LeBron James, Ty Lue talk about Cavs-Warriors matchup in NBA Finals

OAKLAND, Calif.– The Cleveland Cavaliers answered questions from Oracle Arena during NBA Finals Media Day on Wednesday.

The Cavs are preparing to take on the Golden State Warriors in their fourth consecutive NBA Finals. The Warriors won in 2015 and 2017, while the Cavs hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2016.

This marks the first time in the NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL that the championship will match the same teams in four straight years.

Golden State will be without Andre Iguodala for first game of the series. He suffered a left leg injury during the Western Conference Finals.

There is no word yet on Kevin Love‘s status for Game 1. He collided with Boston’s Jayson Tatum during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals and was placed in concussion protocol. He missed Game 7.

The NBA Finals schedule is as follows:

Game 1: Thursday, May 31 at 9 p.m. at Oracle Arena
Game 2: Sunday, June 3 at 8 p.m. at Oracle Arena
Game 3: Wednesday, June 6 at 9 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena
Game 4: Friday, June 8 at 9 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena
*Game 5: Monday, June 11 at 9 p.m. at Oracle Arena
*Game 6: Thursday, June 14 at 9 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena
*Game 7: Sunday, June 17 at 8 p.m. at Oracle Arena

*If necessary

More stories on the Cleveland Cavaliers here

Jen Steer May 30, 20184:11 pm

The Cavs media availability is slated to start at 4:15 p.m.

Jen Steer May 30, 20184:17 pm

Cavs head coach Ty Lue is up first.

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When asked about Vegas odds favoring the Warriors: “We see it, but we’re focused on ourselves.” Lue says they don’t need this as motivation. The only motivation they need is wanted to win an NBA Championship.

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How is this different from the past three NBA Finals? “Every season is different… We have a different team.” Lue says the main focus all year is to play their best basketball, adding defense has improved.

Jen Steer May 30, 20184:21 pm

Ty Lue says going to Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals could help the Cavs. They’ve been better when they have fewer days off instead of in past playoffs when they’ve waiting 7-9 for the next opponent. 

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Ty Lue on how he plans: “When you game plan, you try to take away what a team does best… I don’t think you can let a team do what they did best all season and beat you the same way.”

Jen Steer May 30, 20184:24 pm

Can being the underdogs motivate LeBron? Ty Lue says no. He says LeBron James lead by example by playing all 82 games this season. The biggest motivation is wanting to win a title. 

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On how to deal with the Warriors in the third quarter, Lue says: “We’ve been pretty bad in the third quarter… They really amp their defense up (in the third quarter)”

Jen Steer May 30, 20184:26 pm

Ty Lue says he didn’t see the SNL sketch making fun of the other guys on the Cavs roster. He says his team has done a good job of different guys stepping up when they are needed. He gives the examples of George Hill in the Indiana series, Kevin Love and Kyle Korver in the Toronto series.

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LeBron James is at the podium.

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What’s the last few days been like? LeBron James says he was able to relax on Memorial Day and spend time with his kids until the Warriors-Rockets game, when he watched who he was going to play. Yesterday was around-the-clock treatment. He says he woke up this morning to work out and got more treatment before the media availability. 

Jen Steer May 30, 20184:31 pm

About playing with guys who he faced in past playoffs: LeBron says he envisions how someone would fit on the team a lot of times, he talks about Kyle Korver as a sharpshooter. While he personally never thought about playing with Jeff Green, he says it was great to compete against him. Knowing about his heart surgery was a bit of a reset button to LeBron James.

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LeBron calls Kendrick Perkins a “championship guy.” He says it’s great to have him in the locker room to give the younger guys advice. 

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When asked about if it’s good for the NBA to have the same teams face each other in four straight Finals: “Gotta ask Adam Silver.”

Jen Steer May 30, 20184:35 pm

LeBron James on Andre Iguodola: “First of all, he has very, very quick hands, that doesn’t get talked about a lot… At the end of the day, his athleticism allows him to play some of the premiere players in our league. He says the Cavs were close to drafting him in 2004, but he went to the 76ers. LeBron smiles and says, “You guys like stories like that.”

Jen Steer May 30, 20184:37 pm

When asked if he’s at his prime, LeBron: “I’ve never bought into stories like that. I’ve never bought into a ceiling.” He says he’s been blessed to “be available to his teammates every single day.” He says he’s missed a few practices because when you live in Northeast Ohio with all four seasons, you will get sick. Tomorrow night will be his 101st game of the season. 

Jen Steer May 30, 20184:40 pm

LeBron: “Golden State is one of the best teams I’ve ever played, one of the best teams ever assembled… Then they add Kevin Durant… For me, as a competitor, it’s fun.” He says they four hall of famers on their team, a Finals MVP who comes off their bench. James says he’s not sure what role LeBron vs. Golden State plays in his book, which he laughs that many in the room would like to write with him one day.