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NBA FINALS: CAVALIERS v WARRIORS


June 9, 2015


Steve Kerr


CLEVELAND, OHIO: Game Three

Q.  You guys are playing well defensively, but you're not actually getting out and running after a lot of those missed shots.  Is that something that you you're focusing on to do a little bit better, to get more easier shots to get your offense running when you're not shooting well?
COACH KERR:  Yeah, we need better pace, better flow for sure.  There are various ways to do that.  Some of it is just running, but most of it stems from defense, when you can defend and rebound and you can get out and run and get into a flow.  The rebounding in Game 2 hurt us quite a bit.  It slowed us down.

Q.  Is everything okay with Klay?  We heard that he got off the bus today with a wrapped knee and that he had a little bit of a limp.  Is everything all right there?
COACH KERR:  As far as I know everything's fine.

Q.  I respect you don't want to divulge your strategy about LeBron.  But I'm curious in your coaching meetings how many different types of strategies do you consider?  Like what is the number of different ways you can try to defend that guy?  And what percentage of your coaching meetings are spent discussing that?
COACH KERR:  We do spend a good amount of time on him.

Q.  What percent?
COACH KERR:  Shockingly enough (laughing).

Q.¬† What percent?¬† Half, three‑quarters?
COACH KERR:  I don't know how to quantify that, but we go over a lot of different things.  When you get to the playoffs, you have a lot more time to prepare.  You've got days in between, and you're playing the team over and over again, so you can adapt and adjust as you go, and you learn more, I think, about teams every day.  I think that's one of the things we experienced the first three rounds.
We felt like we adapted pretty well to our opponents, and we have to do the same thing here.  But obviously LeBron is LeBron, and he poses a lot of problems.

Q.¬† So how many options are there?¬† Number‑wise, three, four, five, six, seven?
COACH KERR:¬† On what play?¬† I mean, it's a hard question to answer because there's post‑ups, there's pick‑and‑rolls, there's isolations, there's a lot of different sequences.¬† There's transition.¬† So you're talking about a number of things that we have to go over.¬† So I can't put a number on it.

Q.  How does a guy like Curry who is struggling shooting get past a tough night like he did?  And is there anything as a coach you can help maybe get into some good shots earlier?
COACH KERR:  Well, yeah, we can try to run something to get him a good shot.  But generally speaking, a guy like Steph who is the MVP of the NBA, he's going to be okay (smiling).  This isn't the first time he's had a bad shooting night.
So Steph is incredibly grounded, confident, so he'll come out and he'll play and he'll be fine.

Q.  You've said you don't love the hacking strategy a couple series ago.  You've done it now.  You did it a lot last game.  Are you comfortable with that?  Is that something you've accepted that you just might do time and again?
COACH KERR:  Every once in a while.  We haven't done it much this year.  We did a little bit against Houston.  Actually, we did it more against Houston.  We just did it twice the other night.  It's part of the rules.  Obviously, I don't like the rule.  Every other level of basketball, it's an intentional foul away from the ball.  You get a free throw, you take the ball out of bounds, whether it's international or collegiate.
To me, it's a dumb rule.  It takes away from the flow of the game.  Everything that the league has done over the last ten years, which has been fantastic in terms of increasing pace and keeping the game going, that rule sort of is counterintuitive to the league's goal in the last ten years, as is instant replay.
So it's interesting.¬† We've created a lot of rule changes to help speed up the game, but then we've added instant replay, and we've got the hack‑a‑whatever, and so it's kind of back and forth.
But as a general rule, I like the game to continue and for guys to play and the whole thing to keep rolling.  I hate all these pauses.

Q.  When you compare Bogut versus Mozgov, Mozgov's had a better last two games, offensively at least.  Is there a plan to get Bogut going offensively in this game or what is the plan for Bogut?
COACH KERR:  I'm not going to tell you our plan.  I know this is a press conference, but, I mean, we have a plan.

Q.  Are you worried that Mozgov has played better offensively versus Bogut?
COACH KERR:  Mozgov is more offensive minded as a scorer.  Bogut's a terrific passer, and he can score on the low block.  Score offensive rebounds.  Bogut's going to be good.  He's been great for us all year, and he's going to play well.

Q.¬† LeBron's taken three times as many mid‑range shots as shots at the rim.¬† Are you happy with that formula?¬† I know you'd like to be up 2‑0, but do you feel satisfied with the process rather than the results?
COACH KERR:¬† Our analytics department is thrilled, so we've got that going for us (smiling).¬† Yeah, I mean, we could be up 2‑0, we could be down 2‑0.¬† Two games that go down to the wire in overtime, a lot of things happen in those games.¬† What ifs, this, that, the other.
But, obviously, we have to build our defensive game plan around LeBron because the ball's in his hands pretty much every possession, and we have to choose what we're going to do, and it's not necessarily going to be the same all the time.  We have to try to mix it up.
But I think any good defense is going to try to keep people from getting right to the rim.  So that's kind of the plan, however we can do that.

Q.  This is admittedly subjective, but is LeBron the best athlete that you see right now going?
COACH KERR:  Can you find another one?  Maybe American Pharoah?  (Laughing).  No, I think I said when I was a broadcaster with TNT, I think I might have made the comment that he's arguably the best athlete that any of us have ever seen in terms of size and speed and strength.  I mean, he's a force.  We know that.
There are other guys who you can compare in the game over the years.  Scotty and Michael come to mind.  But, yeah, I mean, LeBron is so unique because of that powerful force and how smart he is.  Just the impact he makes with his physicality on the game.

Q.  Did anything that Coach Blatt did in the last game surprise you?  And if yes, what kind of surprises can you anticipate for Game 3?
COACH KERR:  I don't think that there was anything that surprised us.  We have so much time to analyze everything and we know their team well just like they know ours well.  I thought they did a great job in Game 2.  He coached a good game, and they beat us.  They deserved to win.  So we've got to just turn the tables on that and play better ourselves.
But I don't think we're dealing with a whole lot of surprises.

Q.  Coach, this is the first road NBA Finals game for all the players in your locker room.  But you've dealt with that, and other members of the coaching staff have.  Is there anything different about a road Finals game rather than a Conference Finals game early in the playoffs?
COACH KERR:  Like 75 more people in this room than there would be otherwise.  Honestly, that's the biggest difference is the media throng, before the game, at shootaround, pre, postgame, all that stuff.  Everything else is pretty similar.
Obviously there's a lot at stake and everybody's amped up and excited and nervous and all that stuff.  But the biggest difference is just the media.

Q.  Are you more of a reactive coach, wait to see what the other team does with substitutions, or do you like to be proactive and make the other team react to you?
COACH KERR:  I would say both.  We have a pretty versatile team.  We can play with a big lineup or a small lineup.  We've done both this year where we've tried to initiate a response from teams or we've done the opposite where we had to respond.
I think every game is a little different.  You have to get a feel for what's happening.  You get a feel for combinations that are doing well.
Generally speaking, when you find a group that is clicking, you stay with them, regardless of what the other team does.  But sometimes you're more likely to make a move and be proactive when things aren't going so well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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