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June 3, 2016

LeBron James

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Ty mentioned a minute ago that he spoke with you this morning about playing faster. What did you see and do you feel like that is something that you need to do going into Game 2?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I mean, Coach has given us a game plan, and we need to execute it. If Coach feels like we need to play faster, then we do. We've got to push the tempo a little bit more offensively, see if we can get down, get some easy baskets and get to the flow of our game.

It's been a good thing for us throughout the whole season once Coach Lue took over, so we need to do that.

Q. He also mentioned that the way they're defending and switching that this is the kind of series for isolation ball, and it's something that we've talked about that you ask Kyrie can do very well. Do you feel like if you just play a little better that this is the kind of series where you can thrive in isolation?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, it's a fine line. You know, when you're out there and they're switching and you have a one-on-one matchup, I think quick moves and not holding it as long is good. I think when you keep the ball on one side for too long and you're pounding and pounding and pounding, then that can -- too much of that won't result in good basketball. It won't result in good rhythm for everyone out on the floor.

So there is a fine line. I'm okay with us having some isolation basketball if we're going quick. But we're holding the ball and we're just staring down the defense and we're staring down the ball, then it can become a problem for us.

Q. There is a stat out there that you're 9-0 after losing Game 1 in the postseason. That's a pretty staggering number. I'm curious if you have any thoughts as to why that is?
LEBRON JAMES: Say that again?

Q. You're 9-0 in Game 2 after losing Game 1 in the postseason. That's a pretty high number.
LEBRON JAMES: I don't know. My team has always been able to recalibrate, look at the mistakes that we had in Game 1, I guess, and come up with a better game plan in Game 2 and be able to execute it. So I've been a part of some resilient teams that's bounced back from a Game 1 loss either at home or on the road.

Q. If I could follow up, when Ty said that he showed you guys clips of all the lay-ups, that you guys blew eight or nine lay-ups at the rim that weren't even contested. So after you watch the film, do you leave that game encouraged that it really wasn't as far off as maybe the score indicated, or are you still discouraged that on a night Steph and Klay don't play well that you still lose by 15?
LEBRON JAMES: No, I'm not discouraged at all. I understand we had our opportunities. We played some good basketball for 36 minutes, and the fourth quarter got away from us. We definitely missed some really easy looks. Some looks that we're accustomed to making that we've made all year long. But not discouraged in the fact that we were able to get into the paint, get where we want to go, but we've got to be able to knock them home.

As far as Steph and Klay, at the end of day those guys and this team is here not just because of those two, and we have to respect the rest of those guys like we respect Steph and Klay, those guys that are either on the floor or the guys that enter the ballgame.

Q. The Cavs just scored seven three-pointers last night compared to the Eastern games. It's not good. Do you know what is the reason? Is it because of the Warriors defense or a bad night?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't understand your question, to be honest.

Q. The Cavs scored seven three-pointers last night compared to when you played the Eastern games. It's not good. Do you know what is the reason, was it the Warriors defense or did you have a bad night?
LEBRON JAMES: We just want to play our game. Play our game offensively and defensively and live with the results.

Q. You have experienced both pursuing championships and defending championships. I wonder from your perspective, once you win one, is there a pressure removed that allows a team to play more freely the following season? And when you're in pursuit of one, is that pressure something that's very difficult to get out from under?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I think it's a little bit of both, but another year of experience definitely allows your team to play free, to know and expect out of the guy beside you. You just know when you go through -- when you're able to finally accomplish winning a championship, you know how hard it is to win that. You know exactly what to expect out of the guy next to you from that point on because you've been through so much. There's no easy route to winning a championship. So that allows the game to be easier.

Q. LeBron, is there anything you guys can do as a team to get J.R. going offensively?
LEBRON JAMES: He's a huge part of our success, and we've got to do a better job of trying to get him some looks early on and just to keep him engaged throughout the whole game. Three shot attempts is not enough for him. He had a big fall to start the game that really bothered him.

