June 24, 2021
Game 3: Pregame
Q. (Zoom muted)
TYRONN LUE: I always knew him in a positive way, but just his will to win and to do whatever it takes to win, his competitive nature, I mean, every single play, no plays off for him, and that's just who he is. He's a complete winner. He was that way when I met him. When I first came here, I just knew he was a winner right away.
Q. He's a demanding guy; that doesn't always get accepted by everybody around him.
TYRONN LUE: Well, it's demands in the right way, though. It's demands to win. It's not like he's demanding something for himself. He's trying to do everything for his team to win, and you love to have guys like that. Some guys can't take it, but I would love to have him on one team every night.
Q. This being the first time fans are going to experience a Conference Finals game at home and you have a full capacity, just want to know if you have any kind of message for them tonight, getting them ready to get excited for today.
TYRONN LUE: I mean, just coming off of Game 6 against Utah, it was electric in here and we need every bit of it. Tonight we're going to need the same energy, the same juice. I know they hate to see us down 0-2, but it is what it is, and we're ready to go, so we're going to need all the support tonight from start to finish.
Q. What is Kawhi's status?
TYRONN LUE: Kawhi is out tonight. That's the only thing I know.
Q. Obviously the way Game 2 ended, how do you feel that leads up to a pivotal Game 3 where obviously you know what happens if you go down three games.
TYRONN LUE: What happens?
Q. Well, more likely than not.
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, it's a lot of more than likely, but it don't matter. Yeah, it was a tough game. It's over. You can't look back. It's in the past now. We had a chance to win that game on their home floor and they took care of business. It was a tough game for us, but it's over now and we've got to look to the future. We're getting ready for Game 3 now, put it behind us and we're ready to go.
Q. I know Marcus has been limited the last couple games, but is there anybody else that also is going to be limited tonight?
TYRONN LUE: I hope not. We have someone that's a little banged up, but hopefully he's able to go and feel good. But it is what it is. It's the Playoffs. All our guys want to get on the floor as much as possible, so we'll see what happens.
Q. I want to ask about Marcus. Is he close to 100 percent?
TYRONN LUE: I don't know about all that. I just know he's banged up, but he wants to be on the floor, and you applaud him for that. It's the Playoffs, and you just try to give everything you have. That's what he's been doing for us the last two games, and we've just got to see how he feels once the game starts. It's the same knee.
Q. I know you said you're in your happy place when the Playoffs start. 0-2 is not necessarily a happy place to be, so when you're saying, hey, look, just play basketball, have fun, how is the adjusting between being in your happy place but also being in a place where it's like, all right, we have to win tonight?
TYRONN LUE: It's just a chess match. When you're able to come through for your team and your team has full trust in you in the Playoffs, it means a lot. I think I have our guys in the locker room, I think I have their attention as far as just being able to make adjustments, seeing what I see and try to execute. That's all you can do. We knew we didn't play great in either of the two games in Phoenix, and in Game 2 we didn't play really good at all and had chance to win the game.
We're in a good space right now, and we understand that we kind of gave one away, but we've got to be ready for Game 3. So our guys' mindset is come out tonight, have a defensive focus, have a defensive mindset, and then offensively just continue to play with pace and continue to share the basketball like we've been doing all Playoffs.
Q. I know you guys have played big more often this series than in the past two rounds, but is there a way to still get Nick Batum in in those lineups when you are playing big?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, get him in for Marcus, we can get him in for Pat, whoever. Our small lineup is kind of different when Kawhi is not on the floor. You take away a great defender, a guy who can block shots, a guy who can attack mismatches on the other end. Small lineup is a little different when Kawhi is not playing, so we've just got to be able to adjust it any way we can.
Q. Only eight teams in league history have had double-digit playoff winning streaks. What does that say about how confident and formidable an opponent you guys are going against?
TYRONN LUE: They're in a great rhythm. They've been playing well. Monty is doing a great job of just getting those guys to buy in, understanding who they are, of how they play. We know they're very confident right now, getting CP back who's a Hall of Fame player, but now they've got to come and prove it again in Game 3. We'll be ready to go. We're locked in. We know they're going to be confident over there, and they should be. But we'll be up for the challenge tonight.
Q. Pat after the game was saying that that was right up there with games that hurt the most. Was there a point since you guys got home where you felt like you saw in the guys that they were over it, they were past it and had moved on?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, I had some conversations with a lot of guys after the game once we landed. Just called a few guys and said, listen, it was a tough game, but at the end of the day it was on their home floor. They won two games. It was a tough one to swallow, but it's over. We've got to move forward; we can't live in the past. It hurt. I was hurt a little bit, as well, because we had a chance to win one on their home floor. But it didn't happen, so now we've just got to move on, be ready for Game 3. We've been in this position before. We know that. So just got to move on. Can't focus on the past.
Those guys, they all say the same thing, like it hurt, but we've got to move on, and we understand that.
Q. What's the biggest thing that you learned about P.G. this postseason?
TYRONN LUE: Just how great of a player he is. Last year doesn't define a player, one game, one series, two series doesn't define a player, and P.G. has just always been a great player in my eyes. Having battles with him when I was in Cleveland and he was in Indiana, just watching him play throughout the course of his career. Just a fantastic player on both sides of the floor for us. It means a lot, so just happy he's playing well in these Playoffs right now.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports