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June 7, 2016

Kyrie Irving

Cleveland, Ohio: Practice Day

Q. What do you think you should do to improve your game in Game 3?
KYRIE IRVING: Just be myself, go out there and be aggressive. I feel like Game 2, a few opportunities I didn't take advantage of, and kind of conceded to their defense of them kind of pressuring me into getting downhill, but also seeing a lot of bodies. So just attacking early in transition as well as in the half court and just staying true to myself.

Q. Now that it's been a couple days, Kyrie, where do you think Game 2 turned?
KYRIE IRVING: What do you mean?

Q. Well, I mean, after one you guys were ahead and in it, and at some point it got away. Was there a thing that happened or just a reason that you've been able to discover since that kind of sent you down the wrong path?
KYRIE IRVING: I think that when it comes to -- when they go on their runs, we have to be able to withstand those punches. And Game 1 and Game 2 we've done it at times. We've shown that we're capable of doing it, but we're just constantly on our heels.

First quarter of Game 2 went really well for us, especially defensively and how fast we were playing, and then they go on I think a 17-0 run, I believe, in the second quarter. So we've just got to withstand their punches and have, you know -- stay true to our game plan and what our offensive package is to withstand those punches. Obviously they're going to make great shots. They're a great team. So we just contest and we've got to get out in transition. If we don't have anything at half court, we just play through our continuity plays and we go through me and Bron.

So only thing this way's going to go is if myself and Bron, we have to will our ways to their defense. They're doing a lot of switching, a lot of things to make us uncomfortable, which we haven't necessarily seen throughout the season. So for us, it's just about preparation, a lot of people work and trying to avoid getting down in those runs.

Q. Kyrie, Steve Kerr said the other night that there is no bad shot that Steph Curry or Klay Thompson can take, and that he's given them complete latitude. Are you envious of that when you hear that, or do you think that nowadays players just have much more latitude to shoot as many times as they want as opposed to when you were coming up?
KYRIE IRVING: I mean, you can see it in their play. They've been that way practically for the last two seasons, which is, I mean, I feel like they deserve it. That makes their team go. They have guys that play specific roles on their team, and they shoot their shots when they're open. But Steph and Klay, which we're aware of, has the ultimate green light. It's dang near neon. So they're shooting, fading out of bounds, or coming off down screens or anything like that, which is a credit to their team, and Klay and Steph how well they shoot the ball.

Q. Why do you think there is any backlash against Steph in particular from older players? They seem to prefer you breaking a guy down and going to the hole more. I don't know what that's about, and I wonder if you have any ideas on it yourself.
KYRIE IRVING: I don't know.

Q. Now that the dust has settled after games 1 and 2, specific to your shooting percentage, what have you seen on film that gives you confidence that you can correct that for games 3 and 4?
KYRIE IRVING: Well, I'm not really good when I'm not being aggressive or off the ball and not being able to get weak-side action and be ready to play on that weak side. So, you know, there is a polar opposite between Game 1 and Game 2 in terms of trying to play in between and I can't do that. That's just -- I have to just have the mindset of continuing to be aggressive, and when I'm getting downhill, that's when it will open opportunities for me to see passing lanes and opportunities.

Also in transition, if we're running drags or anything like that, just being real efficient in that. Also just being a general out there, and when things do get stagnant, having our offensive package that we can go to knowing that we can attack and just utilizing the tools that I have out there with my team.

Q. Like in reference to you being the general, do you have to kind of switch back and forth? Because it seems like Ty likes you to play the one-on-one too. So how do you go back and forth between that?
KYRIE IRVING: By just playing and not thinking too much about it. I have kind of a point forward that I play with, a great player like that that comes down and he can also be the general. Over the last year and a half I've just learned how to play in between with that as well as letting him do what he does. He's getting downhill and he's spraying out to myself, Swish, and RJ and Kevin, and we just have to be ready to knock down shots.

There were a few times the ball's slipping out of our hands or we're going back door, we're getting opportunities in the paint and whether we're not shooting them or we're missing them, we still have to continue to be in attack mode.

Q. Steph came out yesterday and said that he wasn't going to Rio. I'm curious when it comes time after all this is done to make your decisions on what to do this summer, how much will who is actually going to be on that team factor into your decision? Will your mind in any way be swayed by what LeBron decides or something like that?
KYRIE IRVING: No, no, it's just whatever's best, I feel, after this crucial Finals is done. We're in a hell of a series right now, so I haven't really thought about it, but I did see Steph pull his name out, which you just respect a guy like that. It's his decision.

Q. You seem to be getting some switches when you dribble down kind of into the post and someone comes down and sets a screen for you. Is that like a little weapon you think you could get some damage on?
KYRIE IRVING: Oh, yeah, definitely. But when we come off the pick-and-roll, especially me and Bron, they're doing a lot of switching. So my primary goal is to allow him to play and let him get his post-ups. Then if he sees something and we communicate it, then come down and we play iso between one another and we space off of one another.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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