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June 9, 2017

Steve Kerr

Cleveland, Ohio: Pregame

Q. It seems like most of the conversation the last day and a half has been about who could beat the Warriors and legacies and stuff. How annoying is that for you, and how do you make sure that it doesn't distract your team when the series is not even over yet?
COACH KERR: Just part of it. We're kind of used to it the last few years. You get used to all the speculation, chatter, whatever. We're just trying to beat the Cavs. They're a great team, we know that, we know what they're capable of. We're playing tonight, and that's it. Nothing else matters.

Q. Can you talk about Zaza's impact in the playoffs and what kind of an impact he has with Tristan and the 14 minutes he's playing and how well he's doing against Tristan?
COACH KERR: Yeah, he's our unsung hero, really. He cleans up a lot of things inside, puts a body on people, allows our other guys to come in and get rebounds. A lot of guys have been talking about Steph's rebounding. One of the reasons Steph is rebounding so well is because Zaza is putting a body on Love and Tristan doing a good job there. He plays a very important role for us, but he goes unnoticed.

Q. You guys did a great job all year defending the three-point line. These guys come in shooting above 43 percent. You've held them down to 30. Do you want to take credit for that, or are they --
COACH KERR: Me personally? Sure.

Q. Well, you're the mastermind.
COACH KERR: Oh, yeah. We're a good defensive team. We have some speed and length. We like to get out and challenge shooters. And then sometimes guys miss, too. So it's a little of both.

Q. Thinking about Game 3, which is the biggest thing you need to correct in order to get the --
COACH KERR: Turnovers. It's simple. Turnovers. We have to defend like crazy and take care of the ball. That's our formula. It always has been, it always will be.

Q. There's some people who sort of felt, hey, you're still involved in coaching the team, Mike's doing a good job on the bench, why mess with it. What is it about your personal competitiveness that made you want to return to being on the court even if you weren't feeling a hundred percent?
COACH KERR: It's just fun. It's fun, and I felt better. And that was my barometer. If I felt better, I was going to do it.

Q. When David West first came to camp, it looked like for the first few weeks into the season that he was trying to adjust to what you guys do. Just talk about his progression over the course of the year and how at the end of the year how important he was to that second unit and what he's able to do for his teammates?
COACH KERR: He's fit right in, really. He's such a good passer from the elbows. We like to run a lot of offense through him. He's also a great leader for us. He's been so important for Draymond as a mentor, as a guide. But he's also a really good player. So we were lucky to get him.

Q. You talked about liking to get that fourth-quarter rest for Steph and Durant. They played about 40, 41 minutes. Is that the limit? Do you have a general idea of how much you want to play them total, or is it just to get them some rest before the last nine minutes of the fourth quarter?
COACH KERR: I think some rest is important. Everybody's different. Draymond and Klay don't need as much rest as Steph. K.D. is probably somewhere in the middle there. But I think it helps if you can get those guys eight minutes.

Last game was probably about the most I would like to play them, but you never know how things are going. Every game's different, circumstances are different. Every coach has to make those decisions.

Q. When you went back over the seven games of last year, was the rest pattern something you looked at or that you could take advantage of maybe if LeBron was playing 42, 44?
COACH KERR: No, not really. Because last year was different. We were more banged up. We didn't have as many options as we have this year, I think -- our roster, obviously, with K.D. But beyond that, I think we have more options. And we're really healthy this year, so it's made it easier.

Q. How encouraging is it to be in this spot right now knowing that your core players are all in their prime and you're going to have a chance to bring everyone back going forward?
COACH KERR: It's encouraging.


Quite encouraging. It's fun. It's fun to be part of this. We want to take care of this year. It's been great three-year run, but we feel like we can carry this forward. We'll see how long.

But tonight's the only thing on our minds right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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