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May 29, 2016

Billy Donovan

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Kevin [Durant] is 27% from three in the playoffs. What's up with that? That's nowhere near his career numbers. Shots he likes? Is he just missing?
BILLY DONOVAN: I really thought in the first half he got some pretty good looks. I think a couple of them he was I think a little disappointed that he didn't knock down. He had one I thought in the first half that was tough, but he's obviously made those.

I've got confidence in Kevin shooting the basketball. I really do. For whatever reason he hasn't maybe knocked them down, but I also think -- we were talking about this earlier. People were talking about different players in the playoffs not shooting their normal percentages. I think you've got to recognize the defensive levels have gone up and teams have done a good job defending.

Steph Curry's numbers are probably not the same. Obviously, [Klay] Thompson last night had an incredible night from the three-point line, but his numbers probably weren't what they were. I think that just happens with familiarity.

Q. How did [Andre] Iguodala change the game last night in the last six minutes defensively with his hands?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, he got his hands on some balls. He was very, very active there. He had a couple strips. He's a good defender. I think he probably realizes for their team he needs to play that role and be in that role.

The interesting part about him to me is obviously last year he's the MVP in The Finals, but he just appears to be the kind of player that whatever their team needs against a specific series or opponent or player, he's able to try to provide to the best of his ability.

Q. When you look at the correctable things that happened to you guys down the stretch, what stands out?
BILLY DONOVAN: I thought offensively coming down the stretch we had three possessions that were not great, in terms of the shots that we got. I think we had some switches that we didn't recognize and read very correctly. Outside of that, I thought the game went kind of back and forth for both teams. I thought there were some opportunities for them to make shots in the first half, in particular Klay Thompson. He missed probably more good looks than he did tough looks.

I think the same thing could be said for us. There were moments where I thought we were really, really good on the glass and generated a lot of second-chance opportunities. We had some offensive rebounds. And then there were times that they did a really good job.

So there were those moments in the game that went back and forth. But then you look statistically at us being 3 for 23 and them making 21 threes, that three-point line played a huge factor in the game. There are going to be possessions throughout the whole 48 minutes that you'd like to be able to do a better job in. But I still think the same things, trying to continually raise our level. And I'm sure it's the same things they're talking about with our team of trying to raise their level.

Q. Back in October if somebody told you had one game to make it to the NBA Finals, what would you think about this opportunity?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, we're really excited about this. We lost Game 6, and it was a tough, hard-fought game. We're disappointed about not having a different outcome. But we haven't lost the series, and we have an opportunity again. I think just being around these guys, they're a resilient group. I think they're looking forward to getting prepared today and shootaround tomorrow and getting ready to play.

You're also doing it against a team that over the last two years has won an NBA championship and has a historic mark of winning more regular-season games than any team in the history of the league. So we're playing against a terrific opponent. The opportunity to play against them I think has really made our team better in a lot of different areas besides in between the lines.

Q. Kevin [Durant] said you guys didn't watch the film of the game. What is the thought process behind not watching that as a team?
BILLY DONOVAN: I think because we've played six games, the familiarity between both teams and matchups and personnel and play actions and underneath and sides, and end-of-game specials -- there is a familiarity by both teams. I think this time of year and in these situations it's more about the mindset that we need to be in in approaching the next game and how we need to be as a team. Then be able to use tomorrow to refresh on the tactical stuff from a scouting perspective against them.

Q. So did you like the mindset of the guys when they came in today?
BILLY DONOVAN: Our guys, like I said, I think they've been a really, really resilient group. It's an opportunity for us. Like I said, we lost the game. We didn't lose the series. We've got an opportunity here to play again. And I don't think for me, at least, watching them play going into the series, I really felt like it was going to be a hard-fought series all the way through. I think because of what they did in the regular season, I think a lot of people thought they'd just breeze right through.

But I think playing against them, it's made us better. I think our guys see that there's been growth and development in the series for us.

