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June 15, 2016

Stephen Curry

Cleveland, Ohio: Practice Day

Q. I know you're a team-first guy, but when you see the other two stars on the other side, do you sort of take it like a challenge like you have to kind of match them? How do you perceive that?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, every game is different. When you have two guys play the way they did, you obviously notice because you see the ball going in the basket every time. But for me, you kind of get a little edge about you trying to go back at them, but you've got to do it within the system of our offense and how we go about things and not get the temptation to abandon that just to get into the little back-and-forth, one-on-one. So that's kind of my approach.

You enjoy those kind of moments, even though we didn't get the win. But an opportunity to go right back at them.

Q. We all know you are a hard worker, but when people question your leadership as a result of what happened the last game and the last quarter and how the game slipped from you guys. What do you have to say when people question your leadership and they say the real leader of this team is Draymond Green?
STEPHEN CURRY: Who says that?

Q. When people are around and social media and they have comments.
STEPHEN CURRY: Oh, they say -- I've always said Draymond is the spirit of what we do. You see it out on the floor. That's what he brings. Everybody leads in a different way, and I don't want to be a prisoner of the moment and say Game 5 was a direct reflection of who we are as a team and who I am as an individual, as a player, as a leader. I was out there doing what I was trying to do to help our team win and it didn't work. So that happens in sports. It happens in our game, and nothing's going to stop me from coming back and doing what I do to help lead my team in Game 6. So I'm comfortable with that.

Q. Is tomorrow the biggest game of your career so far being that you haven't really shown the numbers that people really expected for you as an MVP? Is tomorrow your biggest game of your career so far?
STEPHEN CURRY: Yeah, we have a chance to win a championship, so definitely the biggest game, and I'm ready for it.

Q. Kerr mentioned right after the last game, same position you were in last year up 3-2, chance to win a championship here. How much of those memories go through your mind, the celebration, just different circumstances obviously this series in the Playoffs last year, but do you feel some kind of symmetry in that?
STEPHEN CURRY: Yeah, we were in the same building, and like you said, same 3-2 lead. Understanding the emotions of what it is to try to win a closeout game on the road. Having been through it one time, so that helps.

I think it's different because it's a different year, it's a different challenge, different circumstances, obviously, with a couple of injuries and whatnot. But the opportunity is there, and I think we're a very poised group that's ready for it. So it should be fun.

Q. Also, Draymond is out there saying he was a bad teammate for missing that game. I guess he apologized to you guys. What is the emotion from the team when bringing him back like that? Do you even have to do anything to bring him back or is it just the same as it was for Game 4, Game 3, Game 2, Game 1?
STEPHEN CURRY: It's pretty much the same because we know what kind of player he is and what he brings to our lineup and our way of playing. So it is different with Boges out now; we're going to have different rotations as well, especially in the starting lineup. So we've got to make those adjustments. But as Draymond specifically coming back, we know exactly what to expect and how we can play around him and through him and with him. So three days isn't going to change that.

Q. How much does it bother you when you hear people say, an MVP should do this in The Finals, should perform at this level? And when you hear some of the crazy theories about what's affecting you, how do you internalize that and block that out?
STEPHEN CURRY: I don't really worry about it. I mean, there's kind of an historical kind of expectation of the all-time greats in this league that have had great Finals moments and had these kind of numbers and these kind of numbers. None of them played for this team and understood how I try to help my team every single night.

So, yeah, I want to honestly play better and more consistent, but the situation is right now we're one game away from winning a second championship, and I personally have 48 minutes to do what I need to do to help my team win. So right now it could kind of get lost in that. But at the end of the day if I'm sitting here tomorrow night with another trophy and celebrating with my teammates, we can talk all day.

