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NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: THUNDER v SPURS


May 26, 2014


Russell Westbrook


OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA: Practice Day

Q. How much of you guys' defense was Serge being back but also you guys held them under 40 percent, which is way lower than the first two games? What was better defensively?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Just being aggressive, doing a great job with just coming out and putting pressure on them defensively for 48 minutes and not letting up.

Q. What was the key for you? You seemed to, even though your shot wasn't falling early, kept your composure and late were making a lot of good plays.
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Defense kind of kept my energy up, just locked down and locking in on whoever I was guarding at the time and trying to find a way to still help us stay in the game and help us win.

Q. As a team, how much of your offensive flow came from‑‑ looked like you had a pretty good hit‑first mentality working last night?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Yeah, definitely. I think that was key on us coming out and letting us dictate what we wanted to do ourselves, setting screens, getting open, hard cuts, making aggressive moves.

Q. Did you even know what to expect from Serge going into last night's game, and did he exceed your expectations?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Yeah, I mean, Serge was out for three, four days. He actually missed like two games, but he was out for 9, 10 days or so. That's definitely different from being out for three months. He stayed in shape, and like I said last night, our training staff did a great job with him coming in here every day and getting him better. He stayed in his rhythm, stayed in his groove, and he didn't miss a beat.

Q. How much of a focus was there on keeping Tony Parker in check?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Big focus. I mean, that's their team. You control him, you can kind of control the rest of everything that goes on. They obviously have good ball movement when he's in control. You try to control him. He's definitely going to be aggressive and try to spoil what you can do and make shots for himself.

Q. Anything you guys identified that you need to do at a higher level in Game 4?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Yeah, keep defending. We gave up some open threes to Ginobili. Kind of got him going with some confidence. We've got to find a way to take those out of the game and still play the same as we played offensively.

Q. Do you feel like your size and speed is something that Tony really has to contend with when you're guarding him?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I mean, yeah. I think that's to my advantage. At my position, my advantage is my size, my quickness and being bigger than my opponents, so I've got to use it to my advantage. Be smart about it, but use it to my advantage.

Q. How did it change things last night with Reggie starting? Did that change how aggressive you could be?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: No, just gives another guy that can attack. They can't put all the pressure, put all the attention on myself and KD. We have Reggie, Serge, Perk on the floor that can make plays, as well.

Q. You can use him to get to different spots on the floor and things?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Yeah, I definitely can do that. That can open up a few things, me cutting, rebounding, just doing different things.

Q. Popovich the other day was talking about the development of Parker. When he first came in he wasn't a point guard at all and he had been developing. He said he's seen you on the same trajectory, the way you've matured as a point guard. Do you see any similarities with your game and Parker even though you guys are vastly different players?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: No. I don't see any similarities. We're vastly different players.

Q. You came in, hadn't played a lot of point guard, you got 13 games in, you're taking over the team. Has your development been on a similar assent?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I don't know. I don't know. I don't think so. Just my opinion. I don't know if they started 3‑29 like we did, so I don't know if that's going to be the same thing. Maybe you can look at it a different way, but I disagree. We're definitely two different players, two different types of players. He's a good player, but we're definitely two different players.

Q. What was Jeremy able to give you last night in terms of help off the bench?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: He was good. He came in being aggressive, did a great job of being composed. I thought he did a great job defensively with guarding whoever he was guarding. He was locked in, so it was good for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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