June 28, 2021
Game 5: Pregame
Q. Zu is out?
TYRONN LUE: He's out.
Q. Anybody else out tonight?
TYRONN LUE: Zu, Kawhi and Serge.
Q. When he drove in the third quarter --
TYRONN LUE: Got fouled, knocked down. Yes, ma'am.
Q. Did you have any idea then?
TYRONN LUE: I saw him pulling and tugging at it. He said he was okay. Kind of played through it. I think it was more adrenaline than anything. Hopefully he'll get better, but he's out tonight.
Q. He's been your iron man all year --
TYRONN LUE: Every year. Not just this year, every year. So if he's out, then it's pretty significant for him to be in pain. We'll see after this game and kind of go forward from there.
Q. Does that mean we could see DeMarcus tonight?
TYRONN LUE: Yes, sir.
Q. DeMarcus gave you some good minutes. I can't remember which game it was.
TYRONN LUE: Game 1.
Q. Could he be good in a significant role?
TYRONN LUE: I think so. He's been good his whole career. Offensively we're going to need him a lot just to post the basketball. A lot of times he commands a double team when he's down there. He's a great passer when he catches it down low, as well. We're going to need him tonight. He'll be ready.
Q. With you guys playing such heavy minutes -- Reggie, PG, Zu before the injury -- how do you monitor minutes to keep them fresh?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, I've got to do a better job of that. I think the first half, just try to get through the first half and then in the second half, you've got to play as many minutes as you have to. But I could see PG and Reggie getting worn down a lot, especially having to make every play in that starting unit. Pretty tough on them.
But these are the playoffs and we have to do what we've got to do and try to make it happen. I've got to do a better job in the first half to try to get those guys the right amount of rest to try to carry them through to the second half.
Q. You guys have done a good job in this series at getting to the rim and getting up threes while also keeping them in the mid-range. I know the results haven't been what you wanted, but how have you felt about the process for you guys in this series?
TYRONN LUE: I thought the process was getting better. I think we had to change the way we played. We've been accustomed to playing small for two series. Bringing Zu back into the fold as a starter, we had to get used to playing that way again, that style of basketball.
But I think our guys, like I said, are doing a good job with getting open shots, open threes, which we haven't made a lot this series. Zu has been great for us on the defensive end, just him and Pat being able to kind of play that pick-and-roll two-on-two with CP and Booker. And also Zu just rolling to the basket, getting fouled, getting to the free throw line. Just having a big body and having a big presence has been good for us, as well.
Q. Considering what Kawhi has obviously meant to you guys, what have the guys been doing well to compensate for his absence and what areas have you been most vulnerable?
TYRONN LUE: I think from a defensive standpoint, our guys have really done a great job of just picking up what we want to do. To hold this team, like I said, to 84 points last game and  the game before that without Kawhi being on the floor is huge. Just says a lot about the way we compete, the way we play. Once we lock into a team and understand what we want to do defensively as far as in that series, we do a great job of defending those actions. Defensively, we've been great.
Offensively, it has kind of hurt us because you play through your best player a certain style for the whole season and then try to adapt during the playoffs, which they have done a great job of doing, too.
But the biggest thing I think we lose from Kawhi right now, watching the playoffs and the series, just offensively, being able to create for other guys, as well.
Q. [Question about managing the ups and downs of the postseason.]
TYRONN LUE: I just think just having a resilient team. I just think the way our guys bounce back after tough times and the way they play and compete every night, our coaching staff has done a great job of just weathering the storm, sticking with it, staying positive and always being up for these guys when guys want to work out, just being an outlet to talk. Our staff has been great with that all season long. Like I said, the pressure, for a game that you love to play, doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. But our guys come out to compete and leave it all on the floor and live with the results.
Q. Is that something you rely on the team for in terms of like it's basketball, keep it basketball and everything else, just worry about that later?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, I mean, just go out and perform at the highest level you can, competing every single possession, no plays off. And when you do that, you can live with the results. But our team has been resilient all season long. We've talked about adapting and adjusting all season long, which they have done. And we know we are in a tough spot right now, but a lot of those were in tough spots growing up, as well. We've been through a lot. This is no different.
Q. Obviously you and Monty have both been impacted by Doc. What you do see in Monty's coaching?
TYRONN LUE: I think just poise, for one. Never up, never down. Just stays even keel, which is great for your team. Not panicking in big moments. I think just the culture he set here, these young guys believing in him, what he stands for, how he wants to play. Then with an All-Star like Book, you bring in a Hall of Famer like CP to come in and orchestrate everything. Guys have bought into their roles and what they want to try to do and do what they want to do every single night.
Coach Williams has done a great job with that. It started last year I think in the bubble, those young guys believing and understanding what they are trying to do. He's put those guys in a great position to be successful.
Q. [Question about how the players felt today when they got together.]
TYRONN LUE: They felt pretty good. I just think it was a little downer when we found out Zu wasn't going to play. You hate to see their brother go down like that. But we're in a good place. It's been Next Man Up mentality all season. We've just got to go out there and do it for Zu and do it without him tonight.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports