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May 17, 2017

Tyronn Lue

Boston, Massachusetts: Pregame

Q. You guys have obviously been off a long time. Are you concerned about your team being rusty? What did you do to keep sharp?
TYRONN LUE: No, I'm not concerned. The days off have been efficient. We were able to work on some things offensively, work on some things defensively. I think it was good for us. We got a chance to get healthy. I feel good.

Q. The playoffs usually produce a lot of close games. Are you surprised that these playoffs have produced so many one-sided games?
TYRONN LUE: Well, everyone is using home court to their advantage pretty much in the playoffs. A lot of teams in the playoffs have great home fans. We feel like we have great home fans, and we've used it to our advantage over the last three years. The home crowd has definitely played a part in these playoffs. Double-digit leads or wins are pretty surprising, but it's just part of it right now.

Q. Looking at your résumé, you've done a lot of job-hopping since you've been in the NBA. As a coach, you started here cutting your teeth. Would you briefly talk about that experience here in Boston?
TYRONN LUE: It was a great experience. Doc Rivers gave me my first chance to be a coach. He saw something in me that I didn't see in myself. Danny Ainge and Wyc [Grousbeck] and Pags [Steve Pagliuca] and those guys gave me my first opportunity to be a coach. They found a spot for me when it was tough. Once I got here, just seeing the culture that they had and the fans and how this city loves their sports, it was great for me. I just continued to keep learning, learning under Doc, learning under Thibs [Tom Thibodeau], learning under Lawrence Frank. I had a lot of guys I learned under and just kept progressing as a coach, and now I'm here today.

Q. Brad [Stevens] is getting a lot of credit for being really good at drawing up ATOs [after timeout plays]. You've had a lot of success with them as well the last couple years. Why are they so important in playoff games?
TYRONN LUE: When a team goes on a run and we call timeout to stop the run and come out of a timeout and you score to stop the bleeding, it's good for your team. Those are big plays. Those are plays you need in the playoffs.

Brad is really good at drawing up ATOs and he's very unpredictable. End-of-game stuff, you can't really go over two or three things that he does because he does a lot of different things. He's very unpredictable, and that's why he's a great coach.

Q. When Doc left for L.A., was there an option to stay here or was there an option to go anywhere else? What was it like after the '12-13 season?
TYRONN LUE: I didn't get to that point. When Doc left -- he gave me my first opportunity, so wherever Doc went, if he'd have went to China, I was going to China with Doc. I was thankful for the opportunity by Danny and those guys, like I said Wyc and Pags, but wherever Doc went, I was going with Doc.

Q. Knowing the kind of scorer Isaiah [Thomas] is, what do you consider a successful defensive night against him?
TYRONN LUE: I'm not sure. We've got to make it tough on him. We've got to try to keep him off the free throw line. He's going to score. He's going to attack. He's a great scorer; we know that. But we've got to do it by committee. Just keep him off the free throw line is the biggest thing. Make him make field goals and not free throws. He's going to get some calls; we know that. But we've got to do a good job of just paying close attention to him, no open shots, no easy threes, no walk-up threes, and just make it tough for him.

Q. You talked about the importance of defending the three-point line in this series in general, but can you talk about the importance of figuring out how to win a game even if the team is giving up threes?
TYRONN LUE: It all depends on who's hitting those threes. In the playoffs you're going to give up something, and you want to take away something. I think you're talking about the Indiana game. I think Lance Stephenson made four or five threes. Hats off to Lance, but that was part of our game plan. We wanted to take the ball out of Paul George's hands, not let C.J. Miles shoot the basketball. Lance made shots. There are going to be games like that, but as long as the people you game-plan for are not making those shots, then you've got to live with some of those.

Q. A couple years ago when the Cavs faced the Celtics in the playoffs, they corralled Isaiah deep in the half court. He's kind of grown since then. What do you guys see now in his development the last couple years that makes it more difficult to do that consistently?
TYRONN LUE: Just happy to be here. He's definitely gotten better, though, but I'm not telling you how.

Q. Also before this, Brad said that the Cavs really have a perfect roster, just with all the different kinds of shooting and the number of things that you can do. For you, when did it feel like you were able to really start coaching that roster just in terms of having all the weapons not only available to you but maybe working the way they should?
TYRONN LUE: Well, the way the roster is constructed, we have done a great job. Dan [Gilbert] gave us the opportunity to do that. We can do a lot of different things. We can go with a defensive unit, we can play big, we can play small, we can go with an offensive unit. We have a lot of versatility.

For me, just when we got everyone healthy. We got J.R. [Smith] back, we got Kevin back, and we got everybody in the right rotations. I think things got a little easier for us to figure out guys' roles and what we're going to do and how we're going to play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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