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June 16, 2012

Kevin Durant

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q. テつIt's going to be a tough series.テつ You already know that.テつ Making adjustments game to game.テつ You guys lost home‑court advantage, now you come to Miami to play Games 3, 4 and 5.テつ How is the mood in the locker room?テつ Are you confident you can come here and steal this very important victory in Game 3?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ Yeah, I mean, we have no other choice.テつ We lost at home.テつ Tough loss.テつ We've got to get over it, get ready for a tough Game 3.テつ You know, the series is going to be tough.テつ We know that.テつ We know that.テつ You know, you've just got to be ready.テつ It's going to be a fun one tomorrow.

Q.テつ LeBron received a lot of criticism last year for the fourth quarters, seemed like he was deferring to teammates, not wanting to take the shot.テつ From the first two games, what have you seen out of him late in games?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ I haven't really been paying attention to him, to be honest.テつ As a fan maybe I would look at it, but I'm worrying about what we can do to win a ballgame in the fourth.テつ I can't worry about LeBron or if he wants the ball or anything like that.テつ I'm just worried about our team and how we want to try to do a good job and trying to win.

Q.テつ You haven't noticed his demeanor or anything?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ No, that's the last thing I'm paying attention to.テつ I'm just worried about us.テつ I'm sorry.

Q.テつ After Game 2 you told me, "We're just going to have to correct the slow starts."テつ When you look at the film, what specifically do you see in terms of adjustments that have to be made?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ Well, we just have to play harder, to start the games.テつ We have to play harder.テつ We're doing it a little too late.テつ We watched the film, first ten minutes of the game, we're kind of relaxed.テつ I don't know why, but we've just got to play harder.テつ I think we will after watching that.テつ It was tough to watch, go to the film and look at it and say, wow, did I really just do that?テつ It falls back on me as a leader.
So I have to start the games out with a lot of intensity, no matter if I'm making shots or missing shots, no matter if I make a bad defensive rotation, I've just got to start off with a lot of energy.

Q.テつ To that end, Russell said that when you guys have come out the past two games you just haven't been ready.テつ Do you feel like you're ready when you start the game?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ It feels like we are.テつ It just hits us, I guess.テつ It's unfortunate, but through the Playoffs you learn from things and you get better game by game and you make adjustments.テつ Hopefully we do that next game.テつ I'm looking forward to us doing it the next game.テつ All we can control is how we come out and play.
Coach always tells us, man, it's hard to play well but it's easy to play hard.テつ If we just come out there and play hard, it makes up for a lot of the stuff that we may make mistakes on.テつ We'll see tomorrow night.

Q.テつ Considering you guys are now on the road, is there more pressure, I guess, to get that quick start early on?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ I wouldn't say that.テつ We're on the road, man.テつ I think the best thing about being on the road is you have to come together as a group even more.テつ We do it a lot at home, but we have to come together even more because everybody is against you.テつ Everybody in the stands is against you.テつ The other team, of course, is against you, so it's fun kind of being like the villain on the road.
So you have to come out and start off quick, and play hard from the beginning, and hopefully you make a few shots, and we've got to get stops, as well.テつ We're looking forward to a tough Game 3, man.テつ That's what it's all about, is being competitive.テつ It should be fun.

Q.テつ The criticism of your teammate Russell Westbrook, do you think it's justified?テつ Where do you think it stems from?テつ And why do you think he's such a lightning rod for criticism?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ It's not deserving at all because without him we wouldn't be here at this point, and people don't recognize that.テつ Everybody thinks he should be a traditional point guard like a Stockton or a Mo Cheeks.テつ There's a lot of people that cannot be like Russ, either.テつ We need him to play the way he plays.テつ Of course he's going to make mistakes, and we're all going to make mistakes.テつ But the best thing about Russ is he comes to work every single day.テつ That's what you guys don't see is how hard he works and how much he wants it.テつ That's what I love about him.テつ He doesn't care what people say, he's going to play his game and we need him to play his game, and we'll go from there.

Q.テつ Are there times when the other 12 maybe are too reliant on a big three, and has that ever been an issue with you guys?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ No.テつ We know who the guys are on the team.テつ We know who are the scorers, the rebounders, the passers, the screen‑setters, who the three‑point shooters are, and we play off each other well.テつ Of course there's going to be games where Russ may score big, James may score big, I may score big, Serge, but everybody comes in and does their job.テつ Nick does his role well, Perk, Thabo does his job well.
And people always put so much emphasis on scoring the basketball during the game.テつ Of course you need to score, but you need to do the small things to score, and the guys that come off the bench, Thabo and Perk and Serge, they do the things that help us win.テつ We really just try not to rely on Russell and James and I.テつ We all play together as a group and try to play the right way.

Q.テつ Coach said that you guys all year have done a good job of kind of adjusting on the fly.テつ What have you noticed amongst you and your teammates in terms of problem solving during the course of the year and during the course of the season?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ Well, we learn quickly, and we've been doing that for the last four years, kind of been learning on the job.テつ It's no different.テつ You've got to know when to get back on defense, when to go get an offensive rebound, when to make the right pass, and we've been doing a good job.テつ Coach has been teaching us along the way, and we've just got to continue to play, keep playing together, keep believing in each other and trusting each other on both ends of the floor, and good things will come out of it.

Q.テつ Are you able to enjoy this series?テつ Are you having fun?テつ And if so, what are you enjoying about what's going on out there?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ Well, yes, basketball is fun.テつ That's why I started playing when I was a kid is to have fun.テつ I always wanted to compete at the highest level.テつ Being in The Finals is‑‑ I don't just want to be here, I want to try to win this thing.
So I'm excited about this opportunity.テつ I just want to go out there and be me, play the game, not put too much pressure on myself, and just play hard.テつ I can do a better job.

Q.テつ When you watch video are you able to maybe just enjoy the competition, maybe even enjoy what the other team is doing from a fan's perspective?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ No, I don't look at it as from a fan perspective.テつ I can't worry about the other team and what they're doing.テつ Don't get me wrong, I respect their team and they had a great year, but I'm not looking at them from a fan's point of view.テつ All I'm worried about is us, how we can do a good job.テつ You know, after the series is over, that's when I'll sit back and probably watch it and enjoy it.

Q.テつ How do you not take this opportunity for granted?テつ I mean, you're 23, and people will say you'll be back here plenty of times, you've got plenty of chances to win The Finals, but this first time, how do you go, okay, we're going to take advantage of this and not think that we'll be back plenty of times?
KEVIN DURANT:テつ That's the one thing I hate is when people say that, that's how I try to take advantage of it ‑‑ or why I don't take advantage of it, because we're young, most of the guys are 22, 23, and people are going to say we'll be here next year or the year after that.テつ But nothing is guaranteed.テつ With the way this league is going, so many great teams, you never know.テつ So this is a great opportunity for us.テつ We have to seize the moment and be ready.テつ You know, just like I say, you never know.テつ Injuries might play a factor the next few years or whatever.テつ You never know what happens in this league.テつ I really can't say that or be that arrogant to say we'll be here next year for sure or the next few years for sure.テつ We've got to take advantage of this moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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