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May 15, 2019

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California - Practice Day

Q. Steve, you guys had 13 steals in the last game. What do you think about the ability to get to the passing lane or to predict where they're going to be?
STEVE KERR: Well, we've always had a good defensive team here with a lot of smart, long defenders, guys like Andre [Iguodala] and Draymond [Green], Shaun [Livingston], Klay [Thompson], they play the passing lanes, and they help each other. They've got a good feel for the team defense and where the five guys are.

I thought last night was a very good defensive effort. You still saw plenty of things on film that we could improve upon, but it was a good defensive game for us.

Q. Speaking of that defense, Steph [Curry] was on [Damian] Lillard and [CJ} McCollum a lot in that game. How do you think he did personally?
STEVE KERR: I thought he did really well. Those two guys are among the hardest guys in the league to guard. So it's really a five-man game. When you play them, you have to have a lot of help no matter who's out there on those guys. I thought Steph did a good job on the ball, and the other four guys around him did a good job in help and containment.

One area where we could improve is rebounding because they got a lot of offensive boards. This always kinds of happens. As the series gets going, you start to get a feel for the detail and the nuances. Both teams start to take care of little details a little bit better, and then it gets tougher and tougher as you go.

Q. Steve, how pleased were you with the way that Stephen played and moved without the ball?
STEVE KERR: Movement was great. We had 30 assists. We had like 17 secondary assists, which was a great number. So the ball was moving. We played with good pace, took care of the ball in general. We could play better, but all in all, for a Game 1, it was a really good start.

Q. How much does it help you that you can count on your bench? I mean, you knew that, but now that you went to them again after not really going to them much in the Rockets series?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, we're going to really need those guys. I thought the key stretch of the game was the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. We had a chance to break it open in the third. We were up 17, and Portland cuts it to six again in the third. That group that came in that included Jordan [Bell], Quinn [Cook], Jonas [Jerebko], Shaun, and Klay, they made a really good push. Quinn had two of the biggest shots of the game, back-to-back threes to give us position, and that was a really important part of the game.

Q. As stoic as Klay might be at times, it seems like this season in the playoffs, there's a lot of times he might get really hyped up after a play offensively or defensively. Have you noticed that in particular?
STEVE KERR: That is Klay, you know. It's not like he's always stoic all of the time. He gets emotional at times too. He lets it all out. He's a big time competitor. That's one of the underrated things that maybe people don't see too often or see and realize what they're looking at, but he is an unbelievably tough, gritty competitor.

Q. Have you guys made a decision on Kevin's status for tomorrow?
STEVE KERR: What day is it?

Q. Wednesday.
STEVE KERR: What did I say?

Q. An update tomorrow.
STEVE KERR: I did say Thursday. So there's no update on tomorrow's update.

Q. So it's still possible he could play tomorrow then?
STEVE KERR: It's entirely likely we will have an update tomorrow, as we've been saying.

Q. Is there something he might be able to add to your options with [Andrew] Bogut or even Damian Jones?
STEVE KERR: Well, he's a tremendous lob threat. Damian is an explosive leaper, powerful around the rim. If the defense that we're facing, regardless of the opponent, starts playing us in a certain way, and we feel like there's a lob threat available, then we could put him out there.

Q. Steve, back to Klay, his job description has always been confident shooting and defending, but specifically in these playoff matchups, how have you seen them handle the defensive assignments, just knowing those guys and the different styles they play?
STEVE KERR: Same way he's always done it. You just go back over the years, you can go down a list of top five, six players in the league and play guard with those guys, whether it's LeBron and Kyrie against Cleveland or Westbrook when we play OKC, Chris Paul. He guards everybody. That's why he's one of the very best players in the league because the playoffs are all about two-way players. You've got to be able to score. You've got to be able to defend. So two-way guys rule the day in the playoffs, and Klay is right at the top of the list when you talk about two-way threats.

