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June 3, 2016

Kyrie Irving

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. A lot has been made about Draymond almost kicking you in the face last night. What did you see from that play? You got called for a foul on it, and did you think it was intentional or not?
KYRIE IRVING: No, I didn't really think too much of it. It is what it is. I don't really hold anything against him over it. I pulled him down. I mean, he went down. Happened to kick me, whatever.

Q. Both you and Kevin were off last night. What's wrong with your offense? Is it because of the Warriors defense or just because the ball wasn't falling?
KYRIE IRVING: We had a lot of missed easy opportunities, I think, between myself and Kev, just missing too many shots in the paint. But we're getting where we need to go. Myself, I just need to find a few more areas to be effective where it's not so much one-on-one, even though I'm comfortable playing there, but in terms of being better for my teammates and being more effective. I've just got to pick and choose my spots a little better.

Q. A lot of people have made a big thing about Curry and Klay Thompson only scoring 20 combined points in that game and how that probably won't ever happen again. Do you guys look at that as a real missed opportunity for you to steal a game here?
KYRIE IRVING: No. Anything can happen in a Finals game where Shaun comes in and has a great lift, as well as Barbosa. I don't think he missed a shot. As well as Iggy coming in and that second unit kind of propelling them to allow Steph and Klay not to dominate the game like they normally do.

So we just see it as an opportunity that we kind of should have relished a little more, especially them not particularly shooting well. It probably won't happen again. But it is The Finals. Anything can happen. We've just got to be better coming out in that second quarter as well as finishing the third and coming into the fourth where a six-point game turns into 10 or 12.

Q. Just from looking at film or if you have seen any of the game, things that you felt you did particularly well and things you feel you need to do a lot better in Game 2?
KYRIE IRVING: Like I said, just picking my spots a little bit better out there on the floor so I can better suit my teammates and give them better opportunities on the weak side or being ready to just sacrifice my body in order to get someone else open. So when you're playing a fast-paced game like we were yesterday, everything's happening so quick and some quick decisions. I felt like a couple times I got indecisive, and it kind of put my teammates in a bad way.

So me personally, I just feel like I've got to be better offensively and especially defensively guarding those guys in the post, because obviously know we're going to do -- our game plan is tailor-fitted for me guarding Iggy or Harrison a couple times off the pick-and-rolls that they're running. So just got to be more physical.

Q. Two-parter, one specific and one a little more general. Ty's been mentioning that you and LeBron were going to the hole a couple times and were stripped. I remember it more with LeBron than you. But is there something specifically you have to do to guard against that playing against the Warriors, trying to get to the rim?
KYRIE IRVING: I don't know. They have a few shot blockers back there, but it's not anything that we haven't seen before where we're coming in from different series with bigs that are kind of challenging almost every shot. You know, I caught myself last game talking to LeBron about kind of holding the ball above his head rather than kind of swiping low, because that's where they're going to be most effective. They have athletic guys with length. But meeting us up at the top of the rim rather than bringing it down low and us trying to bring it up.

It didn't work in our favor last game. I remember going baseline a few times on Iggy, and he got his hand on the ball a few times, and I'm thinking I have an open reverse, and he's not even contesting me at the top of my shot but rather at the bottom.

Going forward, I've definitely taken note of it, so we've got to be better with the basketball, especially driving the lane.

Q. The more general one is Ty has also been talking about how the way the Warriors defend, this is the kind of series where you need to play isolation ball, and that's something that we've talked about all year how you and LeBron can do that. Do you feel like if you just play better that this is the kind of series where you can take your guy off the dribble?
KYRIE IRVING: Oh, for sure, for sure. I know they almost feel the same way too. It's just competitive basketball where we have so many shooters out there on the floor and guys that do so well spacing out the floor for opportunities that -- I mean, you have to be aggressive. There is no other way. You just have to be more effective in those spots.

That's why I came out and said that for me, being better in the scoring areas rather than settling for mid-range jumpshots where I'm coming off pick-and-rolls in the last few series and bigs are dropping all the way back. But now it's the one-on-one challenge of just beating your guy. So you've got to find that balance, though. That's the most important part. Because when you're going one-on-one, guys are still watching you, and the offense kind of becomes stagnant. So finding that balance where we can have continuity and getting the ball moving and finding guys in their iso areas where they're most effective.

Q. Ty Lue was in here saying you guys need to play faster. You just mentioned a couple moments ago that you thought it was a fast game last night. What tempo is best suited for you, and how did last night's tempo compare or rate to your ideal speed?
KYRIE IRVING: I just think it has to be more of a fast-paced controlled tempo, if that makes any sense. With us, I think that's our missed opportunities and we were just really, really rushing. We were getting to where we like to go, but we like to play inside out, but if the outside shot is falling for us, we're going to stick with it.

But the ball was going into the post a lot and we watched film and we're seeing some weak side action that we can be better at. It's just quick, decisive decisions, we make plays, other guys get shots and we get back on defense. I think last night a few times in the post, guys were getting doubled, and we've got to be ready to make plays on the weak side for our teammates.

Q. The people always say the East Conference is not as good as the West Conference. So when you play against the teams for the last three rounds and right now you're against the Golden State Warriors, do you see that much difference from, you know, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference?
KYRIE IRVING: We're both in The Finals, that's all that matters.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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