home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 21, 2017

Tyronn Lue

Boston, Massachusetts: Pregame

Q. Through two games, your primary defensive objective was to pay attention to Isaiah. Now that he's not going to play anymore, how drastically different, if at all, do you have to approach how you defend the Celtics?
TYRONN LUE: Not much different. We still have to lock in defensively. That has to be our mindset. To start both games in Boston, I thought we really did that. Coming out in Game 3, we've got to have the same mentality, a defensive mindset to start the game, and then everything else will take care of itself.

Q. You were part of the Lakers team in '01 that won 11 straight [to begin the playoffs]. I was curious if you remember sort of the focus and the dominance for 11 games, if that's familiar to you to what you guys are doing now? And also, is it different with another team in the West doing the same thing?
TYRONN LUE: I can't remember 2001. I remember we won, but I just don't remember the whole layout and everything that happened. But it was a good run for us, like you said, and then Philly came in and won that first game [of The Finals] and then we came in and won four after that. But I can't really remember the dynamics defensively and offensively and all that stuff.

Q. LeBron said the other night there's no such thing as a perfect game. But you guys played really, really well obviously in Game 2, and now you're coming home and you've got all the momentum. As a coach, though, you have to point out something negative to them, I assume, to keep their focus and attention. How do you get their attention and keep their attention in this instance??
TYRONN LUE: Well, yesterday we just showed them some open shots that we gave up. We've got to just keep moving and keep scrambling, getting back in transition, getting matched. Avery Bradley had an open three.

Jerebko had a tipped dunk at the end. Just those little things and cleaning up those things of getting back, getting matched, no easy baskets, no backdoor cuts. There are still things we can clean up, but like you said, we did play pretty good defensively. We still have to come out with that same mindset.

Q. Was it a shorter list than usual? Did you have to scramble to find things to yell at them about?
TYRONN LUE: No, I don't yell anyway. They know things that we have to get better at. That's definitely Avery Bradley's backdoor cuts. We know they're going to crash from the corners with Smart and those guys.

Just a few things we've got to clean up on that end. But overall, I thought we did a pretty decent job.

Q. You've been around a lot of really talented teams throughout the course of your career. Beyond the talent with this group, what is unique about this one?
TYRONN LUE: (Chuckling) I don't know. Just resilient. I think ever since LeBron came in we've been under a microscope, and I think these guys have done a great job of handling that. Even when we play well, or we play bad, we're always under the scrutiny. These guys are handling it well. Even when we weren't playing well, backs being against the wall, I thought that our guys really responded. I thought starting the playoffs and being better defensively, they really had their minds set on being better.

We've been able to do that so far. We just have to keep it up. Things are not going to go great all the time, but we've got to stay together as a unit and as a team. That's what I like the most about this group: We stay together, tight-knit group. When things go well or things go bad, we stay together.

Q. What's the group that you've been around that's closest to this one?
TYRONN LUE: Boston. When I was there with KG and Ray and Paul and Rondo and those guys, that was a tight group. They did everything together, dinners and everything. This reminds me a lot of that Boston team.

Q. Tristan's numbers are similar to what they were in the regular season right now, but most people agree that his value to the team seems to increase at playoff time. Why is that in your opinion, and can you think of guys either that you played with or have coached over the years whose game seemed to elevate the same way his does?
TYRONN LUE: Well, I think when you get to the playoffs, the biggest thing with him is defensively. He can do so many things defensively. He can trap, he can show, he can drop, he can switch, he can guard 1 through 5. Just him being able to be different and versatile on the defensive end is so huge for us, especially things we want to do and try to take away. It's very valuable. But as far as being relentless on the glass and his physicality, that's something that we need at that position, and he brings it every single night.

Q. Are there any guys that you can think of through your time playing and coaching that seem to consistently in the Playoffs elevate their play like now?
TYRONN LUE: I would say KG, just as far as defensively and being the anchor of the defense and taking pride in guarding any position. Of course offensively it's different, but defensively I think they have that same kind of motor.

Q. We're talking only 16 months ago where you're an assistant coach, and now you start your first playoff run 10-0, you start your second playoff run 10-0. It's hard to win one playoff game, let alone be able to amass that many. Have you been able to think about your journey as a coach?
TYRONN LUE: Not really. It's not about me, it's about winning. If we win, we all get credit. It's not about me; it's just about getting the guys in the best position to be successful. I try to do that every night. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. But you have to to give your best and just make sure everything you're doing is best for the team.

Q. How have you guys been able to be a different team in the second half of games during these playoffs, where in the regular season you guys maybe didn't keep your foot on the gas and gave up some leads? It seems like the exact opposite in these playoffs. Did you say something or is this just a team mindset in the second half?
TYRONN LUE: It's something that we addressed before the playoffs started, that we have to be better in third quarters. We're doing a good job at halftime of just trying to get the guys out earlier so they can get good warm-ups and get a lather and not just walk out with two minutes on the clock and now we're kind of going through the motions. These guys have been getting out earlier, doing a good job of warming up and trying to get a sweat before the third quarter starts.

Q. You talked coming into the series about getting Kevin Love more touches. His numbers certainly reflect that. But it seems like defensively he's been very good in his switches, and with the defense you guys are playing, there's so much rotation from the big men. Could you assess his defensive play through two games?
TYRONN LUE: (Chuckling) Well, as an ex-player any time you're getting touches and getting shots, your defense is always better because you feel more involved in the game. Kevin has been strong for us defensively all year. His "shows" this series against Isaiah have been really good. He's rebounding the basketball. Defensively in the Indiana series and Toronto series, he was really good. And then now in this series, he's starting to shoot the ball, getting touches and scoring the basketball. It's been great.

Q. In three years here, is this probably the best defense you've seen him play, and is that a result of touches on the offensive end?
TYRONN LUE: No, I think it's a result of just running and understand what we're trying to do. I think now he's been in the system for three years, he understands, he knows where he's supposed to be, he knows when he's supposed to react. I think just being a part of the system for three years, it made him a lot better.

Q. Do you expect tonight's game to be a little more physical, seeing how the Celtics are in an 0-2 hole? And how can you prepare for that?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, it's definitely going to be more physical. They're going to play hard. They're going to compete. They've been in this situation before. They were 0-2 to Chicago and they came back and won the series. We're definitely not going into this game taking them lightly. We understand they're a tough team. They're going to compete. They're going to defend. We've got to be mentally strong. We've got to have a mindset that defensively we've got to come out and set the tone early.

Q. With the loss of Isaiah, how challenging is it to prepare for a team at this point when they lose their biggest offensive weapon and you don't necessarily have a lot of film of them playing without him?
TYRONN LUE: It's not challenging because we know the goal for us is to win two more games, however we've got to do it. Isaiah is a big loss for them offensively, but I think they get better defensively. I watched two games where he didn't play this year, against Brooklyn and Philly, and they played well. There was a lot of movement, a lot of guys played off the ball. Not a chance at all that we're going to take this team lightly just because Isaiah is out.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297