Q. Why hasn't Klay gotten more credit?
STEVE KERR: I don't know. I talk about it all the time, so I blame you guys for not exposing it more. I don't know. I think Klay gets lost in the shuffle a little bit around here just because we've got Steph and K.D., two MVPs, past MVPs. Draymond gets a lot of attention, as he should. He's an All-Star player, and he's kind of the emotional heartbeat of our team.

Klay just kind of blends in sometimes. But you ask any coach around the league, he's one of the most respected players in the game because of his ability to play both ends.

Q. Do you think he likes it that way?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, it doesn't bother him. I think he does kind of like it that way. He doesn't need the fanfare. I know that when Raymond [Warriors VP of Communications Raymond Ridder] tells our guys that they have media today -- like we didn't know if we were going to have media today because we just had a film session, no practice, but because it's the West Finals, we have to have media. When Raymond names the two guys that have to do media and Klay's not one of them, he says "Yes!" and he walks off.

Q. He hates us.
STEVE KERR: He loves you guys personally. He doesn't want any of the fanfare.

Q. He just doesn't like Raymond basically (laughter)?
STEVE KERR: Let's go with that.

Q. You mentioned that he has a mind that kind of likes the background shuffle. There was a report that he was, quote, unquote, tired of the crumbs. Do you think that holds any water?
STEVE KERR: Oh, yeah, Klay is so tired of the crumbs falling off (laughter). There's lots of reports out there. We see Klay every day. He's pretty happy.

Q. What do you think about the way the draft order shook out in New Orleans?
STEVE KERR: It was a bit of an upset, I guess, right? What were their chances going in? But I guess -- I mean, the top teams had a 14 percent chance. So I guess there's no such thing to moderate the way it's constructed. So interesting, and it will make for an interesting summer for sure.

Yeah, I don't -- I'm just a fan like everybody else. I'm intrigued by what's going to happen in the league this summer and happy for Alvin Gentry. Beyond that, no comment.

Q. Did you see his reaction, though?
STEVE KERR: I did. He should watch his mouth. He should never swear (laughter).

Q. Were you kind of perplexed by the way that some of the Portland players were playing Steph last night? If so, how do you expect them to adjust?
STEVE KERR: You know, every team has to play according to their personnel, and they have to play a style that makes sense. In the playoffs, if something doesn't work well, then you make an adjustment from there. You can't just start throwing crazy schemes out there in Game 1 that your players are uncomfortable with.

Nothing surprised us about last night. You're talking about Steph Curry, a guy who's done this -- I mean, he had 33 in the second half against Houston the other night. Sometimes the schemes don't matter, but you do anticipate changes during the course of the series as the series goes on.

Q. Do you remember the last team that dropped back on Steph?
STEVE KERR: I don't know. There are absolutely lots of teams that drop. Utah drops. Milwaukee drops. There's plenty of teams that drop. Again, it's based on personnel and what makes the sense for each team. So we see a lot of different -- Steph sees a lot of different coverages.

Q. With the recent success, do you attribute it to the fact that they might just have an awareness that without Durant they need to step up?
STEVE KERR: I think that's part of it. I think that, when Kevin went down, that was the message in our film session. Hey, everybody be ready. We're going to play everyone. I think guys were excited for their opportunities, and the last couple games, they've really done a good job taking advantage.

Q. Damian and CJ, they didn't shoot too well the last game. Obviously, it's because you guys played great defense. Were you guys all aware and telling guys any night they'll be able to hit contested shots and probably won't shoot it poorly for a whole series like that.
STEVE KERR: That's what they do. They're both fantastic players, very explosive. So we're under no illusion that we're going to stop them. We're just trying to make things as difficult as possible, but we're well aware they're going to heat up at times, and we've got to continue to defend and follow our game plan and see if we can continue to build on Game 1. Things change. These series all change as they go. Can't ever get comfortable. Thanks, everybody.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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