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May 13, 2019

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. On Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins:
STEVE KERR: I think everyone needs to slow down a little bit on the Kevin stuff. He hasn't even stepped on the floor yet. We've tried to remain somewhat vague because the injury is really sort of open-ended in terms of how long he's going to need to recover, but I think in doing so, maybe people have gotten the idea that he's going to come back and be Willis Reed or something. He hasn't even stepped on the floor yet. He still has pain. So there's some time ahead of him on the rehab process. We'll have a more detailed update on Thursday.

DeMarcus, probably similar. He hasn't had any live stuff on the court yet. He's not back to full. Hopefully, another week goes by, and things start to get better. Now we have a better prognosis. At this point, we're getting ready for this series without them.

Q. Is it unlikely that DeMarcus returns in this series?
STEVE KERR: I guess. Now that will be the headline -- Kerr says it's unlikely that DeMarcus will return. Again, we sort of evaluate week to week, but if a guy hasn't even seen any live action the day before the first game of the series, it's tough to see that turning around quickly. As I said, for both guys, it's not like anything is imminent.

Q. Can you imagine your kids playing against each other for a chance to go to the NBA Finals and what that must mean to the family?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, the Currys are unbelievable. They've been flying all over the place, seeing both kids play in the NBA playoffs, and then to see them play against each other-- they're like the royal family of the NBA. It's incredible. There they are, and Steph and Seth both having all this success. As parents, they must be having the time of their lives. Actually, I know they are because I talked to them about it.

What a beautiful scene. I'm sure it will be conflicting for them these next couple of weeks, but what a great story.

Q. What makes the Blazers more dangerous than when you faced them in the playoffs two years ago?
STEVE KERR: I think the continuity, the foundation that they've built over the last four, five, six years under Terry [Stotts] and Neil Olshey. It's a beautiful team to watch. They've got great chemistry. They play through adversity. They have their share of injuries and more, and yet they've continued to succeed. They've come up in big moments and performed. There's an energy about them that you can feel even watching them on TV.

They're a really connected, together team, and they believe in themselves. They're here for a reason, and they're having a spectacular season. They're going to give us all we can handle.

Q. Were you at all surprised -- Denver had the better record and home-court advantage and started off so well in the season, and all of a sudden, Portland comes in and beats them on their court?
STEVE KERR: I think it speaks to Portland's resolve and their continuity and their experience. They've been doing this for a long time now. I don't know how many years they've made the playoffs, but it's a lot. You could tell in Game 7, you could tell that team was more experienced. Denver, this is the first time they've been there in a long time. Portland, they've had the experience, and it paid off for them. CJ McCollum was spectacular down the stretch. Their defense was great. So they know what they're doing.

They've been here before, in the playoffs, and we've played them a couple times over the last few years. So we know their team well. They know us well.

Q. Has McCollum taken his game to another level, or has he been at this level?
STEVE KERR: He's always been pretty good, but to have the type of playoff games he's having now during this run, he's as good as he's ever been, that's for sure.

Q. What is the overall strength of Portland's three-point game? How is it different from Houston, and how have they prepared you for this challenge?
STEVE KERR: They've got multiple guys who shoot threes. It's a little different team than Houston. They've got more motion, more movement than Houston. But two very dominant guards like Houston. In some ways, that series may have helped us prepare for this one, seeing these All-Star guards. But every team is unique to itself, and they do different things and have different wrinkles. You have to prepare. You have to get a feel, and you get a better feel as you go during the series. So hopefully, we'll be ready to go tomorrow night and get off to a good start.

Q. Lillard has had some special games here in Oracle. It's his hometown. Do you expect him to come in and play like he has?
STEVE KERR: Of course. He's been one of the best players in the league for a long time. We know his affection for Oakland and vice versa. Everybody around here loves Damian, and why wouldn't they? He's a lot easier to love when he's playing in a different game and not our game, you know. He's so tough to guard. He had a game-winner against us earlier this year at Oracle. So you've got your hands full when you play against him, but that's the challenge. The deeper you go in the playoffs, the better the teams get, the better the opponent gets. You've got to be ready for everything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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