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June 4, 2016

Iman Shumpert

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. (Question regarding Muhammad Ali)?
IMAN SHUMPERT: Yeah, I mean, but this series, it's two different things. I mean, of course one of the greats is gone and our condolences and everything, but it's nothing to compare to our series right now.

Q. How limited were you last year with your injured shoulder in the Finals?
IMAN SHUMPERT: My shoulder's good now.

Q. Losing six in a row to this team, does that weigh on you guys at all?
IMAN SHUMPERT: No. It's 1-0 them. That's it. They took care of their home floor for the first game. Now we have to try to get Game 2.

Q. You've known J.R. for a long time. Some people were kind of freaked out that he only took three shots. Can you talk about his game?
IMAN SHUMPERT: He was locked in on the defensive end, trying to make sure we were out on Klay, we had to do a lot of switching. Those guys capitalize on getting offensive rebounds and hitting those open threes when you go in there to rebound.

So I think just him staying away from rebounding and us not being able to push as much as we wanted to to get out in transition took away a couple of the shots that he's used to taking. I think the Warriors did a good job of finding him in the half court.

Q. But he's okay. He's changed as a player.
IMAN SHUMPERT: He's about winning. It's not about getting shot attempts up or who has the most points. I mean, once you get to this point being in The Finals, I mean, however we've got to win, that's how we've got to win. It doesn't matter who scores the points. We've just got to win.

Q. When you first came on with the Knicks, he's sort of a different player now, right, the way he focuses more on defense?
IMAN SHUMPERT: People say all the time he doesn't focus on defense. I never took J.R. as somebody that didn't play defense. I mean, we were with the Knicks, a lot of time we spent on the breakaway was because we caused a random steal, and we were getting out on the breakaway, getting dunks. That's how me and him are used to playing.

Q. How important is it going to be hitting the boards in Game 2? Especially maybe in the back court.
IMAN SHUMPERT: Like I was just telling him. It's challenging to go to the offense or the defensive board and the offensive board. Those guys never stop moving around the perimeter. Just in case those guys do get a tap out, you don't want them getting their feet set for a wide-open three.

And as far as crashing the offensive board, they a lot of times played multiple guards, sometimes four guards at a time, even though some of their wings are taller and look to be three, four. They can push the ball and they can handle it, and that puts a lot of pressure on you not to send so many guys to the offensive board. Because if you don't come up with it, you've got a lot of guys running back.

The Warriors make it tough on you, but we've got to trust in our guys that usually provide us with our offensive rebounds.

Q. Do you think they can make a big difference Game 1 to Game 2 in picking up those guys in transition and better communication on the transition?
IMAN SHUMPERT: We definitely got to have better communication. Their second unit came in and gave us a huge lift. T. Lue and our coaching staff, they prepared us and told us that this is what their second group does. They came out and got hot early, and we weren't able to cut their water off. We definitely have to key in on that.

Q. J.R. said his daughter actually inspired him to play more defense because he told his daughter that she had to sacrifice some of her toys. She wanted toys, but she had to make a sacrifice, and that kind of hit J.R. Did something change you as a player when you got a daughter?
IMAN SHUMPERT: Yeah, I think it makes you take your job more seriously. I think the game itself becomes more of a job because you understand who you're doing it for now. You understand who you're saving money for, who you're planning for, just your family, period. Starting your own family, with me and my fiancee, I think it just lined things up in our life to make us understand that our life doesn't now revolve around just being a basketball player and spending every night -- after a game, if we lose, I can't come home and just be angry all the time. It's like we have to think about it, reflect while you're in the locker room, take your shower, take to the film later. But for that moment of seeing your family, your face is supposed to light up and it's okay to be happy and just understanding there is a separation between basketball and real life.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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