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NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: ROCKETS v WARRIORS


May 26, 2015


Steve Kerr


OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Practice Day

Q.  Have you talked to Steph this morning?  Everything fine with him?  Have you heard?
STEVE KERR:  No, I don't know anything.  I assume he's okay.  He was fine after the game.

Q.¬† I know you're in the middle of a game, you can't be thinking about the protocol and everything, but how sure were you that everything was‑‑
STEVE KERR:  100 percent.  That's why our doctors are here.  That's why Bob Myers is in the locker room with him.  I was in there with him at halftime, and he was going through his testing, and I asked the doctors, and they said, well, we have to put him through the rest of these tests, so we'll let you know.  I said, great.  I planned to play without him.  I started Shaun, and then midway through the third quarter, JoHan came to me and said Steph is good to go, doctors cleared him.

Q.¬† And once again, you played him the rest of the way.¬† Was there ever a doubt in your mind that‑‑ you checked with him throughout the game?
STEVE KERR:  Yeah, I asked him a couple times if he was okay.  He said yeah.  He looked fine.  His first shot was a little off, but that also probably had something to do with him not getting a chance to warm up in the second half, before the second half.  He had to come straight out on the floor, and then he looked like himself after that one shot.

Q.  When they say a contusion, is that just a bump on the head?
STEVE KERR:  Contusion is right.  That's how it was described to me.

Q.  Had you ever something like that?
STEVE KERR:  Yeah, yeah, dive on the floor, get undercut, whatever, it happens.

Q.  What was your view of Dwight's play from what you saw?
STEVE KERR:  I mean, he elbowed him in the head, so I don't really know what the rule is.  I'm not sure anyone really knows what the rule is.  Seriously, it just seems like every case is a little different.  There doesn't seem to be a definitive answer, and there is a lot of gray area in all these plays, so I understand that.  I didn't really know what to expect.  I saw one replay on the board.  He definitely elbowed Andrew in the head, and then it's up to the league to decide, and the officials to decide what to do from that point, so they went flagrant 1, and we just kept playing.  I didn't spend any time thinking about it.

Q.  Has anyone in this organization reached out to the league?
STEVE KERR:  I don't know.  You know, that's not my job, but that would be Bob's job.  I haven't talked to Bob about it.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
STEVE KERR:  I haven't heard anything, no.

Q.  Would you want Dwight Howard suspended for the next game?
STEVE KERR:  I'm not answering that (laughing).

Q.¬† You always say you want to play the best, so you don't necessarily want one of their best players out‑‑
STEVE KERR:  Yeah, I'm not answering that.

Q.  Bogut said at least that kind of physical play is the same thing all four games, this one just happened to hit me.
STEVE KERR:¬† Very physical‑‑ yeah, Dwight is a very physical player.¬† They've got a good battle going on down there, so we've got to match that.

Q.  Andrew mentioned that Dwight is swinging like that a lot.  Have you seen that, that Dwight is kind of loosening those elbows to get some space?
STEVE KERR:  Yeah, yeah, I mean, but that's sort of part of his game.  He's a physical player.  He takes up a lot of space.  He's athletic, and he moves, and so there's always a lot of contact when you play against him, and it's not anything I'm concerned about.  You just have to adapt to that, to that style.

Q.  How special would it be to win the conference championship at home?
STEVE KERR:  It would just be special to win the conference championship.  It doesn't matter to us where we accomplish that.  We just want to get it done, and we're in a great position to do so, so we'll put together a better game tomorrow.

Q.  You mentioned they were making everything, and they were, obviously, early.  As you went back over it, as I assume you did, was it a lot of defensive breakdowns or was it mostly just Houston making shots?
STEVE KERR:  It was both for sure.  It's always both.  Josh Smith made three in the first quarter, but they also got out and ran and really got free and had better look than they did in Game 3.  It was a combination of both.

Q.¬† He had some wide‑open threes to start, a lot in transition or secondary transition.¬† Was that just people forgetting to pick him up when Draymond is sinking or was Draymond giving‑‑
STEVE KERR:  They were just more ready to play than we were.  They were faster to the ball than we were.  They were more aggressive.  They were playing with a chip, and we were not quite ready for that barrage.  They earned it and we got what we deserved.

