home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 30, 2016

Billy Donovan

Oakland, California: Game Seven

Golden State 96 - Oklahoma City 88

Q. It looked like the three-point defense was pretty good. They just hit a lot of shots. When you look back was this a loss that goes on the offense more than the defense?
BILLY DONOVAN: You know, I look at it maybe a little bit differently from the standpoint of I thought we really were up. I thought [Stephen] Curry made some shots, I thought [Klay] Thompson made some shots, and I said this in Game 6. I thought in the first half both teams missed relatively good looks. These guys made tough shots tonight, and give them credit.

I was really happy with our offense. I think we drove the ball to the basket. We extra-passed it. We generated really good shots. Like anything in a 48-minute game, you're going to have some possessions you don't like or a turnover. For the most part I thought Kevin [Durant] was terrific. He took nine shots in the first half. I think he was 5-for-9. But he was finding guys and make the game easy. I think Russell [Westbrook] got the ball to Steven [Adams], Dion [Waiters], and got to Serge [Ibaka]. I thought those two guys were terrific tonight offensively.

Maybe the numbers don't reflect them having 35 or 36. But what it did reflect is they opened up the floor for us to generate good shots, and I thought this was a game where Golden State made more shots than we did from behind the line, certainly. And to your point, I thought we had some stuff around the rim we just didn't finish.

Q. What was the difference tonight compared to earlier games with your pick-and-roll defense on Steph Curry specifically?
BILLY DONOVAN: In terms of what do you mean?

Q. Was he just making shots? Or was it something that you guys weren't executing?
BILLY DONOVAN: No, no, again, I've said this before. In the first couple games everybody wanted to talk about why our defense was so great, and I said it's not our defense. We're working hard and we're giving great effort. But I've seen enough film of those guys making a lot more difficult shots than they were taking against us. And I thought we were really giving terrific effort.

There are certain situations in certain coverages you can trap him and then there are certain times the worst thing to do is to trap him because the guy in the pick-and-roll is a handler and a playmaker. So the ones that we did switch on him we got caught with a big. I thought we could have done a better job pressing up into him, making him play inside the line. I thought a couple times he crossed our bigs over and got off some shots and we needed to probably keep him inside the line. But that's easier said than done. Because when you do try to double him with the wrong guy, they make you pay with somebody else.

Q. Would you just talk about the third quarter? Was it missed shots, their adjustments defensively? What broke down in the third?
BILLY DONOVAN: No, I actually thought we got really good looks. I thought we got some really good looks. I thought they made some threes. They made some difficult shots. We had some opportunities, and I was constantly trying to encourage our guys, because I really like the way we played on offense tonight. I really did. I thought we had good ball movement. Again, not every possession was perfect, and not every shot was perfect. But we played the right way.

I thought their shot-making in that third quarter, especially from the three of point line was the difference in the game?

Q. On a grander scheme of these playoffs, looking at your young core, Adams, Waiters, do you like what you saw the entire postseason, especially with Kevin's free agency looming?
BILLY DONOVAN: It was funny, before the series started, probably including myself, this being my first year as well, but someone asked me and said does [Enes] Kanter and Adams and Waiters and [Andre] Roberson, do they have enough experience to go into this playoffs? Well, what they went through this year is really, really helpful and really, really beneficial from what they experienced. And those guys, Enes and Steven and Andre and Dion really, really improved. All of them got a lot better as the year went on. And as a coach, that's what you want to see. You want to see your team evolve and get better, and you want to see individual players evolve and get better. And I would say that I witnessed that this year by all those guys. It was encouraging to see. They got some significant experience.

I thought Steven in the first quarter establishing from what Barry [Trammel] was talking about, we got the ball inside a lot around the basket. And I think as he continues to grow and get better, those are plays that he'll finish and make. Enes gave us a really good boost, obviously with them playing small it's hard to sometimes keep him out there for long stretches, but he gave us good minutes when he could. And Andre, I thought he had a great series against Golden State, and I thought Dion really gave us a great boost off the bench.

Q. When you look back at this, what's going to keep you up at night the most? Is there something, a sequence that happened or is it not getting the Game 6 at home maybe?
BILLY DONOVAN: Well, I think it's easy to look at that because this could have played out entirely differently. What I mean by that is this: We stole a game here in Game 1. They had us down by 13 points, I think, in the second half, and we fought our way back. We had a play where it was a one-point game and it was a loose ball and Steven Adams comes up with it, and they could have easily come up with it. We stole that game. If they would have come in in games 3 or 4 and would have tied it, and it was 2-2, and we came here and lost a game and they came to Oklahoma -- you know, the way it played out, I think you have to look at the whole series in its entirety. There was opportunity for us to close the series out in 5 and 6 and 7, and we came up a little short. But I don't know if that tells the story of the full seven games if you look at the entirety.

