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June 7, 2016

J.R. Smith

Cleveland, Ohio: Practice Day

Q. J.R., you've had a couple days to separate from the weekend and from what happened in games 1 and 2. What is your mindset as you go forward?
J.R. SMITH: I mean, be aggressive, find everybody, play like we play when we're at home and let everything take care of itself, really.

Q. What are the ways that you might have to be more aggressive?
J.R. SMITH: I mean, just looking for my shot early, penetrate and try to get a couple easy ones just to see the ball go through the net. Just try and keep running in transition. Defensively, just try to stay connected to my man and try to play the passing lanes.

Q. How have the Warriors been able to slow you guys down as a unit a little bit from the three-point line?
J.R. SMITH: They're very conscious of our three-point shooting. They pretty much want us to try to finish at the basket so they can get tips or hands on the ball. So they kind of deny the threes. So I think we've just got to do a better job of pushing the pace even faster.

Q. Are they a different team this year than they were last year in The Finals?
J.R. SMITH: No, I don't think so. They played it pretty much the same way. Everybody gets involved. They played great team defense, they run the floor well. They can play fast-paced, play slow-paced. So I don't think they're a different team. They're pretty much the same team that won it last year.

Q. Given your personal struggles in The Finals last year, it's something that you talked about coming into this year. Now the first two games haven't gone the way you wanted. Is there a mental hurdle that you have to clear when it comes to playing against Golden State in The Finals?
J.R. SMITH: No, not really. I mean, the only mental things that I really have to deal with is shooting the ball. When I'm open, shoot it. If I'm not open, pass it. My game is pretty simple. It's just a matter if I make a shot or if I don't make a shot. So I just can't let it affect my defense and my overall morale for this game.

Q. This is the first time you've played from behind in this Playoffs. How much do you think this team will relish this opportunity?
J.R. SMITH: A lot of times when we're down in the regular season or postseason, we tend to be like we're backed in the corner and come out fighting. So I would predict the same. They do what they're supposed to do, win two on their home floor. We've got to do what we have got to do to win two on our home floor. So we've got to do something.

Q. Are you okay with the Warriors celebrating, like Curry on the bench if Draymond does well?
J.R. SMITH: We do it. I don't see why they can't do it. When we beat teams, we celebrate. It's part of the game to be happy for one another.

Q. When you play against a team that's so offensively competent, it drains energy from you defensively. How do you balance out the two sides of the court?
J.R. SMITH: I think you have to make a mentally conscious effort to go out there and understand that they're going to score, understand that Steph and Klay are going to score, and we just can't get too down on it when they do score and just keep playing. Everybody in this league is professionals. It just so happens they've got a two-time MVP, multiple All-Stars on their team. So they're going to score. We just can't get too down on it about it. Once we wrap our head around that, we'll be much better off.

Q. Down 0-2, J.R., what have the conversations been like? What's the message been like going into Game 3?
J.R. SMITH: They do what they're supposed to do. It's time for us to do what we're supposed to do. It's pretty simple for us. We know we have to come out and play. It's just a matter of us coming out, putting forth the effort and making the plays.

Q. Has the level for aspiration for a championship or hunger for a championship satisfied your expectation so far in The Finals?
J.R. SMITH: That's the reason why we play, to go out there and win. To win a championship is always the goal, but it's also going to be the hardest thing we'll ever have to do collectively. I mean, it's right there in front of us. It's just a matter of us going and seizing it.

Q. In the games, you guys start out as a close game. At some point in Game 1 and 2, the Warriors have gapped or pulled away. What happens in that moment as they're starting to pull away?
J.R. SMITH: For the most part it's normally their bench pulling away from us. So I think it gets frustrating for us for the last two games to see it happen like that. And they're playing at their best with their smaller lineup. So that's supposed to be what we're pretty good at, so I think that's the most frustrating part about it.

But, like I said, they're a championship team. They know how to win. So we've just got to figure it out.

Q. Hand affecting you at all?
J.R. SMITH: No, no, it's all right. If it was, I'd still play anyways, so it don't matter.

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