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June 15, 2022

Steve Kerr

Golden State Warriors

Practice Day

Q. In each of the first three rounds, your team has gotten to this point, closeout, taken another game at home to actually get it done. Besides your opponent's survival instincts, is there any common thread that you see that you could preempt or address?

STEVE KERR: Not really. I just think this is the NBA. You’ve got talented teams. You’ve got talented players you're going against. You're in somebody else's building. It's just not easy to close anybody out in the Playoffs.

There's no common thread. We are just going to have to play really well to win. It's as simple as that.

Q. Two Klay questions. Does he look fresher, bouncier on defense to you this series than he has? Maybe he's getting better on that end?

STEVE KERR: Last couple games he's looked great defensively. I think there's been times earlier in the Playoffs where he's looked really good, as well. But I do think he's improved as this series has gone on.

Q. How big were the two threes late in the third by him?

STEVE KERR: Yeah, I thought those two shots, then Jordan's two threes at the end of the quarter, were kind of the biggest shots of the game because of what you just said. They had seized momentum.

Klay's two at the top of the key were just massive. Jordan closed out the quarter well for us.

Q. A couple about you, if you don't mind. Derrick White was saying you were helpful to him when he got promoted from the select team to the main (USAB) roster in 2019. Is there something about you that makes you comfortable reaching out to the non-superstars and making them feel comfortable?

STEVE KERR: I definitely identify with role players more than I can identify with a star player just because I have the experience of coming off the bench and trying to figure out a role and all that stuff.

I just enjoyed that time with Derrick. Actually four different Celtics -- I mean, we were loaded with Celtics that year, and future Celtics apparently.

We had a really good experience, despite not winning the gold medal. It was really fun coaching all those guys. Really grew to admire all of them.

Q. Speaking of the Celtics, there's so much history with them. All the guys who had a lot of rings were all Celtics. Now you could be at nine pretty soon if you get one more win. People say it's hard to win one. How do you explain getting to the number you've gotten to?

STEVE KERR: Just hanging around the right people (smiling). You hang around superstars long enough, you're going to get some residual success following your win.

Q. I don't know how often you get a chance to look at individual numbers of your guys. Looking at Klay's Game 6s since you've coached the team, the numbers are pretty incredible. Shooting better than 50% from three, overall the Game 6s combined. Fluke? What do you make of something like that?

STEVE KERR: I don't really know what to make of it, nor do I even take the time to think about it. It has nothing to do with us. Has nothing to do with strategy. It just has to do with Klay.

He's got a killer instinct. He's really talented. I don't even give it any thought.

Q. Has anything about Andrew's postseason run surprised you given the fact coming into this year he only appeared in the Playoffs once?

STEVE KERR: Just the rebounding. Everything else, he's always scored well since he's been in this league, he's been a good defensive player. He's really established with us over the last couple years that he's a key defender for us. So none of that has surprised me.

The rebounding surprised me. He's really turned it up in every series. I'm 100% going to hold that against him next year in the regular season. If he's not rebounding, I'm going to remind him he's proven it now so there's no excuse (smiling).

Q. A little bit of a more broad question. In what ways have you seen Steph and Draymond's leadership qualities rub off on some of the younger guys throughout this Playoff run?

STEVE KERR: I think it's just in general the advice, the counsel, but maybe more importantly just the young guys being able to observe Steph and Draymond and Andre and Klay, seeing the preparation every single day, the process that those guys go through, getting their work in in the training room, in the weight room, on the court, watching film.

They're watching some of the best ever do it prepare. There's nothing more valuable than that.

Q. What have you seen from your team defensively that's allowed them to be so disruptive? Are there certain things about the Celtics you've tried to take away from them, spots on the floor, passes? What have you emphasized defensively? There's always a feeling-out process in these series. You bounce around a lot of different lineups early. Is that something about your coaching style or this series that you want to try different things?

STEVE KERR: The first part of your question, we're just trying to put pressure on them, not let them get comfortable. Our guys have done a pretty good job of that the last couple games. Nothing in particular that we're trying to take away. You're just trying to be as aggressive on the ball as possible and be there and help, be there in rotation.

We're not a big shot-blocking team like we were a few years ago. Our rotations have to be really solid. I think they have been.

Second question. The first time we really had our team healthy all year was the first game of the Denver series. What I mean by that is really having Steph, Klay, Draymond, Wiggs on the floor together. Gary and Jordan coming off the bench. Looney. First time we really had everybody together was Denver.

So part of this Playoff run has been growing and adapting and figuring out what our best combinations are against each opponent.

It's not as set in stone four or five years ago when we kind of had a set formula, we knew our team really well. We've had to figure some things out on the fly. Our players have been really adaptable during the Playoffs. So I think once we lost Gary in the Memphis series, it set us back. But getting him back for Game 2 was hugely helpful for a lot of reasons.

We finally feel like we have a real feel for the team and what's needed. The guys have responded really well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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