What will keep me up is I think the habits that we were able to build during the course of these playoffs, how can we continue to build next year in training camp? In terms of how do we come in and take these experiences we've all been through and utilize them to grow and develop and maybe be more prepared? I thought this year with me coming in and being new and them getting to know me, and me getting to know them, there was a transition period. There was. And I appreciate these guys and their patience with me and their professionalism and the way they responded and the way they did everything. But hopeful that we can utilize these experiences and grow together to become even better individually and collectively.

Q. You opened up, Billy, by saying how proud you were of the way they responded. Ever since Saturday night all the guys have talked about how they put it behind them; Game 6 wouldn't affect tonight. But was there a part of you that worried they might get avalanched because of the demoralizing aspect of that game? And what was it that you saw tonight that made you realize that they really did -- were able to put past them?
BILLY DONOVAN: I think a couple things. One, before I ever saw them on, I don't know what day it was. When did we play Game 6? Before I saw them on Sunday, I was concerned. I was concerned because that was a difficult loss. And would we kind of dwell on it and not be able to move past it? And I just sensed from those guys that they realized that we hadn't lost the series. We lost a game. And we had an opportunity coming in here, and I felt like they did not want to give up the opportunity to compete here tonight to the very, very best of their ability and give themselves a chance. I felt really, really good getting on the plane coming here, and I felt even better after shootaround this morning of where I felt like our guys were at. I really felt like I didn't know if we'd win or lose, because you never know when two good teams play against each other. But I felt like our effort and our commitment to what it was going to take to go on the road here and put ourselves in position to win, I felt like I was going to get that from them.

And I wasn't worried about getting avalanched at all. I didn't think those guys would allow that to happen. I felt like we were going to give ourselves a chance, and I thought we did. Obviously that foul at the end there hurt with a four-point game. You get a stop with 5:00 on the clock, maybe you score, it's a two-point game and things are a little different. But I felt good getting on the plane and I felt much better this morning.

Q. When they went on that run in the third quarter, can you explain just what it is you're telling your guys? Because obviously you call timeout and everybody can feel it coming, but it kept coming.
BILLY DONOVAN: Well, substitution-wise, trying to get some different lineups on the floor, as best we could. We didn't play a lot of guys tonight. We shortened the bench and went with those seven or eight guys. Really it was probably seven. They put you in binds. Listen, they won a World Championship last year, and they've broken an NBA record, and people are already talking about it before the playoffs started, this may be the greatest team to ever lace them up in the history of the NBA.

So with that being said, I don't know if that's accurate or inaccurate, but my point is they're a really good team, okay. They do things like make shots and do some of these things. I think for me as a coach, we were right there every step of the way with them. This was a record-setting team and a team that's won a World Championship. So you can sit there, what happened. You've just got to give them credit. Just give them credit. That's what they do, and that's what they've been able to do. Give them credit for the shots that they make. I don't know. All I was telling our guys is just we need to stay together. We need to keep battling. We need to keep fighting. We need to try to get them off the three-point line, try to get them inside. But, listen, we were trying as hard as we could at times with our bigs to get Curry inside the line, and he just wouldn't go there. He was just shooting over us. He made some difficult shots. But I also thought in the series he missed a lot of shots that he made tonight. I think maybe we had something to do with that, but I thought our effort was really good.

Q. What did you think of Kevin's night overall? He only makes five shots in the first half, but it seemed like late he was really trying to shoot you back in it.
BILLY DONOVAN: Well, we opened up the floor just because we wanted to give some space to him and to Russell and to create. And if they were going to pull across, we wanted to hold the corners and take some threes. Andre got some, Dion got some and so did Serge.

I thought Kevin was great in the first half. I thought his leadership, I thought his poise, I thought his composure, I thought the way he passed and shared the ball, I thought the way he was generating shots. They were running at him. He was getting guys wide-open looks. We could have made a few more shots, but he really played the right way. And I think at the end of the game he did what he was supposed to do. He hit a couple tough ones, but outside of that, I thought he played a really highly efficient game tonight in my opinion. I thought he played really efficiently.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297