NBA Western Conference Finals: Mavericks vs. Warriors

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Golden State Warriors

Steph Curry

Game 1: Postgame

Warriors 112, Mavericks 87

Q. How determined were you on the boards to kind of make an impact there and how much does doing other things lead to you finding a flow on the other end offensively?

STEPH CURRY: I always have a radar on rebounding. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't. But a team that shoots as many threes as they do that requires all the guards to come back and help the bigs catch those long rebounds, just be alert. They have a couple wings that crash the glass. You've got to put bodies on them. But when you do get those rebounds, it helps us get into the break a little quicker because the guard's got the ball and obviously it helps us just keep them to one shot.

So doubt I will get double digits every game but I have the same intentions, like we should.

Q. How much different was the defense without the shot blocking you had against Memphis, was it a drastic difference compared to Game 6?

STEPH CURRY: No, Powell and Maxi Kleber are different than Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson, but they still are a challenge in terms of you don't want to get into a crowd and you don't want to get into positions where you don't have any outlets. For the most part, we had a couple possessions in the third quarter where we got in trouble, but for the most part we were pretty decisive on where we wanted to attack. Once you get into the paint you have a couple more options but you just have to be assertive and decisive on what you're trying to do.

JP got into the paint a bunch of times and obviously finished. I think I had a couple in transition, but when we get in there, there are opportunities to shoot but there's also opportunities to kick and create the good Warrior basketball ball movement that we're used to.

That's one game. We've got to understand that there will probably be adjustments and respond accordingly.

Q. Wiggins was picking up Luka full court at times. You're a guy that obviously defenses sometimes do that to. Does that annoy a ball handler when you have a guy constantly up in you?

STEPH CURRY: Yeah, it does. It's a tactic obviously in terms of just making guys work. Reggie did it to me a couple times. It's just one more thing to think about.

I wouldn't say it bothers you but something you can't try to overcome. Wiggs is going to keep doing it, but it's just one more thing to think about and that's good playoff basketball.

Q. What did you think about his individual defense tonight mostly on Luka?

STEPH CURRY: He took the challenge and Luka's tough. He still finds a way to control possessions. You've got to assume he'll shoot a little bit better but Wiggs was relentless. Every possession, he was out there on him. That's all we really want. Even if Luka has his numbers, you just want to at the end of the day feel like he had to work for everything he got and not give him anything easy. We have to be able to help him on the back side of our rotations, and they want to try to bring me and JP into the pick-and-rolls, communicate the wings, let them know where it's coming from and be on a string.

But at point of attack, Wiggs was awesome and he's shown what he's capable of on that end of the floor.

Q. There was that play in the third quarter where you got trapped in the corner. You had to throw kind of a tough pass, maybe a wild pass out to Draymond?

STEPH CURRY: That's what I do, throw wild pass.

Q. That play could have gone a lot different directions but ends in a big three. How would you describe the way that unfolds and the read that you and Draymond have to make that happen and obviously the difficulty of the pass itself.

STEPH CURRY: It was a long shot pass. I just told them in the locker room just a minute ago, I said when I threw it and I looked back and I saw it was not going anywhere near Loon, who I was trying to throw it to, and I saw Draymond save it, sigh of relief on that one.

But the way we play, once you get it, the first pass, they had two guys on me and then we have more actions to follow, that's what we've been doing for years, and there's a chemistry to that.

So good things usually happen, and especially the way they try to take away the three-point line on the initial attack, we had Loon set a nice down screen for me to get a shot and we had guys cutting on the back side on another possession. Great chemistry in terms of creating offense that way minus the behind-the-head pass.

Q. You were immediately sprinting out to catch that pass back from Draymond. Does he already know you're going to do that? How quickly are they figuring out where that this is heading?

STEPH CURRY: That's just patterns. You see me down the floor and Loon in position for the screen and as soon as I take my first step back towards the ball coming off the down screen, I'm sure Draymond is not looking at anything else. I didn't see the play but I'm sure his eyes didn't go to the weak side at all. It just patterns that we're used to. You could look at a lot of different plays tonight that showed that chemistry in terms of just read and react motion offense.

Q. Was tonight as strong or focused a defensive performance as you guys have had all playoffs start to finish, and secondarily, how has Andrew changed or evolved since he's been in this Warriors culture?

STEPH CURRY: I don't know how to compare the rest of the games, other series but when you get to this stage, you do have to elevate your execution if you want to win because the competition gets better. Dallas is tough. So we did a good job one game. We've got to keep doing it over and over and over again. So however you grade the execution, we have to keep leveling up.

And Wiggs is understanding the nuances of what winning basketball is and just how to key in on the little things in terms of consistent effort from the defense, taking those one-on-one challenges, being aggressive on the offensive end, using his athletic ability to get to the rim if he needs to, confidence shooting the three. Being comfortable in our offense. So there's a lot of different things that he's understanding that this time in terms of a playoff run requires to win games and the joy that comes with it. It's not like he's out there scoring 30 every night. It's the other things that help you win and the joy that you get out of it.

Q. When you guys play in this building, do you know in the back of your mind that that offensive avalanche is coming eventually, whether it's the second, third or fourth quarter?

STEPH CURRY: There's always that confidence. The Memphis series shook us a bit from time to time where three quarters, three and a half quarters, it didn't seem to be clicking.

But again, we're all still trying to continue to get better and peak at the right time on both ends of the floor and we do have the ability to turn it up pretty quickly.

