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May 16, 2018

Mike D'Antoni

Houston, Texas: Game Two

Rockets - 127, Warriors - 105

Q. Was this about adjustments?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Oh, yeah. We went from the wide-open California offense to the triple threat. I mean, we changed everything up. No, we did exactly what we did. We played harder. We got into them. They felt us physically. We didn't quite have that same intensity in the first game. Our guys are great and they learned from it, snapped back and did the job.

Q. Chris Paul said yesterday that you're so great in transition and offense but that's all set up by defense. How much did the defensive impact tonight for four quarters, especially early on, change this game and get you guys to where you wanted to be offensively?
MIKE D'ANTONI: The whole key. That's everything. You guys can write an article in one sentence, that's it. We got into people. They missed it, and we were able to run. That way we get more people involved. If we have to walk it up every time, then that's a lot of isos, which they walked it up tonight and did a lot of isos. Switching causes you to do that. And they have a really good guy that can do it. We have a really good guy that can do it. But we'd rather get out and run and get some threes up, which we were able to and fast, transition-type shots.

Q. At what point in the season did P.J. Tucker get particularly comfortable hitting those corner threes with consistency?
MIKE D'ANTONI: You'd have to ask him. He started out, I think, the first game of the year, if I'm not mistaken, the first game of the year maybe, I don't know, at Golden State, he hit a lot of threes. Then he went through a period where he was missing them and starting to question things. I don't think anybody on the team -- the coaching staff definitely didn't question him. The guy's a warrior. You know, if he misses all of them -- and I told him at a certain point he can affect the game so many ways. You make them, you make them. If you take five and miss five and we take a hundred shots, who cares. So don't even worry about it. But he's not hesitating. He finds a way to affect the game.

Q. Can you talk about the balanced scoring, and the way you were able to move everybody around and get guys involved? And just how Clint Capela helped you in things we couldn't see in the boxscore?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Clint is always huge just because we have that presence at the rim. Our whole key was getting stops, running. We played them with a lot more force on defense. We played with a lot more force on offense. We didn't just wait on them. We drove it and passed it, and drove it and passed it. By doing that -- which is what we want to do every day; it doesn't work all the time -- we're able to control the game. But we did it from the defensive end first. We know that; they know it. We've just got to keep repeating it.

Q. After two days of all the talk about playing style and all the other stuff you labeled as noise.
MIKE D'ANTONI: Was there any talk? I didn't hear anything.

Q. I heard you (laughing). How much did it end up just being about belief in who you guys are and what you've done this year?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Again, I don't want to be snarky, and I don't want to be old -- well, I've got to be old, but I don't want to be cantankerous. It's just that first of all, you have one of the best offenses probably of all time, at least with Golden State, and they're one of the best all-time teams. We're trying to prove we're up there with them. You're not going to come in and change the way you play. That's the way we played all year.

Sometimes we get bogged down, but usually because we can't get out in transition, can't get that force and then the ball seems like all we do is keep it.

But, again, we are who we are, and we had to be who we are. We just did it better, longer. Guys believe it, and we're not going to change anything up. That would be silly on my part to panic. You don't do that. We're very comfortable about who we are, and we can beat anybody anywhere at any time playing the way we play. Some people might not like it, you know? Hey, sorry. You know, it might not look good to some people. But it's effective. It's efficient.

The one good thing about Golden State is that Steve Kerr does a great job. He plays exactly the way that team has to play. He took his talent, figured it out and they are very efficient and one of the best teams ever.

We as a coaching staff try to do the same thing. You take what you have, you figure out what you can do, what will maximize each one of our players, try to get them career years. We try to maximize what they do. This is the best way that we play, I think -- and hey, I could be mistaken, but I obviously believe in it.

And we're going to play that and live with the results.

Q. You talked about how you're going to have to live with Kevin Durant's points. But if you all did the other --
MIKE D'ANTONI: I wish he'd have a bad game every once in a while. I could live with it. But, my gosh, he's unbelievable. He was incredible tonight.

Q. I was going to say you talked about the little things y'all didn't do right in the first game. How did you feel about all those little things tonight?
MIKE D'ANTONI: All the little things we did. Kevin is a beast of its own. Our isos look a little tough because it takes us 10 seconds whether we want a three or layup or foul shots. It takes him one second. He's just going to shoot over people. So he was incredible.

