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NBA FINALS: CAVALIERS v WARRIORS


June 6, 2015


Stephen Curry


OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Practice Day

Q.テつ Steph, as the league MVP and you're in a lot more commercials now and promoted by the league and things of that nature, has that given you any greater appreciation for LeBron James?テつ He's kind of been doing that for the last decade plus, and I wonder if you've ever thought about that?テつ It's kind of you have the responsibilities now as well?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ I haven't really thought about it in that way.テつ Obviously, ever since he was a rookie, and even way before in high school, he was kind of where they have a bunch of tag lines around him, he was obviously holding a big responsibility and huge expectations on his shoulders.テつ He's obviously lived up to them.テつ But the fanfare and kind of the on and off the court circus that's probably surrounding him day‑in and day‑out, it's probably the way he handles it, I'm pretty impressed.
It's been a crazy year for me, and I haven't had time to really let it all sink in because obviously we're still playing and I have a huge goal in mind.テつ But it has been a lot to deal with.テつ You kind of learn on the go and how you're going to handle it and be comfortable.テつ But he's had a lot of experience with it under his belt, so I'm just getting started.

Q. テつWith Shaun Livingston as a back‑up for you this year, what's that been like for you and how does he make your job a little easier at all?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ He's such a unique player the way he can impact games.テつ He allows me and Klay to play off the ball.テつ He takes obviously the ball handling responsibilities.テつ We can run plays through him through the post.テつ Lot of point guards aren't used to guarding guys of his size on the post on the block, so he can definitely make plays down there and we can work around him.テつ He obviously has great court vision, so the ball starts to hop and starts to move.テつ He can even‑‑ when he grabs rebounds and push in transition, when you have shooters that are able to run around him and he can be a slasher and a play maker, we're tough to stop.
So I know Coach loves to put that lineup out there in certain spots of the game to kind of open up the tempo and get us to push the ball.テつ I think we present a lot of problems with that lineup.

Q.テつ With Kyrie out, when you look at LeBron, as good as he is in so many different ways, do you have to be even more concerned and aware of him as a facilitator and the ball in his hands that much more?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ Yeah, he had the ball in his hands a lot in Game 1, even with Kyrie out there.テつ But he obviously made plays.テつ I've seen games obviously in the Eastern Conference Finals and even the semis where he had 30, 13 assists, and he's able to impact the game both ways.
We don't want to let him do that.テつ So we have to stay disciplined on the other guys around him knowing that they're talented, knowing that they can make plays, make shots, and we have to be as focused on them as we are on LeBron.テつ But they play a different way without Kyrie.テつ We've seen some footage of that in the last series that they played against Atlanta.テつ So we've just got to be ready and stay locked in and focused on guarding everybody on the floor and sticking to our game plan.

Q.テつ Given how you grew up, who your dad is, did you feel you had any special insight into the direction the three‑point shot was going as a young kid, and how did that impact you?テつ Did you, I guess, envision how much of a factor the three‑point shot would play later in your career when you were younger?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ I just love to shoot them because my dad shot them.テつ I mean, growing up, me and my brother would go in the gyms and practice shots that he shot just because it was our dad.テつ When I got into high school and even in college, as a shorter guy with not a lot of crazy speed or whatever, that was going to be a huge asset for me to use to be impactful in whatever level I was playing, because I felt like I could shoot at a pretty high level.テつ It was just a matter of how I was going to get those shots and try to shoot as consistent as possible.
But I didn't really think kind of long‑term about how dominant the three‑point shot would be.テつ Even now, especially in the league and how teams are kind of building around that part of the offense.テつ I just think I benefited from that was just how I viewed basketball growing up through my dad's eyes, and it was something that I did well growing up so I wanted to keep it going.

Q.テつ How quickly did you realize once you got to the NBA how important the three was going to be?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ Well, I played off the ball a good amount early in my career with, obviously, with other guards around me.テつ So if I could step into a shot, knock it down, and we could open up the game.テつ Even just thinking about how, like I said, lineups the teams are throwing out there, a lot of stretch forwards that could shoot the three, and if you were able to have two or three shooters out there, it opens up so much of the floor.テつ That was pretty evident early in my career, and we built a team kind of around that, so it's worked.

Q.テつ Also with Kyrie being out, at this point we assume that you'll see a lot of Matthew Dellavedova.テつ Fair or not, there is a perception of who he is or how he plays.テつ I'm curious if that perception gives you pause at all, or if you've studied him on film over the last 24 hours to watch what kind of player he is?テつ And I'm curious your thoughts on that subject?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ No, all that talk that's happened before this series doesn't really bother me or worry me at all.テつ I'll adjust as we go.テつ I'm going to play the same way.テつ I play aggressive.テつ We're going to run the same offense.テつ And no matter who is guarding me, nothing about the way I play changes.テつ But you assess how things are going as the series goes on from here on out and I won't really worry about the talk that happened before.

