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June 3, 2017

J.R. Smith

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Which one of the things from the first game do you think you're going to adjust more, the loose balls and the turnovers, the assists, the field goal percentage, the defense?
J.R. SMITH: Well, all of their transition was because of us turning the ball over. We got to stop the ball when KD's bringing the ball down the court. We eliminate some of our turnovers or most of our turnovers, it's a different game.

Q. Do you think you have to do a better job moving the ball? You play a lot of pick and rolls with LeBron and Kyrie, or that's the Cavaliers style, you have to sustain it?
J.R. SMITH: No, I mean, I think it goes hand in hand. A lot of our turnovers came from those guys being aggressive and looking for us on our weak side, and they got their hand on the ball or somebody came in and stripped it. So we can't change our play style. We got to play the way we have been playing and do what got us here. We just got to do a better job defensively.

Q. Outside of those top-three scorers on your team, everybody else combined for 24 points. Does the ball have to move better, maybe less isolation, or what do you think needs to happen for the supporting guys to step up?
J.R. SMITH: Well, it's a totally different story if we eliminate our turnovers. We can't play NBA Finals game and have 20 turnovers to a team like them. So if we eliminate those, do a better job on the ball defensively, pressure, it's a totally different game.

Q. So it's just sort of too many empty possessions that took you guys out of it?
J.R. SMITH: Yeah, I mean, we got empty possessions and then second-chance points against us, too. So we got to keep them off the offensive rebound and do what we do, get downhill, push.

Q. A lot of people look at the three-point shooting, especially you, Kyle and Deron, and between you guys you had one three. Would you guys expect that you'll get a lot more three-point opportunities in Game 2?
J.R. SMITH: No, they do a great job of taking away the three. That's why they have been one of the top defensive teams in the league the last three years. And we just got to do a better job of finishing at the rim to make those guys come to us. If we do that and eliminate the turnovers, it will be a different Game 2.

Q. Who is tougher to guard of the other guys, Curry, Thompson?
J.R. SMITH: Who is tougher to guard?

Q. Yeah.
J.R. SMITH: I mean, they're all pretty tough. They all have their own niche. So I think if anybody it would probably be KD because he's seven foot and can shoot the ball like Steph and Klay, he can attack, handle the ball. So if anybody, would probably be KD.

Q. I'm from New York, I've got to ask about Melo and your relationship with him. Do you think that he will eventually ask for a trade, or do you think that he's really upset with the way he's been treated by Phil [Jackson] and is determined to stick it out there?
J.R. SMITH: I haven't spoken to him along that topic, but I'm sure he does feel some type of way about how he's being treated, really unfair and unjust. Unfortunately, I'm not on that team and not in that situation, so I really don't want to speak too much on it. And obviously we have bigger things going on with the NBA Finals going on. So I hope the best for him. Melo's a very tough guy and he'll figure it out.

Q. You guys had some success the previous two series with them dirtying up the game, playing more physical. Do you need to get back to that?
J.R. SMITH: Dirtying up the game? I don't know about that. They got one guy who keeps kicking people in the nuts. I don't know about that. But we won't dirty up the game. We just play physical. Some people don't like physicality, and that's what it is. But we just got to play our game and the way we know how to play, and that's what's been successful for us.

Q. You guys added Deron Williams later in the season. He's a guy who kind of bounced around. He's still a relatively young guy, and he said that just being around you guys has shown him a lot about the league that he had never seen in his first three or four stops. What can a guy take from just being around this environment, just preparing himself going forward?
J.R. SMITH: Being successful at this level is totally different than anything, because the camaraderie, the group you have, how hard guys play, how hard guys try to communicate defensively and offensively, it's totally different than being on losing teams. So if anything, you take from seeing the experience the way you can tell other people that when you're on a different team or vice versa, however it goes, the new guys come in, we pretty much teach them our culture, we care about one another, we play for one another, we hang out together. If you don't want to do that, then you probably shouldn't be here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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