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May 18, 2016

LeBron James

Cleveland, Ohio: Practice Day

Q. How is the confidence level for you and the rest of the team?
LeBRON JAMES: We're even keel. We're a confident bunch already, but it hasn't got too high or not been what it should be. We understand that we have a game plan every night. We have to go out and execute it. We're a confident bunch, but we're not overexcited by anything.

Q. The opponent has to have some kind of game plan to try to defend you; were you surprised to see the one-on-one coverage and no one there really to stop you when you got to the rim?
LeBRON JAMES: No, for me that's not a surprise or whatever the case may be. I just play the game. I read and react to the game and see how teams are playing me and then react from there. You know, it wasn't a surprise at all.

Q. The change with you and the second unit to start the second quarter, what impact did that have?
LeBRON JAMES: I mean, obviously the addition of Channing Frye has helped out a lot. He's given us a dynamic that we didn't have in that second lineup, another big that just spaces the floor, shoots the ball, and also rebounds and defends. So that helps, and me being out there with those guys, it just gives us another threat out on the floor at all times.

You know, Kyrie [Irving] and Kevin [Love], they do a great job of closing out the first quarter and I just try and bring my energy back into the second unit and try to help with executing and run things the right way.

Q. Was there a lot of discussion into making that change late in the season?
LeBRON JAMES: No, it was all -- it was all the coaching staff. That's what they wanted.

Q. How did you feel toward the end of the Hawks series body-wise?
LeBRON JAMES: I felt great.

Q. You didn't have any nagging injuries, legs feeling heavy?
LeBRON JAMES: My legs always feel heavy. It's the postseason. Everyone's legs feel heavy.

Q. I was watching you watch Kyrie dance on the sideline at the game yesterday. How fun is it to see him enjoying this as much as he is?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, I think the biggest part of him enjoying it is his approach to the game. He's reaping the benefits of his success right now. He's waited a long time to get back to this position, like I said last night, and the kid is playing some great basketball right now. It's great to see him enjoy his moment.

Q. There were times this year where you were kind of frustrated because guys -- you said they haven't accomplished anything yet, we haven't accomplished, and just various moments of frustration, and you always talk about building habits. Could you tell that the habits were being built the right way? Did you perceive this coming?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, you continue to talk about it and believe in it and you preach it every day, at some point I feel like it'll turn the corner. For us as a team and for me as a leader, you continue to press and press on and press on and press on with the guys understanding how important this moment is for us, and these guys have accepted the challenge, and I've accepted it with them.

Q. You talked about read and react. How significant was it for this team to be able to do that? Obviously the Raptors keyed on the perimeter and you guys reacted by taking the paint. Can you talk about that? It's easier said than done; is that fair to say?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, the game isn't easy, for sure, like you're saying. It's very difficult, but we have to be able to make adjustments on the fly if need be. We have a unit that can do that and we have a coaching staff that can put us in position to do that as well. It's great to have that.

Q. Where has Tyrone [Lue] grown since taking over this role?
LeBRON JAMES: T-Lue has been great in every facet of the game. I think it's been a long time coming and he's waited for this moment, and when the moment was presented to him, he was ready for it. It's great to have him, for sure.

Q. How much fun were you having?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, when I don't have fun no more in the game of basketball, I won't play anymore.

Q. When you start 9-for-9 like you did last night, are you aware of that?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, I know I haven't missed up to that point, but I am not quite sure how many shots I've taken or whatever the case may be, but I know I haven't missed besides missing a free throw. I did miss a free throw. But other than that, I'm not quite sure where I'm at as far as statistics-wise.

Q. Most of the shots were right in the paint. Is there a zone factor with that or is that more like a jump shot?
LeBRON JAMES: Just put pressure on the defense. I live in the paint.

Q. Talking to Dwyane Wade in the last series, he talked about how in his career sometimes he's trusted teammates and sometimes not, depends on the teammate. Your whole career you've been a guy who's kind of rigorous in trusting guys. With this team, do you have as much trust in this team as you've ever had?
LeBRON JAMES: My whole life has been about trusting teammates as I've played the game. That hasn't changed. My motto hasn't changed, obviously. The players I've had over the last few years have gotten better and better. The personnel has gotten better and better. But that hasn't -- for me as far as trust, I've always done that since I was a kid.

Q. Last night was the first time [Kyle] Lowry and [DeMar] DeRozan have never gone to the line in a game as long as they've played together. What can you credit what your defense did to keep them off the line?
LeBRON JAMES: Attention to detail.

Q. Do you see something that has to change with their aggressiveness to get to the line?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, we know we're not going to be able to stop them from getting to the line every game, but we control what we can control. We pay attention to detail, to a T last night, and we need to do that tomorrow as well.

Q. As the lead started to build toward the end of the second and into the third, it seemed like it got a little bit more physical. Do you think that was just the Raptors trying to get in you guys' head, so to speak, or what do you think the reason for that was?
LeBRON JAMES: Everyone has pride, and we knew at some point if the game got out of hand -- teams have done that to us. But they can't get inside our heads because at the end of the day, our only main objective is to win a basketball game and nothing else matters. We just continue to protect our players, both teams, and the last four teams standing, everyone needs to be protected out on the floor, and I think the refs did a pretty good job of that last night.

Q. It seems like the challenge for the Raptors kind of crystallized last night. They tried to run you off the three-point line and the lanes were open for you and Kyrie. Do you recognize the pressure you're putting on opponents right now to try to figure out how to guard you guys?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, for us we have a game plan, and it's up to us to go out and execute it. We don't predetermine what we're going to do offensively. We come into a game saying let's play our game, we want to move the ball, share the ball, get it moving from side to side. We want to attack and we want to get our shooters open, and last night they didn't let our shooters get open too much, so we had the lane. Shump [Iman Shumpert] had some attacks. It was great for him that he was able to get into the lane, Kyrie as well, myself. We know the game is going to be totally different tomorrow. It's a team that they've lost a game in every series so far, and they haven't lost a Game 2. They haven't lost two games in a row. So we understand what their mindset is and how confident they are going into the second game.

Q. Is this the best the second unit has played all year?
LeBRON JAMES: We're playing good basketball. It's right now, so I'll say yes because it's right now. We want to win to work on our habits. The best part of our second unit is we defend. We defend, and then offensively it comes easy to us when you defend.

Q. After [inaudible] is it more clear or less clear the difference between a common foul and a flagrant foul?
LeBRON JAMES: I have no idea what it is. I know what it is when it happens to someone else, but I have no idea when it's involving me. I have no idea what a common foul and a flagrant foul is. I thought Tristan's throwdown last night was a little excessive, but he went up there and made two free throws, and that's all that matters. I pretty much have chalked it up to common fouls with me.

Q. You sure have taken a lot of head shots this postseason.
LeBRON JAMES: Common foul.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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