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May 17, 2016

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Is it good emotion to sense these guys having fun?
STEVE KERR: I would prefer to go 16-0 and win the championship with 30-point games every time. The reality is that this is what it's about. I was part of five championship teams as a player, and it was never easy. Every team that I was on that won a title lost at least a home game during the playoffs. So it happens. There's a reason we pour champagne on each other when we win. It's hard, it's a grind, and this is a great reminder of that.

Q. What was the film session like today?
STEVE KERR: We had a good film session. We looked at a lot of things, good and bad. We made a fair share of mistakes that we can clean up. I thought they played awfully well in the second half. They deserve a lot of credit. We know the areas where we can improve and where we're going to have to improve.

Q. You turned them over a lot in the first half and then they totally cut that in the second half. How much of that was them and how much of that was you?
STEVE KERR: It was a combination. We lost our activity level behind the ball. Obviously, Westbrook changed the game. He had such a good second half and he made a couple long threes that really turned the tide, but that's going to happen. Our activity level defensively has to be maintained if we're going to force turnovers.

Q. You talked about how everything can change with combinations. Is it tougher to play your so called small lineup against a team like this?
STEVE KERR: Well, we played it a lot last night. I think we're perfectly capable of playing that lineup, but we have to be aware of time, score and possible fatigue and maybe pick our spots a little bit more.

But we had some really good surges there and then we had some moments where we didn't do as well. So, you know, we'll have some answers tomorrow and we're going to look at the tape again as a staff and think more about combinations and that kind of stuff. But nothing out of the ordinary.

Q. Some of the things you did, you kind of laid off of Roberson, you went small specifically when Kanter was in. Did you like that kind of stuff? Do you think those ideas worked generally?
STEVE KERR: I think generally we did a lot of things that were fine. I just didn't think we ever really executed well to the point where we looked like ourselves. We had individual possessions that looked good, but we didn't really ever get to a stretch where we had four, five, six possessions in a row where the ball's moving and we were playing our style.

This is obviously a really good defensive team we're playing against. They've got length and athleticism, and in a lot of cases they force you into kind of iso ball. I thought they did that to San Antonio quite a bit in the last series. So, again, they deserve credit, but we've got to be able to counter that and play more our style.

Q. (No Microphone).
STEVE KERR: It's just awareness. It's defensive awareness. There is a big difference between playing off of a guy and ignoring a guy. You can't ignore anybody. Everybody in this league is a great basketball player. I thought we lost Roberson a couple of times blatantly that were unnecessary.

Q. Where's Steph's conditioning level right now relative to where he was during the season?
STEVE KERR: I don't know. That's a good question. We played him, I think, 40 minutes last night, which is a lot. But this kind of game, this level of competition against this caliber of opponent, it's a lot to ask anybody. I thought there were a lot of exhausted players down the stretch. The last five minutes I thought we were doing a great job on KD and Westbrook. They were missing a lot of shots. I know KD played 45 minutes, I think. Westbrook played over 40. So both sides are asking an awful lot of their stars and it's something that you've got to figure out game to game.

Can you buy a little more rest here or there? If we can, we will. But it's not easy out there.

Q. What about Bogut and Ezeli?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, Bogut got knocked around last night in the second half. Looked like he was limping. Kept him out there another couple possessions, but he said he was doing okay. Ezeli is fine. Picked up a lot of fouls. I mentioned this last night, way too much fouling in the third quarter. He got baited into a couple where he just needs to back off. But I think they should be healthy and ready to go tomorrow.

Q. Does it matter that the NBA came out quickly and said that was a travel call?
STEVE KERR: Yes, yes!

Q. Was that like a victory in your mind?
STEVE KERR: Yes, that's awesome.

Q. Did you want to hear that?
STEVE KERR: No, I don't like the practice. I appreciate the NBA trying to be transparent, but it's unfair to the officials. I feel like it throws them under the bus. They have an impossible job. They really do. And there are going to be bad calls both ways every game. They're never going to be perfect. They're doing the best they can. I don't think there's any point personally in exposing bad calls. It doesn't serve a purpose to me.

Q. If your guys like to play fast, could that play into their strengths? Do you have to moderate the tempo?
STEVE KERR: We don't want to slow the game down. We always want to play fast, but we've got to execute within that pace, better screens, better cuts. Made a lot of silly turnovers in the second half last night trying to pass it through traffic, trying to throw over the top of these guys. You have to understand, when you play this team they're long and athletic and active, so you've got to be sharp with your execution.

So, yeah, we're not going to slow the pace down to account for that, but we need to execute better to account for it.

Q. Is it their length that allowed them to cut the floor in half?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, their length and their speed. A lot of long-arm defenders, obviously, with Roberson and KD, and Ibaka, and Russell had seven steals last night playing the passing lane. But a lot of them were our fault. Some of them were great plays by them, but a lot of them were poor decision-making by us.

Q. You can't go over the top against these guys, right?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, that left-handed hook pass from Steph probably isn't going to work a whole lot in this series.

Q. How would you describe the overall mood of the team today?
STEVE KERR: I think we're fine. We've been through this. We haven't lost a Game 1, but last year we lost two home games, three home games, I think in the playoffs, maybe two. So twice we were forced to go on the road and down 2-1 on the road without home court. We've been through this. So we know where we are. We know what we have to do.

As I said, there's a reason. There's a reason that it's so exhilarating to win a title. It's just really, really hard.

Q. With your experience over the years, you've been through so many of these, and I know you don't overreact to a loss. How do you keep them from reacting to overreaction that they're going to hear from everybody else?
STEVE KERR: They have the experience from last year, so they have the same experience that I do in terms of understanding the process, understanding how difficult it is. But knowing that this is not the NCAA Tournament. We're not going home. We're coming back to play again tomorrow. One team's got to beat the other four times, and the best team wins. So we've got to try to be that best team.

Q. Did you hear the comments from Steven Adams after the game about Steph and Klay?
STEVE KERR: No, what did he say?

Q. He said something about it being difficult to chase around those little monkeys. He quickly apologized, but there is a fair amount of stir on social media about it.
STEVE KERR: I didn't even know until just now. I didn't look at anything. I don't have a comment on that.

Q. You said that you wanted to play fast. Is your team in the kind of condition that it was back in The Finals when you opted to go in small? Could you do that if you chose to?
STEVE KERR: Go small for the whole game?

Q. Yeah.
STEVE KERR: I think that would be tough. We did it last year starting Game 4 of the Cleveland series. We did it for three games. But we still mixed in David Lee and Festus quite a bit.

It's not an easy thing to do against anybody, to play huge minutes with a small lineup. But against these guys especially with their length and their rebounding it would be tough to do for the whole game. So we're always going to use that lineup, but we're going to use it as best we can at the times that are appropriate.

Q. Do you think Andy's [Anderson Varejao] going to be more involved as the series goes on?
STEVE KERR: He could be, yeah.

Q. Especially with Boges' physical condition?
STEVE KERR: No, Andy has helped us in both series, Houston and Portland. There is a reason he's here. He's a guy who stays ready, knows how to play, and I would think he'll play a role in this series at some point.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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