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June 1, 2018

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Just wondering on the final possession there where J.R. Smith lost track of time and score. Just how common is that? As a coach, when you're witnessing a situation like that, how understandable is that to you in that situation in a game with such high stakes at that time?
STEVE KERR: It's happened before. It doesn't happen often, but nobody's perfect. Players, coaches, everybody makes mistakes. And that's just part of it. You go on to the next play.

Q. We were just on the conference call with Klay Thompson. He's doing well. He was talking about the confidence of being able to play through pain. What did you notice over the years of how he is able to play through injuries whenever he does get hurt?
STEVE KERR: Klay is just a physical specimen. It's just incredible -- the resilience, the stamina to play both ends night after night, 40-plus minutes in the playoffs. He's a machine.

Q. I was hoping for an update on Andre Iguodala and his potential status of playing in Game 2.
STEVE KERR: He's here today and he's done some work. He's feeling a little bit better. I would just probably call him doubtful for Game 2, but we'll see how it goes.

Q. I was also wondering about your center rotation and how maybe Game 1 changed your mind. I know you started JaVale McGee in the second half. What you're thinking on that?
STEVE KERR: Game 1 is always important to get a feel for how the series could go, for matchups. I thought JaVale gave us good minutes, but I also liked (Kevon) Looney and J.B. (Jordan Bell). David (West) made some good plays.

I don't think anything is going to change in terms of center by committee. It's how it's been all year. As a staff, we'll continue to look at our situation and decide if we want to make any lineup changes or rotational ones. We learned a lot from Game 1, and we'll adapt accordingly.

Q. They had 19 offensive rebounds. I was just wondering on your general thoughts of boxing out yesterday and Kevin Durant's one late that gave J.R. that rebound?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, the glaring weakness on film was our lack of aggression on the boards. That's something we've got to clean up.

Q. There's been some commentary on LeBron being able to come off screens with the mismatch he wanted. Are you looking at changing your defense, or do you feel that if he scores 51 and can't beat you, you just have to wear him out and take care of the other guys?
STEVE KERR: It's never been that simple. I think we have to continue to explore different ways to defend him, putting different bodies on him. I didn't think we were very good against him last night. I thought he was spectacular, but I didn't think we made it that difficult for him.

And that's always the challenge when you play a great player. There is this balance between accepting that he's going to get his numbers, but making it difficult.

I never felt like we got him out of any sort of comfort zone last night. We've got to do a better job of that on Sunday.

Q. I know you guys came in with enormous respect for them, but after all the talk that it would be a mismatched series, in some ways was Game 1 a wake-up call?
STEVE KERR: I think it's your wake-up call. Seriously. I mean, we came into this series knowing what we're up against. We've seen this team three years in a row, and we've had these amazing battles with them. Everybody else was saying it's going to be easy. We weren't the ones. So I hope the media got a wake-up call.

Q. I realize it worked in your favor last night, but what are your thoughts on the officials being able to overturn that block/charge call?
STEVE KERR: I'm not a huge fan of replay. I would like to see replay limited rather than expanded. But it doesn't matter what I think. The fact is the rule is the rule. We had seen that play before. It's happened to us a couple of times on both sides.

I thought in the end they got the call right, and that's the object of replay. It was clearly a block, so they got it right. But I don't know what else to say on that subject.

Q. You talked a little bit about how you defended LeBron. How do you feel like Durant did on LeBron, and how do you think he balanced (indiscernible)?
STEVE KERR: Overall, we did not do a good job on LeBron, no matter who was on him. I just felt like he got to spots that he wanted to get to. Again, this is Game 1. So it's a different feel. That's the biggest thing I took away from this game.

We just played Houston for seven games. We saw very specific offensive attack that we grew accustomed to. This one's different. The personnel is different. Obviously, the actions are different. We have to react to that.

But it wasn't an individual issue. It was a team-wide focus and aggression that needs to change.

Q. You used the small lineup with Shaun Livingston instead of Iguodala I believe at the end of the game, and it worked out fine. What was the broad thinking in your decision-making there?
STEVE KERR: Well, Shaun is one of our best players. I think in overtime we just decided to put our best five players on the floor. Yes, with him out there, we play smaller. We can spread the floor a little bit more. We've got another playmaker. But we also got a fresh body. Looney was pretty tired. And Cleveland kept the same guys out there.

I thought it was good for us to get fresh legs on the floor. Shaun made a couple of huge plays in that overtime. He was great.

Q. Regarding what I was asking earlier about Klay playing through pain. I don't know if this is a stretch, but does his ability to do that evoke any comparisons to how any of your former teammates played through pain, whether it was Michael (Jordan) or anyone else?
STEVE KERR: I haven't really thought about that, but I definitely have played with guys who seemed invincible and just were there. You could count on night after night. Tim Duncan, for example. Michael Jordan. Those guys, you just knew they were going to be present. They were going to be there on the lineup card every night. That's a hugely valuable asset for a team to have. Klay represents that for us.

Q. What do you make of the unwritten rule about the whole shot clock violation?
STEVE KERR: We're always going to take a shot if the game tells us to take a shot. If there's a shot clock differential, then we're going to take the shot. Simple as that. That's not offending anybody. I guess Tristan (Thompson) felt like that was offensive. I don't think that's offensive. That's a different interpretation.

If there's no shot clock on, we're going to dribble the clock out. But if there's time left on the clock, the game is telling us to continue to play. We're not going to go ahead and dunk it. We're not going to do anything fancy. Shaun dribbles up, takes his 15-footer. The ball either goes in or it doesn't, and the game is going to end. But we never would take a turnover. That would be stupid.

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