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June 3, 2017

Kyrie Irving

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. What adjustments do you see that you guys need to make defensively initially, and also maybe do you expect Tristan to get more involved in Game 2?
KYRIE IRVING: Just take care of the ball. Limit a lot of our mistakes. They capitalized on a few of them, so we understand we can't turn the ball over as many times and expect a great result.

So we'll be locked in. We understand that we could play a lot better, so that's just the realization. You watch film, you go from there, and the focus level will definitely be at an all-time high, as it was in Game 1. But a lot of the things that we wanted to stick to in our game plan, we have to make sure that we're executing that.

Q. We have talked a bunch about how this series is so much different from last year because of Durant and all those things, but you did lose Game 1 last year. Can you draw anything from the experience of being down 1-0 between Games 1 and 2 and just how you approach this one and how you handle it and all those kinds of things?
KYRIE IRVING: Well, obviously you can use the experience that you had last year, as well as the year before. They took Game 1 the last three years, so we obviously know that there are some things that we can correct. And going from Game 1 to Game 2, obviously Game 1, highly anticipated, been off for a while, and we finally get back into some game action.

We just have to settle in. That's all. Before The Finals started, I said the team that settles in the quickest will definitely have Game 1. You just saw how the intensity and physicality that they were playing at, they jumped on us after halftime.

So I definitely think some things that we as a team can control, we need to control those things and do it at a very high level -- and be willing to be as best prepared for the unexpected as well. I mean, they're going to make shots. They're going to make some tough plays. It's our ability to respond that will dictate how Game 2 goes.

Q. And then do you, as you try to move on from Game 1, get ready for this one, do you almost take solace in the fact that your team collectively didn't really play well, like you had a tough night on the scoreboard, but there's so many things you did wrong? Does that almost make you feel better as you size up the challenge and what you need to do?
KYRIE IRVING: Well, obviously we know we could play better collectively and we want to play better. And we will. We understand the driving forces behind this team and what we need. And the important part is continually giving that energy.

We have a few guys in their first Finals. So we just have to welcome them into it and understand that this is still the same game. It's at a totally different level, but it's still us and what we can control, we need to. So we'll be all right.

Q. You said all year how great you guys are when you play with pace, but the Warriors want to play fast, too, and they got the game at their speed in Game 1. How do you balance your desire to play fast and not allow it to turn into a track meet like Game 1?
KYRIE IRVING: Well, one, it would be nice to come in and get a rebound or two that I could push the break. Guarding Steph on the perimeter, most of those rebounds that are coming, I mean, you saw LeBron and K-Love were eating them up on the board. So a few things that I can control in terms of picking up that pace. But more or less we have to get stops in the half court and understand that the play doesn't just stop when the shot goes up with these guys. They're tipping out basketballs and they're getting it back to their shooters and relocating on the three-point line.

So if we limit them to one shot per possession, we can control the pace a lot better and honestly still play at a high tempo. We're both high-tempo teams, but they play running to the three-point line as well as going for dunks. We can play at a high tempo as well as in transition and in half court. We just have to continue to do that and do those things at a very high level, and we'll be all right.

Q. On transition defense you're up against a great transition offense, obviously, in Golden State. But beyond assignment and technique mistake, what was the discussion in terms of effort on transition defense?
KYRIE IRVING: Well, we can control that. So that's definitely something that has to be on all our minds.

This is definitely going to be a track meet between both teams. So depending on how many of those little things we are willing to do and sacrifice will dictate if we win the game or not.

Getting back, taking away some of the easy baskets that they got in Game 1, it will be a different game.

Q. Along those lines, Ty and Kevin [Love] just spoke a little bit about stopping the ball being the number one priority, but also getting to the shooters. I mean, how do you guys kind of do both of those things well so Kevin [Durant] doesn't go for uncontested stuff?
KYRIE IRVING: Effort. Effort. Yup. And our ability to make sure that when we're mismatched in transition, that the only thing that matters is stopping the basketball and settling down in the half court, Then we match up from there.

Q. You guys are so good in isolation. Is that some way you can slow them down, or do you not want to go to that that often because sometimes it bogs you down too?
KYRIE IRVING: We don't want to take away from our abilities that make us special as a team, but we also understand that they're doing a great job of guarding our isolation with other bodies. So they have different guys that they're helping off of, and we just have to be aware of that and be willing to make those passes to our shooters. They will be ready to knock them down.

Q. The physicality, do you have to come out with that from opening tip? I mean, is it a mindset or...
KYRIE IRVING: Well, we definitely have to come out with that if we have any chance. But the team that's going to win that battle is who can sustain it for the longest. So we want to be that team.

Q. The Warriors seem to think they have some guys that they didn't have last year who might bring that even more. Did you notice that it was different?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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