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April 15, 2018

Quin Snyder

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Game One

Thunder - 116, Jazz - 108

Q. It looked like your defense was good in the first half. They just one-on-one made a lot of plays. Second half, it looked like they got into more offense and were able to pass a lot better. Is that sort of accurate?
QUIN SNYDER: You know what, yeah. I think you tip your hat to guys when they're able to hit contested jump shots. We changed a few things up. We changed the match-up up in the second half. We trapped, pick-and-roll, and they did a great job of reacting to that, and that's when you saw the ball move. Any time you commit two guys to the ball, you're susceptible to that. But at that point, I don't know, Paul George I think was 8 for 11 from three, so we felt like just doing something to shake up the game was the right thing, and they reacted to it.

I thought, again -- I think we need to play better defensively, but there's certain plays that I'm not sure you can do a whole lot more. It's always good to watch them again and see where you are, and we'll do what we can to adjust where it's appropriate.

Q. What happened to Donovan, and was he okay when you took him out of the game?
QUIN SNYDER: Yeah, he hurt his foot. He had some soreness in his foot. They went back and X-rayed him, and they said he's okay. Doctors cleared him. So I put him back in the game, and then when I saw him, it looked to me like he was feeling a little bit, and we just wanted to make sure, so I took him out and kind of confirmed it, and then he went back in, and then at that point we felt like it was going to be difficult for us to win the game, and we subbed again, subbed a number of guys.

But everything that we know right now, he's fine. I'm sure he'll undergo further imaging at whatever point today, tomorrow, when it's appropriate, but right now, he was cleared to go back in the game, and did. He made a couple nice moves when he got back in the game.

Q. Did you feel like you all did a good job of defending Paul on some of those threes because there were some he was coming really tight off those screens with Stevens Adams.
QUIN SNYDER: Yeah, that was my feeling. You know, I think he got one across from their bench in transition where it was a clean look, you know, on that wide pin-down. Steven Adams is a good screener, and I thought we were connected to him, and he made a couple, and we changed up what we were doing, and then he went to something else, went to pick-and-roll, and he made a couple more, and then we tried to trap him, and he passed the ball and made a couple -- the one I thought really hurt was the long rebound where he sized it up at the end of the quarter and made that three.

But even that was contested. He's a great player, and when you get that, you've just got to do the best you can to try to limit -- I don't know what it was in the first half as far as points in the paint or points at the rim, but we did a pretty good job of protecting the rim. They just made jump shots, and they can do that.

Q. There's always that cliché out there that rookies hit a wall in the postseason, but did Donovan Mitchell's performance tonight give you probably more confidence maybe than you may have had going into the postseason or the series?
QUIN SNYDER: It's hard for me not to have confidence in Donovan, just coaching him for a year. There's always the possibility that a new situation provides different challenges and that you never know how -- I said before, I know he's not going to be afraid. Whether you play well, sometimes you do everything you can and you don't play well. That wasn't the case tonight.

But I haven't really seen Donovan as a rookie for the most part of the whole season because of the way that he's played, with the poise he has, and the way he's elevated his teammates and our team.

Q. Paul George was on Joe Ingles for a good chunk of the night. What did that do for the way you guys had to run your offense?
QUIN SNYDER: Well, Joe -- I think one of the telling things for us offensively, Joe has led us in assists. He had double-figure assists tonight, and Paul George is a good defender. I know Joe was able to drive a couple times and get to the rim. But that -- you know, it's Game 1, and they're going to do things that we -- they're going to give us problems, and we've got to look at it and be better, and we've got to play better to win. But Joe has been a heck of a player for us all year. He's one of our key guys, one of our our key play makers, and we'll keep grinding.

Q. How do you think your bench played overall?
QUIN SNYDER: I loved the way Dante attacked the rim. Not to single out our bench from our starters or anything, we just need to play better and we need to play better defensively. The offense, you know, there are times when against a good defensive team with quickness and athleticism and length that they have, you know, on the wings, they can make it hard for you. But in the end, we guarded -- I'm sorry, we scored some points. Not enough to win, but I think defensively is where we've got to be better. I'm confident in our bench and the job those guys have done, and like I said, we've got to play better.

Q. Rudy was plagued by foul trouble. Just wondered how you saw the match-up inside with the big guys.
QUIN SNYDER: Yeah, well, I think you mentioned in the first half, Rudy was good protecting the rim, and again, I thought he did a good job on the boards, I thought collectively, especially in the first half, a good job on the boards. We were aggressive. Again, I'm not displeased with any individual performance really. I don't feel that way. You know, I thought the way we competed the whole game, that's who this team -- that's who they are, and our identity really has been on the defensive end, and that's where we need to be better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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