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June 30, 2021

Tyronn Lue

LA Clippers

Game 6: Pregame

Q. You said before Game 4 that you don't care about how physical the Suns are -- that they are going to bounce back from a physical standpoint. It's an opportunity for you to build a winning streak here, so how do you go about doing that, anticipating better defense from them?

TYRONN LUE: I think it's about us. I think having the right mindset coming into the game, like we did last game. Try to win each quarter. That's our main focus. I think the physical defensive presence that we had to start the game, we were able to get some easy shots in transition. I thought we were able to play through Marcus early on, which helped PG and Reggie ease into the game so they didn't have so much on their shoulders. That was a good start for us.

Q. You said the shots that didn't fall, especially the three-point shots that didn't fall the previous game, you expected them to fall --

TYRONN LUE: I've been saying that for a long time [laughs], so hopefully it comes true. But like I said, we're getting good shots. Our guys are getting good shots that we're not knocking down. But we understood to keep attacking the paint, which we did a good job of in the last game, as well. Just play the game the right way. Move the basketball. I thought early in the first quarter we did a good job of sharing the basketball, moving, attacking and then making the right play.

Q. How is Zu doing? Is he available?


Q. How is Marcus doing? I know you always check on him before a game.

TYRONN LUE: Same thing. He's playing through it and just trying to grind through it. We need all the bodies we can get right now. So just thankful that he's able to lay it out on the line right now and give us what he has.

Q. During the season you talked about how conversations with the medical staff, training staff, are minute-to-minute with you guys. In the playoffs when guys are playing so many minutes, do those conversations still happen during games or are you just like, go out as much as you need?

TYRONN LUE: Go out as much as you need. You just try to make sure, just talking to the guy throughout the course of the game, when you can get him rest and try to find time for him. That's why we do take the games off during the regular season and try to keep the minutes down, so we can get to this point playing more minutes.

It is what it is. Our guys have been fighting and digging and clawing all playoffs, and we just have to continue to keep doing that.

Q. Has it changed a bit of what you do on some off days? You do a lot of film work on the off days, but has it changed?

TYRONN LUE: Because we haven't been able to have shootarounds the first three games of the series because of early games, then we really had to do more film. I think with the shootaround, we were able to take more days off. Yesterday they didn't come in at all, and they just had shootaround this morning, which is what the guys wanted to do after winning Game 5. Just got to play it by ear, see how they are feeling. A lot of times just listen to what they want to do as far as coming in for shootaround the next day, because they are the ones that need the rest.

Q. You've said that the team has to have a Next Man Up mentality. But how has it worked for you with this group handling Kawhi's injury?

TYRONN LUE: I think we've had practice at it. With PG and Kawhi being out, with Serge being out, Pat Beverley being out a lot this year, I think our young guys really have had a chance to step up and play well in big games and big moments all season. Like, Luke Kennard, Terance Mann have been phenomenal all year. Reggie, just taking over that starting role with Pat being out. He's been phenomenal.

Guys have stepped up. They have the experience. I think that's the biggest thing, having the experience of being able to get consistent minutes throughout the regular season, and you just carry it over to the postseason. They have done a great job with that.

Q. Have you taken notice of how injuries have affected this postseason?

TYRONN LUE: Yeah, it affects a lot of postseasons. I've been part of it a lot. Kevin Love and Kyrie. KD and Klay going against Toronto. I mean, it happens. You've got to be a good team, but you've also got to be blessed with luck to finish the season out healthy. It's just part of the game.

Q. Do you think that there are more this year? Is the schedule impacting the amount of injuries?

TYRONN LUE: It feels like it's more because more star players are getting hurt. So that's magnified more. I'm not quite sure of the numbers or whatever. It's just magnified more because the great players are getting hurt now.

Q. How is PG's eye?

TYRONN LUE: He's doing okay. Yes, ma'am.

Q. What's allowed Reggie to step into the starting lineup and go from role player to being one of your leading scorers?

TYRONN LUE: I think his confidence level. I think the work he puts in every single day. He comes in and gets his work in every day with Chauncey. I think us having belief in him. I think giving him the confidence to just go out and play his game. We know he was like almost a max player when he went to Detroit. So he has the talent. Now that he's healthy with no back issues and able to take on a starting role and play more minutes, he's been very productive. He's always had the confidence and work ethic to get him over the top.

Q. Did you see this prior to the playoff run?

TYRONN LUE: For sure. He plays every night. Wants to play every night. Enjoys the game. He's been big for us all season long. Him and Nic Batum, those two additions this year were big for us, along with our young guys coming through, with Terance Mann and Luke Kennard really developing, and Amir Coffey was pretty good for us, as well. That's about it.

Q. Following up on Reggie Jackson, what have you seen in recent history that may have a similar journey --

TYRONN LUE: I'm not that sharp. I can't think of any right now off the top of my head. But I'm sure it's happened.

I'm just happy for Reggie. Just staying ready. The season didn't end great for him last year. I don't think he played much in that second round. Coming back this year, we had Lou-Will and Pat Beverley was the starter. He was kind of the third guard just waiting his turn. Just to see all the work he put in, staying ready, staying positive and now playing the way he's playing, I'm very happy for him.

Q. Is it harder to scout teams without a star when you've been looking to a game plan to prepare against a guy like that? What makes it more difficult or just as difficult to play against teams when they are down?

TYRONN LUE: I think at times you come into the series, into the games, thinking about trying to take away a team's best player and how to defend them. Then when he's out, the other team kind of plays a different style of basketball. So you just really can't key in on one or two guys. That's the biggest difference for me.

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