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June 3, 2017

Kevin Love

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Obviously you've been teammates with LeBron for a few years now. He's got a streak of 30 straight series with a road playoff win. Obviously you guys are underdogs in the series, you don't have home court advantage. How much confidence does that give you guys as a team to know that you have a guy that's been able to go on the road year after year and have that consistent level of success at the highest level in the Playoffs?
KEVIN LOVE: It gives us a lot of confidence. We have a number of guys with experience and a lot of playoff minutes, a lot of years logged in this league and been in a number of these situations before. Bron, I mean, he's at the forefront of that. He's the head of that. So just having a guy that has been here, done that before, has so much confidence in everything that we do and walks the walk allows us to be ourselves and be confident in approaching Game 2.

Q. How do you guys go about stopping the ball so that Durant doesn't go down the lane untouched but also getting to shooters? It's a challenging task, I'm guessing.
KEVIN LOVE: Yeah, that's what stuck out in film the past two days was that we have to be able to stop the ball. We have to take smart fouls, especially in transition, if they have numbers and load up. We have to know when to crash on the offensive glass, know that we're going to be cross-matched in transition, one through five, really, especially against their shooters.

So those times where they got into the paint, especially in that first half -- I believe they had 42 points in the paint in the first half, something around there -- we really need to try to take out, force them into tough contested shots from the perimeter or from the two-point [range].

Q. You've talked all along about how great you guys are when you play with pace and that's when you're at your best. How do you do that and not allow it to get into a track meet that could favor Golden State the way that it did in Game 1?
KEVIN LOVE: I think that just we're so good when we get stops. It's all predicated on our defense, and it has been that way all year. When we're able to get stops, and I mentioned us having a great game plan, not giving up those transition buckets and those paint buckets, when we're able to do that, we're such a better team and that allows us and dictates our pace a lot of the time.

So, yeah, I think we're fortunate enough to be able to play both styles, a number of styles of basketball, in the half court as well. We definitely don't want to make it a track meet or make it anything that favors them. But at the end of the day, I think our pace is what makes us great, and we have to play that way.

Q. On the roster you have guys like Kyle [Korver], Deron Williams, people who weren't through this a year ago, been in the league a long time without getting the chance. What dynamic have they brought, not just as players, but that trying to get that ring 13 years into the league? What's it meant to your team and your locker room?
KEVIN LOVE: I've mentioned experience with this team. Deron has been to Western Conference Finals, been on a number of teams with experience. Kyle, Eastern Conference Finals. Both have been All-Stars in this league, guys that have played at a very high level. So I think having that level of professionalism and just being so hungry and knowing what it takes and having the willingness to do whatever it takes to win a title is big, especially from guys of that caliber.

Q. Does it add a little bit of a freshness? Not that anyone who's been here three times would take it for granted, but to get here for the first time this far into their career's got to be special.
KEVIN LOVE: Yeah, it definitely is special. I think that now just going into Game 2, finding ways to get those guys going, to get our bench going, and I know those are the two guys you mentioned, but just looking for opportunities and breaking down the film, seeing where they can be effective, because they do mean so much to our team.

Q. What did you notice on film? Did they play you significantly differently than they did last year during The Finals, or even at Christmas or since then?
KEVIN LOVE: I think more than anything our defense is what stuck out on film. Offensively there were a number of shots that could have fallen, things we could have done better -- setting numerous picks, keeping the ball moving to both sides. But defensively, not only in transition but in the half court, just making them feel us. I think physicality being brought to the series, especially in Game 2, is going to be huge for us in setting the tone. More than anything, I think that's what ultimately stuck out for us.

Q. What about you, the way they went at you differently, anything specific to this series?
KEVIN LOVE: Yeah, definitely they have gotten better since we saw them Christmas, and I think you mentioned, I don't know what, in January --

Q. The 13th.
KEVIN LOVE: Yeah, but definitely they have gotten better. We feel like we have as well. But the NBA Finals have a different feel in themselves. Every game is different. Every series is different. Every matchup that you're going into, every game is going to be a little different. So you just have to be able to adjust and make yourself effective.

Q. What do you notice about the difference in this rotation of their bigs as compared to where it was last year? I spoke with Tristan. He said that the first word he brings up is athleticism and having to outjump guys, things like that.
KEVIN LOVE: Yeah, whether it's Zaza or JaVale or David West, I mean even Draymond playing the five, they have a number of different styles and ways that they can play. For some of the game they were playing Draymond at the five and put KD at the four. So they were going small and getting out in transition and finding each other.

And that unit is so good at passing the ball and playing for one another that -- I mentioned the cross-matching in transition and defensively in the half court as well. Just being able to guard at all five positions I think is going to be really key for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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