But at the same time, if we do everything else -- last game we didn't get matched up right. We gave too many wide-open threes. We had too many turnovers. Just so many things that contributed to the loss and not what everybody's talking about. That had nothing to do with the loss. We just talked about it. I trust my guys 100 percent, just playing with more force and understanding what we're doing. They came out and did it perfectly.

Q. We've seen Clint Capela do the double-doubles in the season. Today just eight points. Was that something you worked out for him or was it something that just happened?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Well, Clint gives us the ability to be able to switch. He's so important to what we do. He's a great basketball player. He can guard the perimeter. He can guard the bigs. He can get us vertical space. He runs the floor. We ask a lot from Clint. He's one of the reasons we were able to make the jump last year and make another jump this year, because of his improvements. He's improved unbelievably as a player. His mentality, his demeanor, he'll get better even. He's invaluable to us. No one should overlook him. He's a good player.

Q. Durant had another big scoring night, but zero assists, and I think he might have zero in Game 1. Is that something of a coaching strategy? Obviously you don't want him to score like crazy. But to make sure that defending him doesn't open other things for the players?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Yeah, well, it's the way that we decided we need to play. We're going to try to put our best defender on him and try to make it hard. Hopefully you don't put him at the foul line very much and don't let him get assists. He's going to get some points. He's that good. If you run people at him, he's going to get those points anyway. I don't know that anybody's ever shut him out. So he's going to get them anyway.

Then you have Klay and Steph and all those guys start getting off because [Durant] picks out people. We want to avoid that as much as we can.

Q. Chris Paul has never reached this round before. In the third quarter the fabled quarter where the Warriors always go crazy, and I'm sure you told you your guys that --
MIKE D'ANTONI: I think everybody knows that. It's not a secret. Our great scouting department got that one.

Q. It looked like Chris really willed the team in that quarter. Can you talk about what he did there? What it means to him to be here and how he got his childhood friend so involved in this game plan tonight, P.J.?
MIKE D'ANTONI: I didn't know their relationship. But that's what makes Chris great. It's a will. Whether it's the third quarter, whether it's getting [teammates] to play hard. Every suggestion -- I've heard oh, he's tough on players. No, he's not tough on players. He's coming from a good place. If you've got a problem with Chris, you've really got to look in the mirror, because he's not saying give me the ball. Let me do it. I need to shoot more. I need my touches. I need more minutes. He's just all about winning. And if you can't handle that, then you know what, you need to look at yourself in the mirror really hard.

He's not always right. I'm not always right. No one's always right. But you know his heart is right, and then you can handle it. He's great, he's great. He deserves everything he's going to get when he retires.

We need to help him out as much as we can and get him and everybody to where they need to get.

Q. Did you come into the game thinking that you guys would attack Steph Curry as much off the dribble? Is it also a strategy to help maybe slow a guy down like that offensively by making him work?
MIKE D'ANTONI: It's obviously one of our things we like to do. I thought Steph guarded pretty well tonight. He got some steals. But our whole thing was our force. We just talked about that we have to play more physical. We have to play with force on defense. And that translates over to offense. Now we're driving and kicking and driving and kicking and driving and kicking. They're like us. When you do that and you're running at people, it's tough. We got in the lane. We're able to get our threes. A lot of things opened up. It was just the force we played with. Hopefully we understand that. We know it's going to be hard in Oakland. There's no doubt about it. But we have to play that way, and then see what happens.

Q. You've talked about that conversation with PJ before about the five missed shots is not going to kill you or lose the ballgame for you. Did you have to have that --
MIKE D'ANTONI: I've had that conversation with a lot of those players (laughing). That's what we believe. We believe, hey, shoot them. If you're open, you shoot them. I don't care who you are. Except I won't let Clint shoot threes yet. But everybody else is if you're open, you shoot it. It's a good shot and we believe in you. It doesn't matter. If you're playing hard and not taking selfish shots, that will not affect the game negatively if you miss them.

Q. So you didn't have to have that conversation with him between these last two games? And did you sense tonight --
MIKE D'ANTONI: I didn't, no. I didn't even have to have the conversation probably when I did. He's a winner. And he's another one: He's vocal. He'll come out. But, again, it's not about him. It's about the team and trying to get good. We've got a bunch of guys like that. That makes us have this season we've had, and hopefully we can do well in the postseason.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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