You don't want to rely on that and be playing from behind a lot but it is how we play and when you have that ability to create separation like we did in the third quarter, that's a fun way to play.

Q. You mentioned the Memphis series. Is this series with the difference maybe this one is more mental where you have to focus, the five out, just can't leave a three-point shooter and it's more that kind of thing than maybe Memphis was physical and aggressive? Is that oversimplifying it?

STEPH CURRY: A little bit, because there's a lot of nuance to what Memphis did offensively that you had to be aware of. I think this one probably has the potential to be very similar to the last series where a lot of adjustments from game to game and you have to be able to react on the fly, especially in that first quarter, settling into what the flow of the game is, because it's two entirely different paces, their comfort zone versus our comfort zone. You have one guy that can literally dominate a possession, if you let him get to spots that he's comfortable with.

So that's my best answer for that.

Q. Who is the best mid-range shooter on the team?

STEPH CURRY: That's a good question. Probably Otto.

Q. Do free throws count as mid-range jumpers?

STEPH CURRY: It's definitely not me right now.

Q. You've talked about the movement and the passing and that's Warriors basketball. Would it be fair to a say that the movement made y'all?

STEPH CURRY: Dave is going to be hyped about that one. That was phenomenal. Yeah, the movement made us tonight. Shoutout to David Dennis on the assist right there. That was nice. That was nice.

Q. You, Klay and Draymond have made note that you have not played in games with these kind of stakes for about three years now. As you get closer, we are in the Conference Finals now, is the energy familiar this time around, is it different, is it entirely different?

STEPH CURRY: We super comfortable on this stage. I think it's more so just the understanding that -- because we have been away for two years and this is a different team, there's a sense of urgency of how important -- it's even hard to say that because every time you go through this it's important. But there's more gratitude of being back here and more sense of urgency on not letting the opportunity slip away. Who knows how it plays out but I'm enjoying every bit of this. I know Klay is as well and I know Draymond is because we haven't played meaningful games at this time of year in two years.

It's special. That level of comfort when we are out there, it's showing itself these last two series and hopefully it will continue to be a key for us to kind of fall back on that experience of what it means or what it takes to win tough playoff games.

Q. You guys strayed away from Looney for a while, tried a bunch of different starting lineups. It has now gotten back to Looney the last couple games. Do you feel like you've rediscovered a little bit kind of who you were during the regular season, starting 80 of the 82 games and you guys were a defense-first unit?

STEPH CURRY: Yeah, the regular season is interesting because like I said, we started off so well and Klay came back, things got shuffled around. I got hurt towards the end of the year, even after Draymond was out for however long it was. Just had a lot of experimenting with starting lineups, and the last 12 games, we were trying to find an offensive kind of jump start, and that was a tough decision to pull him out of the starting lineup for one or two games and then he got back in there.

It was necessary I think with where we were as a team and the revolving door of who is available. But it's also part of who we are in terms of things can change really quickly in terms of who is supposed to start, what matchups work in our favor, the ability to adapt from game to game like we did in Game 6 in the last series. It all falls back to the chemistry of even you talk about spacing issues with Loon and Draymond and all that, we still find a way to kind of overcome that.

So there's a lot of confidence in what Loon brings and he's been playing -- you've got to give him credit obviously. He's been playing amazing and making his opportunity worth it.

Q. Since you're reflecting a little bit, do you remember what you thought when Klay said it's championship or bust? That's in November, you guys are 15-2 at the time.

STEPH CURRY: He said that this year? I missed that. I was confused -- I didn't hear it.

Q. A couple months before you came back in November and you guys were 15-2 at that stage.

STEPH CURRY: It's funny, because him being away, I'm sure I expected him to say something like that just in anticipation of him coming back.

But like I said, it's an exciting time to be back on this stage. Not skipping ahead any part of this journey. We understand that we just won one game in the Western Conference Finals and we have a lot of work left ahead of us to get back to -- back to the Finals.

So love to make him a prophet this year.

Q. You mentioned your free throws and missing the two at the beginning. When you miss two shots in a set like that, how does that change your mindset, not in a discouraging way, but do you ever say, I want to avenge those missed free throws?

STEPH CURRY: Always. It's funny, tonight got a little tip-back and I hit a mid-range, it was nice. Got the two points back.

But I shook this one off -- you always just talk to yourself no matter if you're missing shots or free throws or whatever it is, you just talk positive to yourself about what's coming next. I think I blamed it on the four-day break tonight in my head and then just tried to shake it off. Whatever you can to motivate you yourself. I don't ever lose confidence. It's just that self-talk that helps.

Q. The next game, how do you avoid getting surprised by Dallas? Same two teams, but what do you expect to happen the next game? Another question, DeJan Milojevic, the new assistant coach this season, have you had a chance to work with him and what are your thoughts on him joining the team?

STEPH CURRY: He's been a huge help to us. Obviously he's been working with Wise most of the year and trying to mold him into the players that he wants to be. He gives us a lot of good sets that he draws up. Gives a coach from time to time and he's just a hooper. I saw some clips of him playing overseas. He knows how to play and he has just a good eye for the game. He'll give you some gems during time-outs to kind of look out for. It's been great getting to know him and his basketball mind. It's been awesome.

And we are used to move playoff adjustments and being prepared and not getting too complacent from game to game because we know we haven't done anything yet. You enjoy it, celebrate the win, you understand where we can get better tonight and then you expect them to play better. So we have to elevate our competitiveness and focus to maintain control of the series.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
120394-2-1043 2022-05-19 05:09:00 GMT

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