't add much more pressure to it.  You just go out and trust what you've been doing the first three wins and apply it to the fourth one.

Q.  Can you describe the level of treatment you're getting?
LeBRON JAMES:  Well, it gets to a point where you get sick and tired of seeing Mike Mancias.  He's almost moved in with me.  We have a very tight bond at this point.  So it's okay.

Q.  LeBron, have you thought the quicker you can get this series over with, the more rest you can get going into the finals?  But at this point in the season, does six or eight days or four or six days make that much of a difference?
LeBRON JAMES:  You don't really put your mind into let's get this series over so we can get rest.  You think, let's play this game so we can win.  And whatever the reward is after the series, then you take it.

Q.  How much can the group help you conserve energy (inaudible)?
LeBRON JAMES:  I've had to, with the share with Delly, had to hand the ball off more than I would like to.  With Kyrie being out, that's just what it is.  It happened a lot in the Chicago series.  It's happened in this series since, obviously, Kyrie hasn't been in the lineup.
That takes the wear on your legs throughout the course of the game.¬† You have to handle not only a full‑court situation but half‑court situation.¬† So that's taken a little bit of a toll.
Also at the same time, it's the playoffs.  The playoffs should take a toll on your body where you feel exhausted at the end of it.  That's just how I play.  That's how I've learned, when you go and play in the postseason, you shouldn't feel great playing a playoff game ever.  A lot of intangibles going into how my body feels right now.

Q.  Could someone cover your man for stints or help you out that way?
LeBRON JAMES:  No, I don't let no one take my man.

Q.  You guys were up 10 with about ten minutes to go and you needed overtime to win it.  Can it sometimes be a better thing to get a win that doesn't go by (indiscernible) versus one where Game 2 you kind of like handled it?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Last night we put them on the free‑throw line after we got up 10.¬† They stopped the clock and got into a rhythm and started making free throws.¬† We put them on the free‑throw line.¬† We didn't make shots even though we had great looks.
It's always great to‑‑ it doesn't matter how you win a game, no matter if you win by ten or by three or by one, but the way we won it last night, defending once again, got stops, got timely stops, got timely baskets, and it's a great learning experience for our young group.

Q.  How do you feel now compared to when you had to go away for 10 minutes?
LeBRON JAMES:  I feel better than that.

Q.  Feel better now?
LeBRON JAMES:  Yeah, I think.  I don't know.  I don't know.

Q.  LeBron, last night you touched on the fact that Matthew's been asked to do more than he's used to.  How do you think he's responded to the challenge on the court in that role?
LeBRON JAMES:  He's been great.  Obviously, if he isn't our backup point guard, we're not sitting here with a chance to go to The Finals.  It's just that simple.

Q.  Even before last night, you always spoke highly of him.  What makes him sort of a good teammate to have in your corner?
LeBRON JAMES:  He's a guy who's a true professional, comes to work every single day, learns every day.  He wants to learn, and he plays his heart out.  You can definitely be excited and happy for a guy like that.

Q.  The Hawks seem to be insinuating that he's a dirty player.  Are you tired of that kind of talking?
LeBRON JAMES:  Obviously, that's far from what he is.  He's a guy who beat the odds, who no one thought could play in this league, and now he's starting in the Eastern Conference Finals for a team that has an opportunity to go to The Finals.
So as far as guys that play hard, as hard as he does, for him, some people try to tarnish what he does, to put a dirty label on it, it's an injustice.

Q.  LeBron, how would you quantify Tristan's value to this team, to you, and his evolution from earlier in the season to what he is right now?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Tristan should probably be a Cavalier for his whole career.¬† There's no reason why he shouldn't.¬† This guy is 24 years old.¬† He's played in 340‑plus straight games, and he's gotten better every single season.¬† It's almost like what more can you ask out of a guy even though we ask for more out of him.
He's a young guy, but he's a professional that loves to come to work every day.  He plays his heart out every single night, and he has zero sense of entitlement in this league.  All he cares about is coming into work.  Whatever is given to him, he relishes the opportunity, and he's a great teammate.  So he'll be here for a long time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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