Q.テつ There is sort of a conventional wisdom that when teams get in the playoffs coaches will sometimes shorten their bench.テつ How important has it been for you guys that Steve really hasn't done that much?テつ Starters are playing a few extra minutes, but you're still getting those ten guys in the game?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ It's huge because we can stay fresh throughout the course of games and throughout the course of series.テつ You throw ten guys out there who are playing significant minutes and having a huge role in what we're doing, it not only keeps guys fresh, but it boosts everybody's confidence because you know no matter what lineup you're in on the floor you have an opportunity to impact the game.テつ I think it just keeps everybody alert.テつ Keeps everybody inspired to play.テつ It's how we've played all year, so you want to keep a good thing going.

Q.テつ What was your initial reaction when you heard yesterday that Kyrie was out for the series?テつ What do you mean they play a different way without him?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ Well, you obviously hate to hear anybody go through an injury like that, especially when surgery is required and out for that amount of time, especially this time of the year.テつ This is The Finals.テつ This is a special time.テつ You want guys to be healthy and be able to experience it.
It's just a tough situation.テつ Your heart goes out to him, and hopefully he comes back stronger than he was before.テつ He has a long career ahead of him, so you want to focus on that.
But for us, we understand that the challenge is still going to be tough to close this series out and get a championship.
They play‑‑ like you said, LeBron's going to look to probably move the ball more and get everybody some better looks.テつ Dellavedova has a different game than Kyrie, so when he's involved in one‑three pick‑and‑rolls or he's involved in their action, you have to know his strengths.テつ When he's driving, being able to stay disciplined, and also be able to stay tight on him because he's obviously a knockdown shooter.
So if you got him easy looks worrying about LeBron and sending extra help when you don't really need to, he can definitely kill you, and that's what he's shown in the last couple series.

Q.テつ Today you looked a little bit frustrated at shootaround.テつ Is there something that was just a little off, or is the extra day of practice kind of just different for you?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ No, I was playing a shooting game with myself and I kept losing.テつ So I had to keep starting over.テつ I'm pretty competitive, so the drill that I was doing, I do it every shootaround or after every practice, pretty much.テつ It usually doesn't take me that long to finish it.テつ So I was just a little frustrated trying to get through it.

Q.テつ Draymond has been a vocal leader for you guys, not just this year but for a while.テつ For a second‑round draft pick to come into a team like this and become sort of the heartbeat, I mean, can you talk about how that evolved and what his vocal leadership is like in those huddles?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ I think for him, coming from where he's coming from, playing four years at Michigan State, having such a winning pedigree behind him, you know, that's who he is.テつ He came in as a rookie challenging guys.テつ Like you said, vocal.テつ He's definitely the most vocal in practice, in games.テつ He's so confident in his abilities to go out there and impact games.
He's taken the opportunity that's been given to him this year, especially with the increased role, and just taken it and run with it.テつ I think his preparation, when it comes to his focus and his engagement every single day, whether it's about his game or other guys around him, pushing him or pushing each other, he leads that charge.
I don't think you get caught up in the second‑round pick or that he wasn't supposed to be here or anything because he's such a great college player and a winner.テつ He's brought that mentality to our team, and he's been a huge catalyst for us getting here.

Q.テつ At the beginning of the series you guys were favorites to win it all.テつ Now that Kyrie is out, everybody's talking about you guys closing the series faster than previously anticipated.テつ Do you feel that kind of pressure; that you have to close this series as soon as possible?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ No.テつ I mean, the mood in our locker room has been the same.テつ It feels the same today as it did yesterday and before Game 1.テつ We know that being in The Finals is a huge accomplishment, but we've got to leave it all out there to get four more wins, and it's going to be tough regardless of who is out there on Cleveland's roster.テつ They're a great team, and that's why they're here.
There is no pressure or added pressure, I don't think, because our goal stays the same.テつ We're not really listening to any outside noise or predictions or who is favored to do what because we control what we control.テつ When we go out there and play, we've got to play better than we did in Game 1.テつ And that is really our only focus is to come out, win Game 2, and go from there.

Q.テつ On a different note, it came out that you and LeBron were born in the same hospital, 39 months apart.テつ Got any reaction to that?
STEPHEN CURRY:テつ I mean, it's a pretty crazy coincidence.テつ My pops was playing in Cleveland, and my mom chose Akron General where I was going to be born.テつ And obviously LeBron four years earlier was already there.テつ So we were joking there is probably some more talent coming out of that hospital right now.テつ The scouts should be lining up to maybe send their first recruit letters out.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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