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June 5, 2018

Kevin Love

Cleveland, Ohio: Practice Day

Q. I guess you heard a little bit of the end of LeBron's press conference. He was asked about a clip that's gone viral over the last couple of days of the last two and a half minutes of the timeout between regulation and overtime after Game 1. The clip shows LeBron kind of holding his head, staring straight into space, not speaking with anyone, not engaging, not communicating. He was asked should he have done more, should he have helped more, should he have coached more, should he have mentored more. What was your sense that timeout of LeBron and the team and what you could have maybe done in those three minutes?
KEVIN LOVE: I think we were just absorbing it and trying to get ready for the extra five minutes of basketball. We know that that game didn't go the way we wanted to, especially in that last, like you mentioned, two and a half, two minutes of the game. But I think it's human instinct, or in this game of basketball, mistakes are going to happen, and you're going to be frustrated. There are going to be times where your emotions are going to show. It's the NBA Finals. Everything is heightened. Things of that nature unfortunately do happen, and we were on the wrong side of it. We came in and played our hearts out, but the game got away from us in overtime.

Q. As a leader, though, should LeBron have done more to pick everybody up given what had just happened?
KEVIN LOVE: I mean, I don't know what he had at that point, but he ended the game with 51-8-8, so he did a lot. He's been leading us and been great, not only this season, but seasons past. It's natural for him to put out such a good effort and be frustrated.

I think, as he mentioned, he didn't want a situation where he could have called a timeout and we didn't have any left. They're shooting a technical and win the game in regulation. Tough situation to be in for all of us, but we move on. Game 1 is out of the way. Game 2 is out of the way. Like he mentioned, we have a great opportunity tomorrow to make noise here on our home floor.

Q. With you guys switching as much as you have in the first couple of games against the Warriors, you've done that at points throughout the course of the year, but it hasn't been your staple defense. So how difficult is it, and what are the challenges of trying to implement that against this particular team at this time of year?
KEVIN LOVE: Yeah, it's tough. But we've played against this team four straight years in The Finals. We've switched a number of times. We've changed our defenses. A very tough team to guard.

So you have to try different things. You have to use defenses that you may not use against other teams throughout the course of the regular season. But our schemes have been there. We've forced them into tough shots. The problem is that team is full of -- especially three guys that are some of the all-time best shooters in this league.

So we felt like we -- Steph being 9 for, what, 17, from the three-point line, we forced him into tough shots. There were a number that he had that were contested. Some were uncontested more often than not. But he's going to hit. Our switches and our schemes have been pretty on point, but our communication and making it tough for him could be better at times.

Q. Ty Lue talked about ramping up the physicality when you guys switch on defense. What goes into that, and especially when post players get switched on to their guards?
KEVIN LOVE: Yeah, I think more than anything we talked about communication. But physicality is huge for us. That starts the first play of the game. We have to come out and do that early. If we do that, we're going to be better off. There are so many times where we kind of wait to let ourselves get into the game, or even if we have a great half of basketball, in that third quarter we let up. That's really been our Achilles' heel and always been our Achilles' heel, is that third quarter.

So to continue to have that physicality throughout the game, doing it here early. We're going to have a great opportunity to do it on our home floor tomorrow.

Q. George Hill and J.R. Smith were talking about communication, especially the other night. It's kind of been a problem all season. Just what do you guys have to do to fix this at this crucial time?
KEVIN LOVE: I think it's pretty infectious. Once guys start talking and they're loud and continuous with talking loud and being great with our coverages, that's going to really help us throughout the entire game.

I remember I was sitting in the third quarter and start of the fourth where I couldn't hear anybody on our side of the ball talking. That's such a huge thing for us because you kind of speak things into existence. Guys will get out on the switches. Guys will be able to slip to the basket and we'll be able to cover for one another. So it's going to be huge for us.

We know it's going to be loud. We know it's going to be tough to hear one another, but we've got to be better with that.

Q. After the trade deadline, LeBron was hoarse after the games because he was talking so much. Do you almost need to go back to sort of thinking like that?
KEVIN LOVE: That would be good, yeah. Even though we only have, what, 48 hours in between games to get our voices back, it would be nice to just have that level of communication. Because I do think any little bit, any 1 percent, 10 percent, whatever you want to call it, that's going to help us.

Q. Rodney Hood, what do you guys see from him during the regular season that makes you think that he could have something to contribute to this series?
KEVIN LOVE: He's very talented. He's a guy that can step in and fill up a scoreboard. Left-handed. A little bit unorthodox in the way that he plays. Just having that height on him and that wingspan, and the ability to not only make shots, but on the defensive end to switch out. Also play a guy like K.D. at his size and just make it tough on both ends of the floor for their team. That gives all of us a lot of confidence that he can come in and make an impact.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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