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June 7, 2017

Steve Kerr

Cleveland, Ohio: Pregame

Q. Yesterday I think it was Zaza was saying this might be the best you guys have played all year the last few games. Do you agree with that, and just how do you guys stay in the rhythm when you haven't had many games? With all the sweeps and everything, you played only 14 games in almost two months now.
COACH KERR: I liked Game 1 better than I liked Game 2 in terms of how we're playing. The turnovers are a big gauge for us. We were sloppy in Game 2. We shot the ball well, but I didn't think we played that well. I thought our Game 1 execution was much better.

As far as practice time, you just do what you can. You can't scrimmage too much. You risk injury if you scrimmage too much during the playoffs. So you just do the best you can. And our players do a good job of staying in condition. They kind of know what their bodies need, and they do the right thing during those layoffs.

Q. The first two games played significantly faster than the series last year or the series before that. Are you happy with that? Would you prefer to play as fast as possible, or is there an optimum pace you would like to see the games at?
COACH KERR: I think both teams love the pace. They're at their best when they're playing fast; we are too. So we like the pace; they like the pace. It makes for entertaining basketball. And it comes down to who executes, who takes care of the ball, who gets back in transition. But it's a fun style.

Q. How much do you think last year being here losing Game 3 the way you lost it has helped your team grow in terms of experience and how that memory helps you?
COACH KERR: It helps. I think the last three years cumulatively really help. We have now been through this. We have been through this Finals run three times. We have seen the ups and downs. Two years ago we were down 2-1 to Cleveland; last year up 2-0. We get blown out. This series changes a little bit. So all these things stick in your mind, and you learn from the experience.

Q. We noticed maybe particularly with Steph on defending the pick-and-rolls where he shows and then retreats quickly. Has that been a significant tweak you guys have made with pick-and-roll coverage, with not just him but you seem to be doing that several other ways? Have you focused on that in this series?
COACH KERR: Well, we worked on it before the series started. We knew that was coming. They did that against us last year, too. I think Steph is just better this year. He's physically stronger, faster, quicker. So I think that coverage has been more effective.

Doesn't mean it's going to work again tonight. I'm sure they're going to come after him, but it's all part of the give-and-take of what they're trying to expose and what we're trying to cover up. Steph has done great job, and our bigs have helped him too.

Q. Couple of years ago you made a change in the starting lineup that kind of helped you guys. Ty has said he's not making any changes, at least in the starting lineup. But do you expect to see some different things here in Game 3 since they're down 2-0?
COACH KERR: Well, I did lie to Tim Kawakami two years ago when he asked me. So maybe Ty's lying to you guys. I don't know.


He'll get over it. So I always think it's sort of insane that we have these press conferences two hours before the game. It's like, well, are you going to change your strategy? Well, yeah, here you go, Ty. This is what I'm going to do. You tell me what you're going to do.

Like, it makes no sense. So we're in a weird spot when we get asked these questions. Wouldn't shock me if he did make a change. It's all part of it.

But in general they have a great team, and you don't make drastic changes, especially with guys who are really key for you. You might make subtle rotational changes. I could see that. But at this stage I would be surprised if they made a lineup change with their starting group.

Q. Ty has said throughout this postseason run that he's the kind of coach that likes to hold things for the postseason and not unveil them in the regular season. Are you that same kind of coach? Have you held things throughout the year for the NBA Finals, or do you rely more on habits and what has gotten you here?
COACH KERR: No, you might put in a play, an out-of-bounds play or something, but nothing major. We just kind of do what we do. I find that players are more comfortable when they're executing the things they have executed all year. But you might throw a wrinkle in here or there at a shootaround, and that's about it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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