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June 13, 2015

LeBron James


Q.  You in The Finals, your team has seen the opposition make changes to the lineup.  With Barea with Dallas in 2011, they put Diaw in last year in the starting lineup, and Iggy the other night, what is the adjustment period like for the opposition when a team that's been doing it one way and you've been scouting them one way makes that change late?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, it's an adjustment for sure.  It's much more of an adjustment on the fly because you're not quite sure that a team is going to do that, so you've been preparing for a certain lineup and they're able to make the switch.  So it kind of makes the lineups and the preparation a little bit different for the guys that are covering him.
In this case with our big, Timo and Tristan, Timo's starting off on Iggy, it's a different match‑up than Bogut, obviously.  You've got a guy that's primarily on the perimeter in Game 4 versus guarding a guy that's always in the paint, for the most part, unless he's initiating offense.
So it's definitely a different change for us.  But I think we'll be much more prepared for it tomorrow night if they go with the same lineup.

Q.  Have you found that it's an adjustment that is quick once you've seen it once, or is it something that can linger for two or three games before you can pick it up?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, I mean, it's not that quick.  Obviously you don't have many games to allow it to linger, and hopefully you can get comfortable with it.  But I think our coaching staff, if we're not in tune with what's going on or we're not ready for the speed or the action, we'll be able to make the sub and make the proper adjustments in game instead of waiting for it after.

Q.  The numbers in this series are what they are.  In the first three you averaged 41 points, you almost won all three games.  The other night 20, and you lost by 20 or whatever.  Are you in a spot now where you have to score huge numbers for this team to win?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, I'm in a spot where I have to be very productive, and that's just the spot I've always been in.  For me, from the perception, it's a lose‑lose when it comes to, okay, well, in the first three games I score 40, but I shoot a lot of shots.  Last game I scored 20, I don't shoot as many shots, and we lose.  So it's like what do you want?
So for me that's not my‑‑ that's not my thought process.  I don't really care about it.  All I care about is how I can produce for our team.  And if that's going out and trying to put up 40 or if it's putting up 35 shot attempts or if it's‑‑ at the time, if we can win by me taking 22 shots as well, then you just play the game and see how it can affect your team.

Q.  How much really does an extra day of rest help?  How much better do you feel after two days of rest when you've almost played 100 games this season?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, any little rest you can get throughout the postseason run, I mean, it's like a lifeline.  For us to be able to get this extra day to mentally and physically prepare for tomorrow night or tomorrow day is definitely helpful.

Q.  In what stage of your career did weightlifting and strength become kind of an essential part of your game to where you can take some of the fouls, the non‑fouls that you take?
LEBRON JAMES:  I think in my fifth year, my fifth, sixth year when I started to have some back problems.  I think a lot of it had to do with me not properly taking care of my body the right way.
I came into the league at 18, so weightlifting at 18, 19, 20, 21 really didn't mean much to me.  But I started to make the postseason.  I started making good runs, and I felt my body started to get tired during the postseason.  And I felt like it was time for me to do something to help my body not only be ready for the physical, but more the stress and the long haul of the season that it provided.

Q.  There's been guys who came into the league with you that are not in the league anymore from injuries or whatever.  So has it extended your career, you would say?  Has it made you a stronger player?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, everything that I've done has extended my career.  I mean, I take‑‑ I really take care of my body to where if I even have a slight injury I'm able to come back a little bit faster than some maybe because it's what helped me get out on the floor every night.
It's very important to me.  My diet and how I eat is very important to me.  How much I lift and how much I train is very important to me.  Then how much you allow the body to rest as well.
Obviously, it's not as much rest as you would like, but sometimes you have to just get off your feet as well, just to give your body time to recover.  So I found a great balance where I know what my body can take, I know what it can't take and get me trying to play at a high level.

Q.  I know the shots didn't fall the other night from the perimeter.  But were you guys happy with the shots that you got, though?
LEBRON JAMES:  Yes and no.  I think some of the shots that we got we were happy about, but some of them that we took we weren't happy about.  I think we allowed their lineup to get us out of what we did in Games 1, 2, and 3, and that was control the pace and put the ball into the post.  We shot 27 threes.
So I would say half of those or even more than half were some good shots, but a few of them we wish we could have back.

Q.  Do you hear a lot of game momentum, momentum this and that?  Do you believe in momentum between games and who do you think has it?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, I mean, it depends on the situation.  It depends on how the game was played.  It depends on the two teams.  I think when you get to a championship level‑type game with it being 2‑2, I don't think anyone has the momentum.  Obviously, everyone would say them because they're coming back home and then after the game they had the other night, but the momentum starts once the game starts.
We'll see who can put the most possessions together, who can make the most plays and put themselves and their team in a position to win.

Q.  J.R. just mentioned over there that the good thing for him is he feels he can't get any worse.  What is it about him that gives you the confidence that he can and will respond?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, I think the main thing with J.R. and for me as a leader, I don't care how many shots he missed.  I don't want his head to be down like it was in Game 4.  It's a make or miss league.  J.R. practices enough.  We all are all professional athletes and we practice on our craft.  But you can never allow someone either from the media or from the fans, from the opposition, from your family to ever see that you're down about what you're doing.  It doesn't matter.  He has to stay confident.
He can miss a hundred shots.  If they're great looks, they're drive‑and‑kicks, you shoot them with confidence.  If he's feeling confident about his ability, then I'm confident about it.  But once‑‑ as a competitor, once you lose confidence in yourself, then it's really not much coming back from that.  So if he's confident in himself, he'll be fine.

Q.  They played the small ball last game to win the game.  How do you adjust to it?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, I mean, they started small ball, but they've played a lot of small ball all year.  It's the luxury that Coach Kerr has with the type of personnel that he has where he's able to slide Draymond Green to the five and play small.  That's a luxury of having a guy like Draymond and having that type of personnel where he can play that type of basketball and still be effective.
We're going to play our game.  We've gotten to this point by playing the way we play, and we're not going to change.  We'll make adjustments throughout the game, but we won't change our starting lineup.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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