But we've still got to keep him involved where he doesn't feel like he's just chasing around Steph and chasing around Klay all game, things of that nature. He's a big piece of our team, for sure, so we've got to find ways to get him looks.

Q. LeBron, what did you think about the way you guys defended them, and are there a lot of changes you have to make on that end of the floor, or is it mainly offense?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I think we defended them well, not great. I think we cannot relax when those guys make their subs. Livingston, Barbosa, Iguodala, those guys come into the game and they change tempo and they play with just as much confidence as Steph and Klay and Draymond. And we have to understand that we have to treat those guys, like I said, like All-Stars, just like Steph and Klay and Draymond are.

Q. Is that kind of like human nature when Steph and Klay are out to relax because you know those guys shoot so well and they're not out there anywhere?
LEBRON JAMES: It's not that we relax. It's just that when you have two of the greatest shooters in the game, they come out and you know your defense doesn't have to be so extended. We all know that Livingston doesn't shoot threes. Iguodala shoots some. But they're not like Steph and Klay where your defense has to be extended to half court.

When those guys come in, you're able to shrink your defense a little bit more, so you tend to -- I don't want to say relax, but your defense is picked up a little bit lower so those guys get to where they want to get to. They get to their sweet spots. We may have to change that approach a little bit.

Q. Last night you guarded Steph on several possessions. Is that Coach's plan or just you wanted to take the challenge?
LEBRON JAMES: Both, both.

Q. To touch on their bench again, a couple of players told me that they were a little winded having to chase Steph and Klay around. Is there a team other than the Warriors out there that comes to -- that can prepare a team to chase those guys and then have to exert just as much energy for those guys coming off the bench?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, no other team in our league has the two best shooters in the league on the same team. And no other team in our league has that many playmakers. I mean, people look at Steph and Klay, but when you add Draymond and Livingston and Iguodala, it adds playmakers. You know, so you can't just key in on one guy. Those guys can all make a play for not only themselves, but for others.

Us having six days off definitely, I guess, wore on some of our guys' legs from a fatigue standpoint. But it is what it is. We're in The Finals at this point. So I think it was good though to get that first game out of the way.

Q. As a leader, what is the message for your team after this loss going into Game 2?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, we've got to be better. We've got to be much better going into Game 2. I don't think we're that far off. You just know that you cannot -- when you're playing against a team this great, you cannot make mistakes or you have to limit your mistakes. Even with how well they played off the bench, outscoring us 45-10, you also can't combat that by having 17 turnovers for 45 points in their building. It's just not a success for winning.

Q. We keep talking about the bench and the numbers staggering, 45-10. Your guys' depth has been such a strength throughout the course of the regular season, the postseason. At some point can you just say we've got to stick with these guys on your team and maybe know that you have the faith in what they've already accomplished?
LEBRON JAMES: Oh, absolutely. I mean, from one game you don't just throw -- like I said before, even after, I think it was after Game 4 in the Toronto series you guys asked me about taking the series over or whatever the case may be because Kyrie and Kev had struggled a little bit. But we got to this point because our bench has been so productive. We got to the point in the Toronto series because Kyrie and Kev carried us along that way.

So you don't just throw everything away over one game. Our bench has been so productive for us. They know they're going to have to have a great series in order for us to win it. So we have a lot of pride in there from our bench, and I know they're going to take that even better going into Game 2.

Q. Yesterday in the game at the end of the third, beginning of the fourth, when you sat out they took the lead, went up by 14, that's also during the time of the Delly common foul discussion. Do you get a breather there? Was that just part of normal rotation minutes, or did you need a rest?
LEBRON JAMES: It was part of the normal rotation. I usually come out at the end of the third anyways. I was able to get a little more extra rest because of the referees going to review what had happened. But, yeah.

Q. Do you feel that maybe you could have gotten in earlier, maybe talked with the coach?
LEBRON JAMES: When it went up 14 in like 14 seconds? How much earlier do you want me to go back in?

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