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NBA FINALS: WARRIORS VS. RAPTORS

June 5, 2019

Nick Nurse

Oakland, California - Pregame 3

Q. Would you prefer to play late in the clock less often than you have been through the first two games as far as your offense, late-clock offense?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I think the numbers dictate that scoring early in the shot clock is the best thing to do and scoring late is one of the worse things to do, right, over the course of NBA season or an NBA game.

But I also think that as long as you're not turning it over and getting a shot, there is something to making them play some defense too and getting the ball side to side. We know they're a good defensive team. We have got late in the clock a lot. We had a high success rate in Game 1, not as high in Game 2, but I think you take the possession as it comes.

We would certainly like to get up the floor and get them into some scramble or rotations as quick as we could. And if we don't, then you got to keep playing it out until you can find a good shot.

Q. Do you have adjustments to make to get into earlier offense, adjustments --
NICK NURSE: Play better defense, yeah. Play better defense. Make them miss more. Get it off the rim a little more than taking it out of the net. That will help your transition game. That will help your early offense.

Q. I'm curious what you see, Kawhi has grabbed a number of offensive rebounds the last few rounds, and to me what kind of stands out is just how far he's traveling in a lot of cases to grab them where he's well outside of the paint and then grabs something near the baseline. In some ways that can be kind of dangerous because of what you're talking about in terms of preventing transition, but it seems like he comes up with them a lot. What do you see on those plays?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, we have a general kind of rule of thumb that once a shot goes up, we tell our guys to make a really quick, good decision. Either they're going hard to the offensive rebound or they're going hard to defense transition. And there's some guys that go a little more often. Your stronger, longer athletic guys have a chance to keep some balls alive when they see an opening. There's certain moments of the game -- I mean, some of those late are almost scrambles, right, you're behind five and you're throwing it up there and everybody's trying to rebound, just to keep the game alive as well. But, yeah, we just -- that's kind of just our general rule of thumb. Does that answer your question?

Q. Sure. I guess I wondered, too, I mean, particularly in the Milwaukee series, I think even before that against Philly, a couple of the ones that he grabbed along those lines were just seemingly backbreaking for the opponent. Do you feel like it has that sort of impact when you're able to get those at the end of the game or closing out a game?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I think he's made a lot of those late in the game, and I think it's just -- again, it's just a tremendous competitive spirit to do anything and everything to try and either seal the game or get the game back, get the possession back. And it's just -- I think it's been great. It's tremendous will that he's showing to somehow come up with those.

Q. I'm noticing not a lot of questions about Kevon Looney to everybody today, and I'm wondering if you could join my Kevon Looney appreciation, what he does and why it matters.
NICK NURSE: Well, he's a really good defensive player. I mean, first of all, he's just a good player, but he's a problem defensively because he can switch and guard just about anybody out there. And that's a big-time luxury. That takes you out of -- that keeps people in front. That takes you out of having to play weak side on the roller, right, and tagging and rotating and X'ing out and all those things that we -- terminology we have to cover screen and roll defense. He's a good rebounder, and he's capable on offense to face up and knock one down or keep balls alive and get an offensive rebound.

Yeah, I mean, I knew coming into this series -- I mean, he was playing 29 minutes a game, that's almost starters' minutes, coming into this series. So I know Coach Kerr said several times throughout the playoffs how impactful he was to their team.

Q. Phil Handy, is he kind of like a good luck charm, five straight years going to Conference Finals, and how special do you think this is for him being a guy that just grew up just down the street from here?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I think it's really special. He's a good luck charm. I don't know if you know, he played for me. He played for me in -- I think it was '99, 2000. Manchester Giants in Manchester, England. He was a good player. Won a championship with Phil there. So he's really good at his craft. Obviously he's one of the best, if not the best, player development coaches in the league. And obviously he's from here, grew up here. I think he would like to get a W against these guys, right here in his kind of neighborhood.

Q. If you guys won, would you let him tackle you like he tackled Kyrie?
NICK NURSE: I hope he wouldn't. I'm probably not quite as durable as Kyrie and it might put me out for the summer.

Q. I apologize if you've been asked this lately, but do you have a playlist when you're on the road for that guitar? Is there something that you go to especially on the road?
NICK NURSE: No -- you don't have to apologize -- I don't -- I don't -- my playlist is pretty short. I'm just -- I'm not very good. If I was a golfer, I would be about shooting about 120 on 18 holes, if that's my -- if I was comparing my guitar playing to golf. Like a little Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, that kind of stuff.

Q. I read an interesting nugget about how you called timeouts at half court. Your players call it at half court gives you the leeway to go either side. How and when did you discover that, because you don't see it very often in the league?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, how? I think Kyle discovered it, actually, last year sometime. I don't remember exactly when, but I think Kyle figured that out if he called it in the middle, you could take it either side.

I'm not even that crazy about getting it across half court. I usually just like to call timeout if a timeout's needed and to bring it full court, to be honest with you. But if we do inbound it and we want the one, we're going to get it across and take it in the middle. That way I can go to any play on either side, because some of them favor one side or the other depending upon what you want to run.

Q. So much uncertainty about the status of Klay Thompson, some of the other players on the Warriors, even going right up to tip now. I'm wondering how much does that impact your game planning, your preparation, knowing that you're taking it right down to the wire?
NICK NURSE: It doesn't impact it very much. I think we're at the point of this series where we got to get out and guard these dudes, right, whoever's out there. We got to get playing our defense, right, quit worrying so much about special plays, this, that, and the other thing. We need to get into the ball. When you're guarding it, be great at guarding the ball; when your man doesn't have it, help, make the rotations; if somebody goes to help, help the helper. Fly out at shooters and block out. We got to do a better job of that if we want to win.

Q. How important is it to have Sergio Scariolo on your coaching staff with his European experience? He's a rookie in the NBA.
NICK NURSE: Yup. Well, first of all, he's -- I think he's got two Olympic silver medals under his belt as a head coach. He's been a head coach for about 30 years now. And he has a really special relationship with one of our players and now two, right. When we hired him, he'd had Serge Ibaka on the Spanish national team, and I think it's been a big help.

I think Serge has had kind of a comeback year a little bit, he's been great for us. And then obviously we trade for Marc Gasol, who's been with him a lot for the Spanish national team. So that really helps to have a guy that knows those guys, will know things that we don't have to test out or find out. We can tell him, Hey, can we do this with Marc? And he says no or yes, and he says do this or don't do that. And that really helps you get to some solutions quicker without having to fail at some experiments as a coach.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

NICK NURSE: Okay. Enjoy the game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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