Q. How do you balance the one-on-one matchup? Obviously Kyrie's a top point guard and he's having a good series. How do you balance that with the bigger picture of let's just win this series?
STEPHEN CURRY: It's kind of natural just because -- sort of the same answer. It's kind of I know how I help my team win and how to execute our game plan and the spots I'm going to get my shots and where I can be aggressive and whatnot. It's not so much a back-and-forth, I'm taking you one-on-one, you're taking me one-on-one kind of deal. So I don't get wrapped up in that at all. But I want to play my best, and if I don't, then I'm frustrated and I understand I need to figure that out. That's really all I'm worried about.

So Kyrie and LeBron had an amazing game, Game 5, and they did what they were supposed to do to help their team stay alive. The story should hopefully be different Game 6.

Q. Do you anticipate you guys starting small tomorrow or at least playing small the majority of the game? The numbers say you guys are at your best with Draymond playing center in this series. Do you guys feel that? Do you feel like that's your best road to winning tomorrow?
STEPHEN CURRY: I haven't talked to Coach much. We just kind of understood the situation in the last 12, 24 hours. So that will be a decision Coach has to make how we're going to start. I do know when we go small and have the ability to kind of kick the pace up a little bit, it usually works to our advantage. But I think it works because of the other lineups that we can throw out there and have that versatility throughout the course of 48 minutes. So we'll see how the rotations go and how we start. But at the end of the day, whoever's out there has to execute better than we did in Game 5 in order to win another championship.

Q. Draymond was just outside telling us that he was a terrible teammate. That you guys would have won Game 5 if he was in the lineup. What do you want him to know when he thinks of himself as a terrible teammate and that he cost you a game this time of the year?
STEPHEN CURRY: We've already talked to him, or I personally have. Yeah, it wasn't an ideal situation to not have him out there and hopefully he's not put in that situation again where he's putting his playing status in jeopardy. But at the end of the day, it's a team game and we had an opportunity to go out and win a championship, and it would have been the ultimate video montage to see him running across from the baseball stadium with a camera following him into Oracle Arena. That was like the dream celebration, but it didn't happen. So missed opportunity there.

But I think there's a Game 6 and he's going to be available, and we're going to have another opportunity to win a championship, and nobody will remember this down the road if we get this done tomorrow night. So that's really all we need to talk about.

Q. Are you concerned that he might have a lot in his head about how he has to dial some of himself down and some of himself up to avoid any further incidents in this situation?
STEPHEN CURRY: No, I think he's going to play with that same aggression, same passion, leave it all on the floor but be smart. I think he can do that without having to take away a piece of what he does on the floor and who he is as a basketball player and competitor and whatnot. So he won't get baited into any kind of altercations. I'm pretty sure he'll be talkative, but hopefully in a very constructive kind of way, so that will be good.

Q. I guess you had the film session from the last game this morning. What do you do when you see you had some open threes in the last game, what do you think when you see yourself get that shot and miss that shot a few times in pretty key spots the last game?
STEPHEN CURRY: I don't really worry about the shots that I missed. Those are ones you live with. You live with the result. You don't really want to go back and analyze, oh, I got open, what happened? Why did I miss it? Were my feet not square to the basket or did I not hold my follow-through, whatever? I don't really worry about that because those shots will come. And if I keep the confidence, I'll hopefully knock them down the next game.

The stuff that kind of bothered me the most is on the offensive end there were certain possessions where we had the right reads and right looks, but passes got deflected because they were a little lazy or we didn't have a crispness to what we were doing. That was a situation where you felt like you had missed opportunities. Open shots, make or miss, doesn't really bother me that much. But the other stuff that takes us out of the rhythm of our offense that I control most of it is the frustrating part. So that was the most glaring thing that we saw on the film. I have to shore that up.

Q. Defensively, what specifically did you not love about that game when you looked back on the film?
STEPHEN CURRY: Breakdowns, communicating on switches and in transition, finding our matchups, certain details and fundamentals of just body position on defending guys one-on-one in space. We gave too many angles to the basket where we put our help defense in a bad spot with straight line drives to the basket and whatnot. I mean, it might be overblown a little bit because they made so many tough shots, but if you have guys that are hot and you give them those three to five possessions where you have breakdowns as well, it just makes things worse. So we've got to fix those.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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