Friday, December 26, 2008

Staying focused while on the bench

Thanks to coach Kyle Brown at SNC for passing along a good story about MIL guard Tyronn Lue.

Now in his 11th NBA season, Ty Lue has been with three teams over the last three seasons, starting three games during that span.

Now with MIL, Lue comes off the bench for coach Scott Skiles, who relies on the 6-foot guard to produce despite sporadic minutes.

As an example, take this five-game road swing that MIL just wrapped up:

Against the Lakers (for whom Lue played his first three seasons in the league), Lue played 21 minutes. Two nights later at PHX, Lue played two minutes. The next game, against the Warriors, he logged 14 minutes.

Then against MIA, he played just one minute. Against the NYK in the final game of the Bucks' five-game road trip game, he saw 20 minutes of action.

Lue is able to do something that many players can't: Get into the flow quickly.

"It's very difficult because you can't get in a rhythm," he said. "If you know you come in at the 2-minute mark of the first quarter, you can get your body and mind right and be mentally prepared. Just get in a rhythm throughout the course of the season, when you know when you're going to go in and know when you're going to play. It's difficult, but I've been able to produce so far in playing that role.

I just stay focused on the bench, watching the flow of the game and seeing what the team needs so if I get a chance to play I know exactly what I need to bring for the team to be successful. So I just try to tune in and stay focused and stay watching the game. I just stay ready."

I'm never discouraged. I know how to play the game and I never lose confidence. I try to play the same way all the time."