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May 21, 2018

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. In the playoffs and regular season, how much does Draymond's boxing out matter?
STEVE KERR: His boxouts this series have been amazing. [Clint] Capela is there every play, and Draymond finds a way to box him out and still get his hand on the rebound, either get it himself or directed to a teammate.

Yeah, I mean, finishing a possession is such a big part of defense. It's not just field goal percentage defense. That's a good indicator, but keeping them off the offensive glass is a big deal too.

Q. How big an NBA skill is that, that box out?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, it's something that seems to elude lots of players in the league. A lot of guys shot goes up and they just turn and look. You can't turn and look. You have to see if your guy's coming. I think the game has changed. I don't think you box out like you did 30 years ago where you step into them and you turn and you steal. I think it's more you kind of hit a guy in the chest, just knock his balance off and then go get the ball.

But in this series, I'm seeing a lot of traditional box outs from Draymond because Capela is down on the baseline, and as shot goes up, Draymond's taking him out. He's doing a great job of that.

Q. Does it take a 41-point win for us to not ask you about Draymond getting a T?
STEVE KERR: I'm here for you. That's why I won a Rudy Tomjanovich Award yesterday. In fact, if you don't mind, I'd rather talk about that (laughing).

Q. How do you feel about it?
STEVE KERR: I'm thrilled. Let's go back to the series now.

Q. But the T coming late in the game?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, I thought it was unfair, but we'll take it up with the league. He committed a hard foul, but he held Ariza up. Didn't allow him to get hurt. Then Ariza shoved him. Didn't seem like a double technical to me, so we'll take it up with the league and see what happens.

Q. Before Steph broke out both K.D. and Draymond were very steadfast in supporting him saying that they believe it was just a matter of time before that happened. What type of affect does that have on guys having that much confidence in them?
STEVE KERR: I think it helps to have the confidence of your teammates. But the main thing is to have the confidence in yourself, and that's what makes Steph so special. It doesn't matter, even on the biggest stage he can have a difficult stretch, and he genuinely believes the next one's going in. You could see that last night.

I think he was 1-for-6 in the first half from three, but you knew it was just a matter of time and he finally got it going. We've seen that from him throughout his career. It's a special kind of confidence that very few players have.

Q. Do you think the guys in the locker room have a special belief in each other compared to other teams that you've been around?
STEVE KERR: Great teams generally have a lot of belief, championship teams have a lot of belief. That's how you're able to win one in the first place.

Q. Steph's taking twice as many from five feet and in than he normally does. I know it's only three games, but why do you think he's been able to be so deadly in this series?
STEVE KERR: They're a pretty unique team with all their switching. If they want to take away some of his threes, they're going to be able to. But that leaves the paint exposed. They're switching everything, so Capela frequently ends up on the perimeter. They don't have shot blocking if Capela's not at the rim.

So Steph's just making good reads, getting into the paint, finishing and then obviously he got the three going last night as well.

Q. What's Steph's favorite celebration that you've seen, and what was your best one?
STEVE KERR: Oh, yeah, yeah, I had a lot of them. I've told this story before. My favorite Steph celebration was the shimmy in Portland when he finally made a three that got him to 1-for-11. So you want to talk about confidence, you shimmy when you're 1-for-11, that's confidence.

Q. He said sometimes you just have to be out there and be your own biggest fan and have amnesia.
STEVE KERR: It's true. It's true. I wasn't capable of that. I would go into a shell if I missed four or five threes in a row. Most guys would, to be honest with you. But Steph's a different breed.

Q. Mike D'Antoni says this morning he thinks the pressure will be on you guys tomorrow night. It's a must-win game for you guys. Is that an accurate statement? Do you see it that way?
STEVE KERR: I hope so. We're much better when the pressure's on. He's right. We're at home, so if they win, they have home-court advantage. So, yeah, pressure's on us. It's kind of on them too.

Q. Steph said that he would just show film of Game 2 and say don't do that, to prevent a letdown for tomorrow night. Are you concerned that after a 41-point win?
STEVE KERR: No, not really. Draymond said it the other day. We're allowed one of these games a series. We already had that game in Game 2 where we let down. This team we're playing against won 65 games, had one of the best seasons in the history of the game. You've they've got the guy that's probably going to be MVP. You have Chris Paul who is a Hall of Famer. They've got great role players. They're really well-coached and they have a great strategy, excellent defense.

We know all these things. It doesn't matter if we won by one or 41. Danny Ainge years ago after a blowout win for the Celtics, and this is how my mind works because he didn't -- he hasn't played for about 30 years. But for some reason I remember stuff like this.

I don't remember what I had for breakfast, but I remember what Danny Ainge said 30 years ago. They won a playoff game by 40, and he said, this is not the Tour de France. You don't start with a big lead because it's not based on time or how much you won by. It's the NBA, so it's 2-1. So doesn't matter what happened yesterday. We have to be ready for a great team that's going to come out like they did in Game 2, attacking, hair on fire. And taking the force to us, and we have to be ready for that tomorrow.

Q. Along those lines in terms of big blowouts, thinking all six games (Indiscernible) I don't think there's been a game within 10 points yet. Do you attribute that to the proliferation of three-point shooting? Why do you think the scores are so lopsided?
STEVE KERR: I think the threes have a lot to do with it. These days the game can get away from you quickly if you're giving up a lot of threes. Defense is always the difference. But what happens now a days, defense often leads to a three-point barrage for most teams out there, Cleveland, Boston, us, Houston. So I would say, if I had to guess, that's why there have been more blowouts, but that's just a guess.

Q. Steph defensively, especially yesterday they didn't really score all that much in the pick-and-roll. Do you think that helps fuel him even when the shot's not going like it wasn't in the first half, that keeps him in the game?
STEVE KERR: He's pretty competitive. You guys know that. They pick on him every time, it fires him up. So it's tiring. They're smart to do it. They're trying to wear them down. They've got great one-on-one players.

So this is kind of the way we've been attacked in the past, too. Cleveland was saying if you have the personnel to do it, it's a good strategy. But he's better than people think defensively, and he's got quick hands. He's capable of holding up. And even if they do score, he's got the mental fortitude to just take it, and keep playing.

Q. How do you feel about playing Quinn Cook right now?
STEVE KERR: Quinn Cook?

Q. Yes.
STEVE KERR: Quinn's always ready. He's a pro. So doesn't matter in the meat of a game or the end of a blowout, he's going to come out and do his job. He knocked down a couple shots. I have the ultimate faith in him that he could still play a role in this series and beyond if we get further.

Q. You had talked about getting Steph open, doing some things to get him open. In the first half there was a sequence where it passed to Draymond on the switch, and cut out to the three and missed it. It seemed like in the second half it was mostly just going off contested shots. Do you need to do things to get him? Do you think those things help or does he really need it?
STEVE KERR: I think anytime we can help a guy get an open shot, that's our job as a staff. I think the thing with Steph, he's more likely to break free just by making one. So if he can get an easy one early, that's a big help.

Q. Do you have a standard breakfast?
STEVE KERR: I do not.

Q. It changes every day?
STEVE KERR: It changes every day. That's why I can't remember.

Q. You could argue that the end of the first quarter, the last 3:30 minutes is where the game swung and was all based on your defense getting like 10 straight shots. What was it in that flurry defensively that you guys did?
STEVE KERR: I thought [Kevon] Looney came in, did a really good job for us. Got that big block that led to a bucket at the other end. I just think we were solid. We didn't foul. We made them take tough shots. Stayed with it. But that's got to be the game plan for 48 minutes, make it difficult, don't foul, keep playing if they do score, and trust that over the course of the game things will work out.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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