Q.  How do you get guys to match the intensity of a desperate team?
STEVE KERR:  Apparently I don't know.

Q.  Are you possibly going to change how you approach Josh Smith now that in these Playoffs he's shooting better on threes than he has earlier in his career?
STEVE KERR:  Yeah, I mean, we don't just want to leave him alone out there.  We still want to get out to him.  But I don't think you compromise your defense to do that.  You still need help on Harden's drives, so you have to give up some things, but you can do a better job of covering up and not just leaving him totally alone.  We have to adjust a little bit, but it's not going to change our game plan.

Q.¬† Clay got going when Steph went out.¬† Is he deferring too much when Steph is‑‑ when they're on the court together?¬† Would you like to see him be more assertive?
STEVE KERR:¬† Not really.¬† I think he's taking shots when Steph is out there.¬† It just so happened he started making them when Steph left.¬† We would like to get better shots for him, and I thought Game 3 he had a lot of good looks.¬† Really it‑‑ the better we play defensively, the better shots we get in general for the whole team, and last night was tough because we kept taking the ball out of the net and kept having to play five on five in the half court.¬† Every team in the NBA is much better defensively when they can do that.
We just got to play and be aggressive and get stops and do our thing.

Q.¬† How are you able to‑‑ you talked to Doris after the first quarter‑‑
STEVE KERR:¬† They scored 45 points.¬† I actually told her before the interview, there's a rule that they're not supposed to do that interview if it's a 20‑point game, but generally it only applies to the end of the third quarter.¬† I go, does this rule apply to the first quarter?¬† She felt bad, and she's like, I'm just‑‑

Q.  You would know this.
STEVE KERR:  I know this one, yeah.  I've never seen it applied to the first quarter.

Q.  Maybe they'll change the rule and call it the Kerr rule.
STEVE KERR:  Yeah, I really want a rule named after me, the Larry Bird exception.  That would be so cool.

Q.¬† Do you have any issues, from the arena, but with the thunder and lightning‑‑
STEVE KERR:  No, we got on the bus and came straight back.

Q.  Did it keep you awake or anything like that?
STEVE KERR:  No.  I mean, I did hear it in the middle of the night a couple times, but I was able to sleep.

Q.  Were you always planning to stay over?
STEVE KERR:¬† Yeah, we came back from Memphis after Game 4, and plane was delayed, got in at 4:00 in the morning, everybody was sluggish the next day, we got off to a horrible start in Game 5.¬† Just never felt right, and we came back and won, obviously did a good job, but there's a pretty fine line, I think, between getting back late and really messing up your body over the next couple of days, and I think we're just too far‑‑ even though we're going west and you pick up a couple hours, it's one thing to get home at 2:00, but when you get home at 4:00, it's really‑‑ it affects you, so we decided after that that we're not going to do that anymore.

Q.  That's what the giants do.  They do some studies on this.  They get the sleep when they can and then you take the flight.
STEVE KERR:¬† Yeah, and we've done that actually most of the year.¬† We have a sleep specialist who we consult with for our travel, and that's one of the reasons we fly out in the morning and practice once we get to the arena.¬† Getting that exercise after the flight helps guys sleep that night, that kind of thing.¬† But it's always a little bit of a balance.¬† If you can get home and get into bed by 2:00, it's a huge advantage.¬† Guys are psychologically happier.¬† They want to be home with their families.¬† And if you get to bed by 2:00 and sleep until 10:00, then you're‑‑ generally speaking after a game at home, you don't get to bed until 2:00 anyway because you're jacked up and wired.¬† But it's just too far coming from Memphis or Houston, and if there's one delay with the plane, now you're on the runway and you're not going to sleep until it's light out.¬† It's not healthy.

Q.  For someone in your position with Steph, do you go about it like are you good to go, yep, or is it a lot more?
STEVE KERR:  I asked him a couple times if he was okay, and he said yeah.  It's more with the training side and the doctors.  They're the ones who are paid to do this, so as long as Steph says he's good to go and the doctors told me he's cleared, then I'm going to listen to that.  They're the ones who are paid to do that, not me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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