NBA Western Conference First Round: Nuggets vs Warriors

Monday, April 18, 2022

San Francisco, California, USA

Golden State Warriors

Steve Kerr

Game 2: Postgame

Golden State Warriors 126, Denver Nuggets 106

Q. Now having played two playoff games inside Chase Center, how would you describe the advantage the team has playing fortunate the home crowd?

STEVE KERR: Crowd has been great. Energy has been fantastic. I think the players have really executed well these first two games. Followed the game plan. Stayed solid. Nine turnovers tonight, 27 assists, and the crowd feels it. The crowd feels it when we are playing well and we feed off of each other at that point.

Q. How would you describe watching Jordan? We've talked about how he's a bright lights player but might that have been his best game?

STEVE KERR: Yeah, I mean, especially under the circumstances. Given that this is a playoff game and the importance of the game; for him to follow up that Game 1 where he was great with another game like this, some of the flurries out there from him tonight reminded me of his teammate who came off the bench a little bit. It's pretty remarkable to see the similarities now with both the on- and off-ball stuff. Jordan has had a pretty good apprenticeship with learning from Steph. But he was fantastic tonight.

Q. How much does it help the offense to have two guys who can start at the perimeter and get to the inside the paint with their penetration, with their dribbling?

STEVE KERR: It's huge. It's huge. We've been hoping to get to this point all year where we could get our whole group together just to see what that would look like. And I'm talking about with Draymond, with Klay, Steph and Jordan. Wiggs has been a great part of that unit, too, you know, these first two games, closing the first half.

Another eight rebounds for Wiggs tonight. I mentioned before the game, that's the biggest concern when we play that small unit is the glass, and I thought Wiggs did a really good job.

Draymond, I don't know what to say about him. You just don't look at the stat sheet because it doesn't mean anything. Draymond dominated that game. He was dominating throughout the first half and late in the half, I got a stat sheet I looked down, he had one point and three rebounds. He was dominating. This guy is just one of the most unique, powerful and impactful players I've ever seen.

Q. You mentioned waiting to see that lineup and particularly with that three-hard lineup of Steph, Klay and Jordan, we've been talking about that for a long time. When you first sat down with the staff and said you were going to do a three-guard, lineup, is it what you envisioned?

STEVE KERR: We envisioned -- we sort of played this way for many years, you know, with Draymond at five, and we've had a few different variations of that unit, obviously with Kevin Durant and before that Harrison Barnes, and Andre Iguodala was always part of that group.

So Klay, Steph and Draymond are incredibly comfortable playing this style. It's the same style. It's just different additions with this squad.

I never envisioned Jordan playing this well at the beginning of this season, even though he had a great season a year ago. I couldn't envision this. But he's earned it. This guy puts the work in every single day in the gym and believes in himself, and he's got a lot of skill.

Q. You got 23 minutes out of your sixth man. What did you think of the way he played?

STEVE KERR: It didn't surprise me because we've been watching this for a long time with Steph. You never really are surprised when he has an outburst the like that. It's great to see. Obviously just coming back and being on a minutes restriction. The other night he had to kind of get his feet wet but you could see as the game went on, Game 1 I'm talking about, he got more and more comfortable. You could see tonight he was ready to break out.

Q. Going back to Draymond, what do you think about his defense specifically on Jokic? Because he said he expected to counter punch him, but Draymond played a role again in frustrating him.

STEVE KERR: Jokic is amazing and we have to throw everything at him to try to limit him, and I thought Loon did a great job early on. He picked up a couple early fouls but was battling him and Draymond took his turn. Belly had a few possessions on him.

I think all we are trying to do is defend him without fouling and crowd him and try to put as much pressure on him as possible because he's just a brilliant player. So skilled that you can't just sit back and let him pick you apart.

Q. Speaking of Jokic, the Peyton block came pretty early on when Jokic was going pretty good. Seemed to frustrating him, or maybe something Peyton said to him frustrated him but seemed like Jokic, he got thrown out of the game too. Not that you're trying to irritate him but did you and was Peyton a part of that?

STEVE KERR: Gary is a fantastic defender. I thought he played really well tonight. A lot of ball pressure. He blocked a couple shots. He's in the fray all the time. He's so athletic that he's out there getting deflections, getting steals. He makes a real impact on the game. He's done that all year. So whatever we can do to try to deal with Jokic, we have to try to do.

We've done a decent job here the first two games but now we've got to go on the road, and we know how good he is and what's waiting for us in Denver in terms of the energy and crowd and all of that. Got a lot of work ahead.

Q. You mentioned Wiggins importance defensively in that unit, particularly on the glass. How about offensively? He's the fifth of the players, usually in the corner, how important is it to hit threes but slash when they ignore him?

STEVE KERR: Yeah, he's a really complementary part of that group. He made a couple threes early when we were struggling, which was important. If you think about that unit with Jordan, Steph, Klay, they draw so much attention that Andrew is going to get some hoops, some space to drive. You saw it in Game 1. Not as much tonight because the guys were making shots and they were letting it fly before Wiggs even touched the ball.

But I think he understands that it's a great spot for him. He's played a huge role for him all year at both ends and he's a plus-24 tonight, he's doing his job and I think he's really enjoying it, too.

Q. Ten steals that counted for 18 of the turnovers that you guys forced and you capitalized with 25 points. What does that say about every guy in every position?

STEVE KERR: Just felt like we were getting a lot of deflections out there. We were really active and just trying to speed the game up but not turn the ball over as well. I liked that balance that we were able to speed the game up with our defense but then make pretty good decisions offensively and take care of the ball and not let them get out in transition too much.

Q. Given who Steph is and what he means to the team, was there much of a sales pitch to embrace this role off the bench or has he been just rolling with the punches?

STEVE KERR: Steph is Steph. You don't need to sell him on anything. He's very unique. He's incredibly humble and incredibly arrogant on the floor. Humble off the floor, arrogant on the floor. It's a great combination. Anything that is going to help the team, he's all for. We always collaborate. We talk about everything. It's just very matter of fact with Steph. There's never any ego that gets in the way.

Gregg Popovich likes to talk about the importance of getting over yourself if you want to be on a great team, if you want to be part of something special. Steph, it's just the way he was raised. He didn't even have to get over himself. He was already over himself when he arrived in the NBA, and he's maintained that humility despite this incredible stardom and incredible success he's had and what makes him such a powerful teammate.

Q. Obvious answer but just for the record, will Steph definitely be starting very soon?

STEVE KERR: We'll see.

Q. Is Jordan Poole going to take technical free throws from now on?

STEVE KERR: They have to hash that out. I don't make that decision.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
119696-1-1003 2022-04-19 05:10:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129