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May 28, 2016

Billy Donovan

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Game Six

Q. Can you get a sense of the moment from your team right now? Are they like they've been or is there more edge to them?
BILLY DONOVAN: No, I think they've been pretty consistent and constant throughout the playoffs. I think that there hasn't really been any change that I've seen that's been drastic. I know they're excited to play. I've always felt that way about this group. They enjoy competing and enjoy playing. They're excited about the opportunity.

Q. They always say the role players don't travel; you rely on them more at home. In Game 5 you actually lengthened your bench. What is your thought in terms of the lengthening or shortening of your bench being back here home for Game 6?
BILLY DONOVAN: Well, I think we've got to be prepared to do that. One of the things I've kind of tried to do is always tried to keep everybody really engaged because I think it's important. Because I think during these series a lot of different things happen. For us in Game 5, just some foul trouble to a couple of guys. We had to obviously go to the bench and go a little bit deeper than maybe we had in some previous games. But I think you've got to have the availability to be able to do that.

Q. What does this feel like compared to in college when you enter the Final Four, pressure-wise? How does it feel different?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, I think every game that gets dubbed as a big game or important game, all those kind of things. The biggest thing is to not get distracted. Just because of what the result equals or leads to, there are still 48 minutes you have to play, and it's really the same 48 minutes that you would play in a regular season game, a playoff game. What happens is you can't get distracted, and you've got to be able to focus and concentrate on the things that we've got to do well, and you've got to do them at a high level, and you've got to be able to play through the mistakes and bad plays, and you've got to do when things are going well be able to move on to the next play.

So I think in these moments, it's to concentrate on what's going on right now in the present moment. That these guys have done a lot. Not thinking about anything else down the road or behind them, but what's taking place in the moment.

Q. What did you see in Game 5 that you'd like to see changed tonight out of your team?
BILLY DONOVAN: Well, they obviously did some really good things. They rebounded the ball very, very well. But that's been, I think, a battle back and forth for both teams. I think rebounding is important. Both teams really like to get out in transition and play in transition, so rebounding defensive rebounding is a premium. Because if you're fouling or if you're offensive rebounding, it's eliminating opportunities on the break. So I think rebounding is very, very important.

And for us it's been a constant all year long where we've had some good moments or okay moments has been taking care of the basketball. When we've done that, we've been able to obviously generate more shots. So that's important. But those things would be some things that stood out to me from Game 5.

Q. You've played [Kevin] Durant understandably 46-plus minutes a couple times including last game. Are you comfortable with that or is that just the moment where it's okay, I've got to keep this guy in? Or did you plan to play him that amount of minutes in a close game?
BILLY DONOVAN: No, one of the things I do is I try to talk to Kevin about where he's at. There are times when I can look at him and tell if he needs to come out even if he doesn't want to come out. Sometimes he looks a little tired. I do think one of the things that has allowed about all these guys, to make them play more minutes than they have during the regular season, is the timeouts are a lot longer. You're talking about three and a half, so they're able to get a pretty good rest on the bench, recuperate and then go back out there. So I don't know if all the minutes some of these guys are playing right now are equal to regular season minutes because of the length of timeouts and the stoppage of play in the game.

Q. How much pressure are you guys feeling to get this done tonight?
BILLY DONOVAN: Well, it's the game that's in front of us right now, and as I said earlier, it's not about the end result. We've got to play 48 minutes tonight. That's the most important thing, and we've got to play well. Then what happens is I really believe the results will take care of themselves, and that's what we've got to focus on.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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