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May 21, 2016

Billy Donovan

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Practice Day

Q. Billy, one thing Serge said the last game, they were tougher, they were more aggressive and it made you guys look soft. Do you agree with that assessment?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, I don't know if I would necessarily fully agree with that. But I said after the game you can watch on film. They did a great job on the backboard. They were really physical. They come up with loose basketballs. They made those plays, and in Game 1 I thought we did a better job. They did a great job raising their level of play, and you've got to give them credit. So I think maybe Serge's point is that when you're getting beat like that, to loose balls or rebounds, it can certainly make you look that way.

Q. Serge is using far fewer possessions in the fourth quarters than he did in the regular season. What is the reason for that?

Q. Serge is shooting far less in fourth quarters than he was in the regular season now in the postseason. What is the reason behind that?
BILLY DONOVAN: I think the San Antonio series, the last few games, he didn't play very much in the fourth quarter. Here in Game 2, for the most part, those guys were out in the fourth quarter. So I think probably some of his minutes there in the fourth quarter probably weren't what they were at particular times. He did close the fourth quarter for us in Game 6 against San Antonio.

So for me, I don't look at it that way in terms of quarters. I more try to look at it as Serge is a terrific shooter. He's a really, really good floor spacer for us. He's proven to be a great mid-range shooter. But in terms of what quarters or things like that, I don't really worry about that.

Q. Well, the numbers -- I might be talking about the wrong numbers. But the usage rate is significantly down, and I know, obviously, different quarters have different flows. I was wondering, is there anything about the fourth quarter that makes that?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, like I said, in a few of those games -- he wasn't in the fourth quarter in the San Antonio series, so it's hard to be productive when you're not in there in some of those situations. Like I said, I don't know what his production level was like. I thought he played really well defensively, and had a huge block on Duncan when we were kind of reeling a little bit. I think it was an 11-point game and they cut it there. I know we're talking about offense, but it's hard for me to answer that not looking at the numbers that way.

Q. Going back to the Spurs series, how valuable are those pockets of minutes that Randy's [Randy Foye] provided for you?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, I think Randy's done a really, really good job. Certainly, the role he's in where he's coming off the bench and he's doing a lot of different things. He's playing good defense. He's stretching the floor for us. He's made some shots. I give Randy a lot of credit for keeping himself ready because to start the series, Cameron was really playing a lot of those minutes and Randy came in and really gave us a nice boost, I think, in Game 4.

But I've always said this about Randy. I think -- the guy's been in the league for a long time. He's just always kept himself ready. And I think he understands -- a lot of the veteran guys understand how quickly things can change, an injury or rotation or whatever it may be. And I give Randy credit for always being professional and keeping himself ready to play.

Q. Getting Randy in there earlier provide some cover for Kevin in terms of ball handling? I know Kevin's had some turnovers.
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, I think for Kevin -- you know, Kevin's a smart player. The biggest thing you want to do for all the players and not only Kevin, but you want to create really good avenues and outlets for guys to make good decisions where they know where their outlet passes are. Sometimes in those situations when it's happening, it's happening quickly, you know. You can misread a situation or somebody you thought was open, it probably wasn't the right pass and needed to go somewhere else. So Randy can definitely help with that. I trust him out there. He's good with the ball, and he's a veteran. I think he makes good decisions.

Q. Billy, yesterday you talked about Kevin learning and adapting from Game 2. What is Russ seeing when he's watching these games? How's Russ learning and improving?
BILLY DONOVAN: Well, with both of them, and I'd say really for all of our guys, they do a really, really good job. One thing I admire is, even coming home on the plane and stuff, those guys are watching tape of different things and areas they've got to get better in and they've got to improve. I think Russ is always looking to strategically get better. How are they playing him, what's open, and different things he needs to do on offense and defense. I think that's the one thing that makes those two guys so special is because they have a strong willingness and eagerness to want to improve and get better. It could be in any area. They're just looking to grow and get better.

