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June 6, 2015

J.R. Smith


Q.  J.R., you guys were underdogs coming into this thing, now you lose Kyrie Irving, and now nobody's really given you a chance.  What is the mindset of this team?  How do you get through the rest of the series?
J.R. SMITH:  Oh, unfortunately we've been in this situation last series with Kyrie going down.  Of course, no disrespect to our aux guards, but they're not the same guards, obviously, as Steph and Klay.  So we've just got to be ready.  You know, next man up is probably Delly, and hopefully he's ready for that test.

Q.  What did LeBron say to you guys after you learned the news that Kyrie would not be returning?
J.R. SMITH:  He hasn't said anything yet.  I think he's still trying to digest it himself.  So we're still waiting there.

Q.  J.R., do you use it as motivation, the fact that the media doesn't seem to count you anymore as real contenders now that Kyrie is out?
J.R. SMITH:  I mean, I don't know.  I'm too old to need to use somebody else for motivation(indiscernible) that means I have no drive.  My drive is to win no matter if we're the favorites or not.  And we're not.  So I'm trying to win anyway.

Q.  What can you do to increase shooting and look for more opportunities?
J.R. SMITH:  My shot was flat last game.  Just need to strike the three.  It was very short and been more on the back burner in the second half.
So I've just got to shoot it higher, shoot a more arc.  And just be ready.  I've got a lot of opportunities coming up with Kyrie being out, so I need to be ready to make a play.

Q.  Is there any motivation (indiscernible)?
J.R. SMITH:  I don't think so.  Not for me, anyway.  We just look at it as who is supposed to win.  They look at it as underdogs, but we look at it as we're supposed to win.

Q.  Every situation is different, but you played with (indiscernible) in the past, and regardless (indiscernible).  And now it's a similar situation.  What did you learn from that previous experience?
J.R. SMITH:  I learned not to get too high on the wins and not to get too low on the losses.  So try to keep an even keel and go from there.  The thing about this game is fortunately there is always another game.  In this series we've got to make sure we win our last game and we'll be fine.

Q.  How much do you take from the last series with Kyrie and the couple injuries against Atlanta?  How to does that help you prepare for Golden State without Kyrie, or does it?
J.R. SMITH:  I think it does and it doesn't.  For one, the total difference in Atlanta was (indiscernible).  And it gives our guards confidence to come in and play well.
At the same time we have to give respect to this team.  They're two totally different point guards when Stephen's in there.  So it will be a tough task, and that's why (indiscernible).

Q.  What are they doing defensively to stifle you?
J.R. SMITH:  They're really staying home.  They came out and said they want LeBron to get his numbers and try to shut down everybody else.  So we've just got to be more active.  We can't be stagnant or especially myself just spotting up.  Got to start cutting more and give ourselves more opportunities at the basket and not just settle for jump shots.

Q.  What do you guys have to do as a unit to be better in Game 2?
J.R. SMITH:  I think we have to move the ball more, me included.  Give everybody a more rounded opportunity to make plays.  Because once you lock in on myself and LeBron and Kyrie and whoever the offensive player is, you become limited.
That's not the type of team we are.  We have guys that can do a lot of different things, so we have to make sure they excel at those things at the right time.

Q.  How pivotal is Game 2?  Are you in a position where you can tie up the series?
J.R. SMITH:  It would be huge.  We want to go back to Cleveland 1‑1, feeling good coming back to our home court.  So it's huge for the series.  We understand in The Finals every game is a must win, so tomorrow's going to be a must win just like Tuesday was.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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