Q. You've thrived in situations where you've had one game to win obviously in the college ranks. How helpful is that to you right now having been through that time and time again, but again as a college coach?
BILLY DONOVAN: I think the one thing that's totally different is when you're in those situations, both teams are seeing each other for the first time. This is a situation where we've played each other three times in the regular season and now another six times. So you've got nine games in a year period, which is obviously a little different.

But the fact of playing in a situation where in college you get to the postseason and it's one-and-done, it's that situation right now for both teams.

Q. Do you feel like the trust has been there enough on offense that you guys are sharing the ball?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, I think that's an interesting question to me. I think that it's not necessarily a trust issue. I don't believe that. Because I think if you look at what Andre Roberson was able to do in Games 3 and 4, and Dion [Waiters] in different particular times throughout the course of the series, those guys are generating and creating some of those plays. But I think it becomes more for me watching it, we need to help each other. We need to help each other.

It's not like somebody's standing wide open and the guy's standing next to him and he's got three guys on him and he won't pass it to him. That's not going on. What it is is generating movement and screening for each other to help each other to create help, so you can move the basketball. At times, I think late in the game Kevin and Russell [Westbrook] have been stuck with the ball where there hasn't been outlets, and they've been forced to have to go. And then as they go, they're maybe having to generate or create something.

So it's not that they don't trust. I think we all need to help each other. It's a matter of Kevin and Russell helping those guys, those guys helping Kevin and Russell, and us cohesively working together more so than a lack of trust in my opinion.

Q. Do you think this series has changed the perspective of how people view Andre and how interwoven he is in this team? Because going back to the Spurs series, we speculated about lineup changes and things like that. Now it seems that Andre is this indispensable cog?
BILLY DONOVAN: Even coming out of Game 2 [of the Western Conference Finals] with what they were doing defensively against him, everybody said you've got to get him off the floor, you can't play him anymore. For me as a coach, Andre is a winner. He makes winning plays. He's a smart player. He's a non-ego player. He's all about the team and what he can do to help.

I just felt like it was my job, because he's gotten better shooting the ball and we've tried to give him confidence shooting the ball, in particular corner threes, I felt it was my job and our staff's job to try to figure out a way to incorporate him offensively where he could play to his strengths rather than just being a floor spacer standing in the corner. And Andre's done a great job, I think, through film and his own experiences, of understanding where to back cut, where to generate some points, how to get out on the break, how he's being guarded, what's open, what's available. I think because of what you just said, it's the intangible things that he brings. A lot of times those things don't necessarily show up on a stat sheet.

He had a couple plays last night where we put one up on the glass and he was able to come along the baseline and just punch it back out. It wasn't his rebound. It won't show up in the box score, but it gave us another rebound. He generates plays like that for us.

I just think when you have a player like that mentality-wise, as a coach, you want to try to find ways to help him be productive.

Q. There was a play last night where he defended [Andrew] Bogut in the post and then he got out on Klay and got the shot-clock violation.
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, stuff like that you don't see. There are players that impact the game without a stat sheet. There are certainly guys you look down the stat sheet and say, wow, this guy really filled up the stat sheet. He's a guy that a lot of times you look at the stat sheet, he hasn't taken many shots, but he does a lot of different things. He could be deflecting a ball. It could be getting out and running a guy up the three-point line and making him take a bounce inside the line. It could be contesting a shot. It could be rotating.

Sometimes it's hard to put a barometer or a measurement statistically on the things that he does. But the things that he does I really think impact the outcome of games.

Q. Do you regret having him hack early?
BILLY DONOVAN: I don't. I went back and looked at it myself because obviously when he's got the fifth foul you sit there and say to yourself, Jeez, was that smart? But we went into the half with him with one foul. He had five fouls to play with in the second half. In my opinion, that's more than enough. The two charge fouls probably hurt him a little bit.

I probably wouldn't have had him foul had he had one, because knowing the amount of minutes he's going to play. But I felt with one foul and five to play with in the second half, it never really felt like that would be a factor. But for him, a couple of those drives down the lane on charges, that's where he's got to get a little bit better and recognizing those fouls obviously end up putting him on the bench.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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