Q. You've limited their number of catch-and-shoot threes as much as you probably can. It seems like the ones that they're getting are those off-ball screens and trying to switch them, but sometimes they're screening their own man. Can you just kind of take me through the dynamic of all of that and how you can communicate through those things?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah. We've got mix-up coverage and do some different things. Like, I've said this before about Curry and about Klay Thompson, they've been guarded every possible way imagined, and they've seen a lot of different things. So a lot of times in those situations you're talking about where there are switches or slips or there's not a screen, there is a screen, it really takes a high level of communication, whatever you're doing, whether you're staying with your man or you are switching.

But we've got to change covers up as best we can, and in order to change coverages you've got to communicate.

Q. With the way the Warriors are defending Andre [Roberson] right now, are you comfortable with your starting five going into Game 3?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, I feel good about it. Obviously we'll meet tomorrow to confirm who will definitely start tomorrow. But I've got confidence in all those guys in terms of what they can do and what they can provide for our team.

Q. Is it up in the air at all?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, I'm not really sure yet. I think we'll sit down and talk. I never really like to get -- somebody comes in here in shootaround, tweaks an ankle, something happens. I never like to say a day out who's going to start the game. I think we need to wait and see the way things play out tomorrow.

Q. Steven Adams is playing more in the playoffs. Is he playing himself into a more prominent role?
BILLY DONOVAN: I feel like Steven's always had a really prominent role. He's played really well for us this year, and he continues to get better. It's great to see Enes and Steven and Dion as well, guys that have really continued to grow and get better, and just the way they've stuck with the process of improvement and just their eagerness to want to develop. And Steven's really developed at a great rate, and you have to give him credit because he's worked really hard.

Q. How is he physically? He took a lot of knocks.
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, he's good. He's fine. I said, I think, yesterday he hasn't missed anything. He's been cleared for everything. He's been out there for everything we've been doing the last few days.

Q. You guys had outrebounded them every game or they outrebound you. Where do you take it from there? Did you look -- did they do something that they hadn't done before? Did you guys not do something you had done?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, I feel like we need to do a better job rebounding the basketball than we did. They were quicker on loose basketballs. They came in from different angles to rebound. They kept balls alive on the glass. We got caught into some rotations a couple times where we didn't have our block-out assignments lined up. I think you give them more credit. And we'll have to do a much, much better job in Game 3 than we did in Game 2 because I think when you look at it, those are opportunities that we don't get a chance to fast break, and those are opportunities for them to get another opportunity to shoot or potentially get fouled. So the rebounding is a big part, and we've been a good rebounding team, and against this team we've done a good job. But this was a team that they've done an exceptional job and give them credit for it.

Q. You guys were one of the more successful teams in the regular season on drives in terms of just points per play on those. In the first two games against the Warriors, it seems like those numbers have dropped a lot, especially with Roberson on the floor. If Roberson's going to play, how do you remedy that so you can get back to one of your strengths?

Q. Being able to score off those plays in penetration with Russell.
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, again, I think Russell got downhill, Kevin got downhill, we had some missed plays at the basket. Steven had a couple post-ups that we missed. We weren't very efficient. You know, similar to Game 1 against San Antonio, where I really felt like we missed a lot of shots at the rim and we need to finish better. I think there are some situations in this series where we're going to have to finish better at the basket than we did.

Listen, Golden State's a really good defensive team, and we've played against a really good defensive team in San Antonio. So, as you go back and you compare things during the regular season, it's hard to make that a comparative analysis, just because you're dealing with an elite defensive team that's been in the top -- I think they were number one last year, and they were in the top one or two, three this year. So you're going to have possessions where the defense they just do a really good job, and you have to give them credit. And we've got to do -- you know, continue to stay with it and try to continually execute and move the ball in a way that we can get and generate good shots.

Q. Have you liked this three-day layoff coming off a loss? Has it been good to break down?
BILLY DONOVAN: Our guys and I'm sure as their guys did, you get into a rhythm where you're playing every other day, and I'm sure guys want to play. I think it's been good for us to be able to watch film and to work on things tactically on defense and on offense and on special situations and on any type of [down time], you get a chance to do some extra work.

From a coaching standpoint, you don't always like it, but I'm sure those guys are anxious to play just they're anxious to play. Obviously coming at it today games will start being played at a quicker rate now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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