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May 18, 2016

Billy Donovan

Oakland, California: Game Two


Q. What have you learned about your team during the playoffs and especially over the last couple weeks since you guys have been on this run and this roll?
BILLY DONOVAN: I think I said it before the Dallas series started that I really felt like these seven-game series were still an opportunity for us to continue to grow against very, very good teams that are still playing in the playoffs. And I think that's what's happened for our team. I think when you play against really good competition, you find out more about yourself and you get an opportunity to get better. I think it's these playoffs as they've unfolded, it's helped our team grow and get better.

Q. Kevin had a 10-for-30 night in Game 1. What have you thought about his resolve and the team's resolve when he hasn't had a good shooting night this postseason?
BILLY DONOVAN: I thought Kevin really did a great job in the game where he had some looks that didn't go down, and I thought he stayed with it. He impacted the game in some other ways. Certainly he made a big shot for us late to put us up five. But it was great to see him respond the way he did doing a lot of other different things.

Listen, this is a very, very good defensive team. San Antonio is a very good defensive team. There are going to be nights when you don't shoot the ball particularly well, but there are still other ways Kevin can impact the game. The best part of the way he impacted the game, in my opinion, is I thought he had great leadership on the bench. Even when we got down, he was, I think encouraging the guys. He was saying all the right things. I think his play reflected that because he really stayed with it. I think by staying with it he was able to make some plays late to help us.

Q. Do you guys ever run stuff for Steven Adams or is it for him on offense just pick up random stuff around the basket?
BILLY DONOVAN: No, there's things run for him. We have one play where I think he posted up one time there in the first half and we got him up on post-up. A lot of times for him it's a lot of rolls to the basket where he's rolling and finishing at the basket.

It's been great for me as a coach to see Steven continue to evolve and grow offensively. I think as his career unfolds, I think he'll get better and better in that area.

Q. Coach, you sounded concerned about some details in that last game when you came into the press conference. When you look at the film and see some things, outside the shooting, some things that you wanted to clean up?
BILLY DONOVAN: Clearly in the first half the in-transition points, I think a lot of it had to do with some of our turnovers. But those are the two areas I think we dug ourselves a hole. We had out of five possessions, we turned it over three times in that first half. They had a lot of transition points against us. Our turnovers negated our opportunity to shoot the basketball. So I think in this game we're going to have to play a better 48 minutes, so to speak.

I thought our second half was much better than our first half, but hopefully we can keep getting better each game that goes on in the series. I think defensively in that half court there were some mishaps from communication. I think playing against this team, communicating is really, really critical because of all the interchangeable parts and how explosive they are offensively. So those are things you want to clean up and try to get better at.

Q. Steven has, maybe it's just because he's been getting the ball a little bit more lately, but he's had a couple plays where he's actually created out of those short rolls. Is that something you think he can do more consistently as he gets older? Because you've never really had somebody used in that role before.
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, I think it's really important. As you look at all the really great offensive teams, a lot of times when you have a big man that can pass the basketball like the Spurs do or Draymond Green does and Bogut, it opens things up when that ball hits at the elbow, middle of the floor, and guys put the ball on the floor and create. I think Serge has grown in that area as the years unfold and I think Steven continues to get better.

It's not something those guys have really done a lot of, but it's something that we've tried to put them in position to do. They can't roll to the rim and get it at the free throw line. It's turn around and recognizing the defense and going through a progression of reads and trying to make the next best play. I think Steven's going to be able to do that. Steven's a really unselfish player with a high IQ, and I think he'll be a very good passer in time.

Q. The Warriors have gotten a lot of attention for the success they've had with their small lineup. The other night when they went to their small lineup with about eight minutes to go, you kept your big people in there. What types of priorities do you set for your team when they go small? What do you want to see from your guys?
BILLY DONOVAN: Well, our team I really believe has got a lot of flexibility. We have the ability to go small with Kevin playing the power forward spot. Serge is a very mobile forward and he can guard a lot of different positions. Then obviously having Enes and Steven out there trying to find the right matchups that we can defend them. This is a team that's been incredible offensively for the last couple of years, even with all the records they set and the way they shoot the basketball. So they're so explosive offensively. Rightfully so, they're a hard team to guard regardless if you're small or big. So we've got to try to look at our roster and our pieces and try to utilize them and maximize them to the best of our ability.

Q. A lot of the talk around the Warriors is how important tonight's game is, obviously. In your case you knew going into the series you were going to have to win one here in order to advance. You've done that. So as there was a greater sense of urgency around the Warriors, in some ways is there less a sense of urgency around your team?
BILLY DONOVAN: I certainly hope not. Again, this is the first team to win four games, and there is still a lot of basketball to be played. I think you can get caught up in what happened last game. Last game's over with. It really has no bearing on what's going to happen here when the ball gets thrown up. Certainly we need to make some corrections and sure they've made their corrections, and we need to play better.

But the biggest thing for us right now is when tonight ends, Game 3's coming, and then there's a Game 4. So we need to keep getting better and improving throughout the course of each game and we need to continue to try to play that better, and better level than we did the night before.

Q. Like you hit on, the Warriors is one of the most historic offenses of all time, and in the fourth quarter you held them to 14 points. Studying the tape, why were you able to be so effective?
BILLY DONOVAN: I really believe when you look at a lot of times numbers and things like that and you see 14 points, there were possessions for us that we did a really, really good job, and there were some possessions for them that they missed shots. I think that's a reality. They're so explosive offensively. They can go on incredible runs.

I think it's a combination of both. I think Steve probably has a better feel for his team why he felt maybe they didn't shoot the ball like they're capable of. But I still think that the shots that they took are shots you see them make. I didn't think they were out of character at all with the way they played in the fourth quarter. It's probably maybe some good fortune for us that the ball didn't go in the basket. Maybe we did a good job maybe guarding them a little bit and maybe contesting.

But we were fortunate that fourth quarter. I thought we gave great effort, but I thought that fourth quarter was a combination of them missing some shots and also I think the shots they did miss, I think there were some times we did a really, really good job of defending.

Q. Your two star players made huge plays for you down the stretch, but as you alluded to, they didn't shoot a high percentage. How important was it that your big guys really dominated their big guys in the game? And were you surprised to the extent that they were able to do that?
BILLY DONOVAN: I just feel like for us, it's a total team effort. We've got to play together as a team. Russell and Kevin are great. They've been great all year long. There's a reason they're stars in this league. What they do night in and night out. But it's a team for us, and different guys have got to contribute and help, and we've got to trust to pass and move the ball and try to generate good shots. Defensively we need to guard collectively as a group. It's been good to see Steven and Enes and Dion and guys come off the bench and give us some offense. It was great to see the last game against San Antonio we played, a guy like Andre Roberson comes in and gives us really good minutes.

So we need everybody, not just Russell and Kevin. They do it on a consistent basis. We need everybody to step up and play well.

Q. KD played more minutes in Game 1 than he has in any game in the playoffs. Is it a combination of their personnel and his versatility that opened the door that way? And are you okay with him playing 46 minutes?
BILLY DONOVAN: I didn't particularly like it. But part of the reason was being down by double figures I was thinking about taking him out, and we'd kind of start to make a run to get back in the game and close out that third quarter, and I think we went into the fourth down three. And I talked to him there about getting him out early there in the fourth. And he said he was fine. And I trust Kevin. He knows his body and where he's at.

But I thought because we were kind of making a run, closing it out, I didn't want to break the rhythm we had going there, because we certainly worked so hard to get back from double digits, and probably played in that second half probably too many minutes, to be honest.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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