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May 5, 2015

Mike Conley, Jr.

Marc Gasol


Grizzlies – 97
Warriors - 90

Q.  Mike, you went down off what looked like you might have had some cramping there late in the game.  How are you feeling generally overall physically after this game? 
MIKE CONLEY:  Little tired, I'm not going to lie.  But the cramping at the end of the game was just the fact that I haven't played and probably didn't drink enough water over the last week.  But outside of that, I felt good.

Q.  Marc, last game you said after the game it wasn't a physical game at all.  How about tonight?  Is this the type of physicality you guys are used to? 
MARC GASOL:  This is the kind we're going to need moving forward, setting screens.  That type of active difference.  The moving, the helping, the second and third, and even fourth effort, that type of energy we're going to need if we want to beat this team.

Q.  Mike, did you expect this kind of performance being off and having surgery just a week ago?  And Marc, did you expect Mike to do anything like he did here tonight? 
MIKE CONLEY:  You know, like I said earlier, I didn't expect to come out and score the ball or score 22 points or anything like that.  I just wanted to come out and do what I do for the team.  Run the team, take advantage of what I see.  I was aggressive early, and I had some good looks, and that really did me well for my confidence.  I thought of that, and I just wanted to come in here and run the team and try to win the game.

Q.  Marc? 
MARC GASOL:  I think he did a great job.  He just let the game come.  He took whatever the defense was giving him.  Of course you want to see the ball go in a couple of times and your confidence builds up, and he did a great job.  Honestly, outstanding.  He says he got free looks out of one eye.

Q.  Now that Mike's actually played in a game, how glad are you to have this will he or won't he play business over with? 
MIKE CONLEY:  I'm happy to stop ducking the media.  It's no secret now.  I can just walk around and tell everybody I'm playing, so it makes it easy on everybody.

Q.  Is there any physical pain before the game started if only because the mask is laying on the cheek?  How much worse did it feel when you got knocked by Draymond on the ground? 
MIKE CONLEY:  There wasn't any pain before.  I got hit a few times in the game, and in those times, obviously, I was expecting it to be sore and throb a little bit.  But it only lasted for a few minutes and then I kept playing.

Q.  Was that a clean play that Draymond made going for the ball, or did you feel like it was over the line? 
MIKE CONLEY:  I wasn't able to see.  I was on the ground calling timeout, so I'll have to look at that.

Q.  Mike, how long has TA been calling you One‑Eyed Charlie? 
MIKE CONLEY:  My first time hearing it was in the locker room after the game.  So I don't know anything about that.

Q.  You talked before the Portland series when your foot was injured about how badly you wanted to play in the playoffs.  You said you couldn't see yourself missing a playoff game.  And we know what you've been through the last eight days.  What is it that drives you to get into these situations?  Obviously the high leverage stuff has helped you push past that injury? 
MIKE CONLEY:  For us as professional athletes this is what we look forward to.  To play at the highest level against the best teams and the best players, and that's what we have an opportunity right now here playing against Golden State, the best team in the league, MVP, All‑Stars across the board.  You want that competition, take that challenge.  I hated that I had to miss game one, but I think I made the right decision, and I was able to do all right tonight.

Q.  Marc, you've played with Mike for a long time and know what he goes through.  Could you address his toughness a little bit? 
MARC GASOL:  I'm just happy for him that he's able to play.  Because the mental part that you've got to push through and nobody but yourself can do it.  So I'm happy that Mike is able to not only push through that but to succeed and help your team win, that makes everything worth it.  Of course I'm very happy to have him out there.  That's easy to say because how much he means to the team, how much he means to me, and he gives us toughness, and he gives us a lot of things that nobody else can do like he can.

Q.  Marc, Steve Kerr was saying after the game that his team played scattered, played pretty frantic.  How much of that was the way you guys applied the pressure and really brought it at them? 
MARC GASOL:  I thought we did an amazing job of putting pressure on the ball.  That gives them only one way to go, and that makes my job a lot easier guessing which way Steph and Klay are going to go that high on the ball.  After that, it's just effort.  You're out there, you help, somebody will help you, then when the shot goes up, you have to try to position and get the rebound. 
So you go into scramble mode, but it's a team effort.  You need five guys to be working together, to be tied together.  I thought, like I said, it started with them.  They're the guys that are on the front, we're on the back.  We have to help them and let them know where the pick is coming from, and after that, it's just communication, trust, and effort.

Q.  Mike, can you say specifically how difficult it was to play with the mask?  And the last game you talked about your peripheral vision.  Can you tell us what is the status of that now? 
MIKE CONLEY:  I've had a few days with the mask, so I think having played in it in practice a couple times really helped me develop some type of comfort with it.  Tonight I didn't think about it too much.  I just played the game.  My eyesight was pretty good.  I didn't have too many times where I felt like my vision was impaired by looking too fast or the mask getting in the way.  So luckily I didn't have any of those opportunities.

Q.  Is it extremely hot? 
MIKE CONLEY:  It gets hot.  I have to take it off a couple times and let the sweat come down and let the steam out a little bit.

Q.  How tough was it to sit on the bench on game one and watch these guys drop that game?  For you mentally, what was Monday like?  Then tonight, you know, Tony Allen's on the bench telling you that he's proud of you.  Could you feel what this meant to your teammates for you to do what you did? 
MIKE CONLEY:  Yeah, it was tough to watch.  Anytime you're in a situation you're in, high‑stakes game, you want to be out there.  I saw how much my presence was missing.  You know, Monday was tough because I'm getting all these people telling me they want me to play, they want me to play.  My parents are like, no, you need to sit, make sure you're healthy.  And I've got all these people pulling me left and right and I don't know what to do.  So I'm just going to sacrifice and do what I've got to do for the team regardless if I score 20 or had 0.  Tonight I think my presence is being out there with the guys has just helped everybody mentally knowing that I'm going to push through and fight for them, so they pick me up as well.

Q.  Marc, a little about how physical you and Zach had to be down in the post, and how you guys had to keep that going through this series? 
MARC GASOL:  Well, defensive foul kind of threw me off a little bit.  That kind of, you have to readjust when you get a call for a couple of the fouls.  Then I never got in a rhythm in the second half, but it didn't matter to me because I wanted to help my team dictate the offense through me especially at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth. 
But I couldn't get a good read.  I couldn't get a good rhythm with the ball.  Give them credit, too, they did a good job.  But like I said, we play defense the way we play our offense is going to come because it just builds up.  We have to move the ball and do a better job.  I thought we got a little too static in the second half.  But we've got to catch the ball in closer places.  They do a good job of pushing you out on the floor, so you've got to work for it.  But we won, so I'm happy.

Q.  Mike, just to clarify, your mom and dad‑‑ you had to say no to mom and dad and play over their objection?  And last thing, on that last three pointer that you made using Zach, what did you see on that play to both of those things? 
MIKE CONLEY:  Yes, I had to tell my mom and dad, no, I'm playing regardless.  But I think they're happy at the end of the day.  They support me.  That last three, I saw it a couple other times in the game, running that same set, that I would have some space there, and Zach set a great screen, gave me some space, and I just you visualize making it, and I was able to knock it down. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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