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May 13, 2018

Stephen Curry

Houston, Texas: Practice Day

Q. Considering you guys are peaking right now, also locked in and so focused, when in the middle of the regular season it kind of felt like a marathon and guys were struggling with being a little bit disengaged. Did you ever worry that people would not be able to get to the focus level they\'re at right now?
STEPHEN CURRY: No, I mean, a lot has been talked about our regular season and how up-and-down it was. But relatively speaking we went through a lot. Just had to find ways to set mini-goals throughout the season, deal with injuries. That fourth year in a row, the chase and all that, the big picture was to get to this point, continue to build momentum down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs.

That\'s what we\'ve done.

At the beginning of the season, this is where we wanted to be, playing for another opportunity to go to The Finals. We\'re here. I think everybody\'s really, really locked in and ready for the opportunity.

Q. Do you feel like pressure\'s on them a lot in Game 1, just because they\'re home and a 65-win team is challenging you guys?
STEPHEN CURRY: I don\'t know. I mean, every series that we\'ve started at home, you want to get off to a great start, obviously. You want to win that first game. But you\'d have to really ask them. We know what our mission is coming here. Have a good performance tomorrow. Give ourselves a chance to win and get off to a great start ourselves in this series. Honestly, we don\'t really care about what the pressure is. It\'s about winning games.

Q. What is it that makes them especially dangerous to you guys?
STEPHEN CURRY: They have weapons all over the floor, but obviously everything runs through James [Harden] and Chris [Paul]. They\'re two dynamic scorers and playmakers that put a lot of pressure on your defense. You know for 48 minutes it\'s not just going to be one person defending each of those guys; it\'s going to be a total team effort.

For us, what they present with the shooters they have on the floor and how fast they play, we\'ve just got to be locked in 48 minutes on the defensive end. Not get discouraged if they make tough shots, because they\'re going to, and go right back at them on defense.

Q. Would you say they have what\'s traditionally considered to be a Big Three?
STEPHEN CURRY: I have no idea. They have a really good team.

Q. Steve Kerr said a couple days ago that you all play your best when you are threatened, and you all are threatened. Klay Thompson just said you have the appropriate fear. How do you view all that stuff?
STEPHEN CURRY: Any team that shows up in the Western Conference Finals is a great team. ... I don\'t think there is a worry. We genuinely respect what they offer. We know we have to play our best. We can\'t just show up at this stage of the season.

Q. What do you think about what Clint Capela has brought them?
STEPHEN CURRY: He\'s been huge. An inside presence on both ends of the floor. He puts pressure on the rim on offense. When James is going downhill, he can put the lob threat out there. And he offensive rebounds. Defensively he\'s pretty smart. Defender being in the right positions, shoring up the paint for them blocking shots, challenging shots.

You\'ve got to make him run, you\'ve got to make him think, you\'ve got to make him make multiple decisions on the floor and not sit in the paint and clog it up.

Q. What kind of chippiness do you expect between the teams?
STEPHEN CURRY: Every series takes a life of its own. It\'s hard to predict. It\'s not worth thinking about it. We\'re competing at a high level playing basketball, and things are going to happen. There\'s going to be some back and forth. That\'s kind of part of the territory. But at the end of the day, that can\'t distract us from what our goal is.

I think we\'re all pretty aware of how to handle ourselves and how to bring that edge, bring that competitiveness, that toughness, and channel it toward making productive plays as opposed to getting back and forth in chirping matches and all that stuff.

Q. Even for Draymond Green?
STEPHEN CURRY: Even for Draymond.

Q. How do you avoid picking up fouls against Harden?
STEPHEN CURRY: Just being disciplined. You can\'t reach. That\'s the hardest thing. He\'s a master at -- honestly, whether it\'s a foul or not, he makes it look like it\'s a foul. It\'s a true art to that. For us, we don\'t want to be in those situations where a ref is making a judgment call. We want to make it as clear as possible that we\'re playing great defense with our hands out, using our bodies, using our IQ to make it tough on them. At the end of the day, that\'s all we can control. We\'ve played him plenty of times. We don\'t want that to be a determining factor in the series.

Q. Draymond famously texted Kevin Durant during the New Orleans series to get him aggressive again. Has he done anything like that to you, and, if so, what did he text to you?
STEPHEN CURRY: We\'ve had a lot of back-and-forth. We\'ve been playing together for six years. It\'s hard to kind of document each kind of run-in. During the 2015 championship run, in Memphis, we were down 2-1. After the game I was in my hotel room. I wouldn\'t call it sulking, but I was thinking about what I need to do better for the next game and whatnot. He called me and told me to come down to the barbecue spot down the street. We had a pretty unhealthy meal, we had a beer and put it in perspective that we were still in good shape. We ended up winning that series and going on to win the championship.

You need those type of moments where you need to get out your feelings a little bit. Keep the right perspective around winning the championship, because it\'s a grind. It\'s tough. You know, whether it\'s Draymond making the call or us having team dinner or whatever the case is, you got to find the moments.

Q. You\'ve all been here multiple times; they haven\'t. How much is that an advantage, and if it is, how much so?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, James has been here before, and of course coach [Mike] D\'Antoni.

Q. I mean as a group.
STEPHEN CURRY: It\'s different guys that they can rely on. If you asked me that question in 2015, I probably would have been like, It doesn\'t matter. We know how to play basketball. It\'s the same game, 94 feet. Hopefully our experience does help a little bit, just being together as a team last year.

At the end of the day, it doesn\'t matter. I don\'t think they\'re giving us a two-, four-, six-point difference in any game or giving us a leg up in the series. You\'ve got to win four games, and you\'ve got to do it before they do. It\'s going to be a fun series.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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