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May 3, 2015

Steve Kerr


Warriors – 101
Grizzlies - 86

Q.  You said we could have two stories pre‑written.  Was this a nice fresh and bouncy look to your team?
STEVE KERR:  It was right in the middle so you've got to write a third story, rust and rest and all that stuff in between.
I loved the effort.  We were sloppy with the ball.  That was the one thing that really bothered me.  This is an excellent defensive team we're playing against.  Memphis has been one of the best teams defensively for the last several years, and you just can't make careless plays, and I thought we made too many of those, especially early, nine turnovers in the first half.  We had a chance to really break things open, but all in all, really pleased, good effort.  Played a lot of people.  Our bench really came through for us tonight, and it does feel like a series where we're going to play people more minutes than we did in the last series against New Orleans.

Q.  Can you speak a little bit to Draymond's effort?  You said that the rest would have served him particularly well, and he seemed to really start out kind of like he was shot out of a cannon.  He was hitting threes and doing a lot.  Could you speak about him?
STEVE KERR:  Well, Draymond is a jack‑of‑all‑trades for us, and when he makes threes we become more difficult to guard because we can stretch the floor out a little bit.  So I thought his offense was good tonight.  We didn't play him as much as we normally do because of the foul trouble.  It was tricky.  We got in foul trouble with Boges and Draymond, and I had guys at the scorer's table ready to check in twice in the game in order to avoid the third and fourth fouls, and both times the guys picked up fouls while we were at the scorer's table.  Maybe I should have burned a time‑out.  I like to hang on to my timeouts, but we're going to have to monitor that a little bit and try to keep Boges and Draymond away from foul trouble and keep playing Festus and Mo and David and mixing up the looks on their big guys.

Q.  In the second round do you feel that the team maybe has hit a new gear of comfort, maybe even execution than in the first round?
STEVE KERR:  Well, we executed a lot better in Game 4 of the New Orleans series than we did tonight.  I always feel like when you get to the second round, there's a sense of, okay, we've got one under our belt, and the first round is always a little tricky.  It feels like opening night, feels like the NCAA Tournament.  You know, you just kind of want to survive and advance and everybody is a little nervous, and then you move on and you kind of settle in a little bit.
So I think that will happen for us.  Tonight was a little tricky just because of all the time off, but I thought all in all, the effort and the intensity was right where we needed it.

Q.  You had a particularly good performance from Harrison Barnes tonight.  He was really efficient.  And then also when you guys got into foul trouble, Ezeli came in and gave good minutes.  How fortunate is it that those guys had those type of minutes tonight and how much will you be needing that in this particular series?
STEVE KERR:  Well, we need everybody to play well.  We're not going to get the whole group playing at a high level individually every single night, but if they're all competing, we'll find enough guys to play well.  I thought Harrison was terrific.  I thought about bringing him back in down the stretch, but we had a big lead, and we needed defense, and I liked Andre out there defensively, kind of playing center field.  So I stayed with Andre.
But Harrison was terrific.  Festus is a good match‑up for him to play against Memphis because it's kind of what he does.  He guards the rim, guards big guys, and to be able to put a big, athletic center on to Zach and Marc gives them a little different look.  It's a luxury.

Q.  After Game 3 in New Orleans, you kind of got down on your guys just a little bit because they were maybe a tiny bit too happy.  Is that something you're going to monitor now?
STEVE KERR:  Well, I want them happy (laughing).  I always want my guys happy.  I was not down on them at all for being happy, I was down on them for sort of playing out of character for much of that game, and of course we made that huge comeback, and it was sort of miraculous, really.
But Game 4 against New Orleans was our best game of that series, and that was the execution that we're after.  I thought tonight we were good at times, but we're going to have to be more solid in the rest of the series.

Q.  Memphis shot 51 percent in the first half, scored 52 points.  Were you okay with your defense or did you think there were some things that you didn't like in that first half?
STEVE KERR:  No, there were a lot of things we didn't like.  We got lost on cutters several times.  We actually got very fortunate.  They missed some lay‑ups where we lost cutters going back‑door, and this is an excellent passing team between Zach and Marc.  They throw the ball to their bigs, and those guys cut like crazy.  They're a little bit like we do with Boges and Draymond.  So you've got to stay connected, and I thought we lost that connection in the first half a little bit, and then we were much better in the second half defensively.

Q.  This felt like one of Harrison's best games of the season.  How would you explain his impact on a game like this to a fan?
STEVE KERR:  Well, what Harrison does for us is he gives us versatility defensively, so I can play him at the 3, I can play him at the 4.  He guards point guards off of switches.  He's a little bit like Draymond and Andre in that regard, and Klay.  He's a strong, athletic guy with an understanding of being able to guard several different positions.  I thought what he did tonight was he gave us good minutes at the 4 in the first half.  Second half he had several key offensive rebound type plays, loose balls where he chased down extra possessions for us, and obviously he made his shots, as well.

Q.  Is there any extra confidence value either for you or for your team that when your two starting bigs get in foul trouble that they're not able to exploit that enough to really get back in the game?
STEVE KERR:  Yeah, that was probably the biggest stretch of the game was when Draymond and Andrew both got their fourth.  We had David come in for a few minutes, gave us some good run.  He was active.  He chased down a couple loose balls and rebounds, and his activity against Gasol was good, and then Festus, as well.
But that's the luxury we have with our team.  We have a lot of depth, and in this series in particular, we're probably going to have to use it because those guys draw a lot of fouls down there.

Q.  Both Steph and Klay ended up with their share of three‑pointers, but early on was that an overplay by Memphis or were you looking for other things?
STEVE KERR:  What in particular, just them making threes?

Q.  Yeah, was Memphis‑‑ did you think Memphis was taking away the three or were you looking for other things?
STEVE KERR:  Well, they did a lot of things tonight.  They switched Tony Allen around onto Steph and onto Klay, and obviously Tony is a really good defender and he can harass people out there.  I thought in the first half we were able to get out in transition off long rebounds and some turnovers that we forced, so some of our threes were just out of scattered possessions where we got loose and we got free.  That's kind of what we do.  When we can get a stop or maybe force a turnover and maybe get out and run, that's where Steph is really almost impossible to corral, and then if we just move the ball, we'll find a shooter, and Andre made a three and Klay got a couple of them, Draymond obviously, so that was probably the best thing we did offensively tonight was just get into the open floor and move the ball a little bit.

Q.  What is it about Harrison that lets him hold his own defensively when he has to guard big power forwards like I can't due when there was foul trouble?
STEVE KERR:  He's strong.  He is strong.  Probably deceptively so.  But sometimes Harrison will play one‑on‑one with Luke Walton in practice, and Luke is an absolute horse.  I mean, the guy is a rock, and Harrison will go one‑on‑one with Luke and force him off the block, and you don't really realize just how strong he is.  But we've used him a lot at the 4 position.  We don't want to give Memphis a steady diet of him on Zach, but he's certainly capable of guarding him for stretches.

Q.  With their guard play, a big advantage not seeing Conley?
STEVE KERR:  Yeah.  He's a great player.

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