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NBA FINALS: WARRIORS VS. RAPTORS

June 7, 2019

Nick Nurse

Oakland, California - Postgame 4

Raptors - 105, Warriors - 92

Q. That third quarter when you sort of took control of the game, you went back to Fred and got big minutes out of Serge, is that what your team does, you find a way to get the right guy in the right spot?
NICK NURSE: Well, we had a big problem with the third quarter in Game 2, so we had to make some adjustment there to try to combat the way they come out of the half. They have been historically really good at that. We made the decision to put Fred in in Game 3 and then Game 4 again tonight.

And mostly it's to try to keep up pace of our offense going, it gives us two point guards out there that can push the ball, get it in and get it going, and it kind of paid off. I know Kawhi's two big threes to start the half really I thought changed the whole feel of everybody. I just thought everybody was like, okay, man, we know we are here, let's go, and we just kind of kept going from those two threes.

Q. Did Serge's play, his athleticism, his ability to affect the game at both ends?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, you know, once he gets into the series, which he did in Game 3, with the blocked shots and the rebounding and stuff, he seems to stay in the series. He was great tonight, man, and it's kind of all -- he usually gives you all of it. Once he starts blocking a couple shots and the offense comes and the rebounding comes and a putback here and there, and even his jump shot seems to come once he gets into the game defensively with a blocked shot or two.

Q. Kawhi's demeanor is obviously well chronicled, how he's pretty much unflappable in any situation. Has your team taken its cues from him, or do you have a bunch of guys who in a lot of ways are just happen to be like him in that they don't get rattled, they don't seem to be too shaken in any moment?
NICK NURSE: I think we certainly -- I think most teams will take cues from their leaders or their star players, so I think that spreads around a little bit, but I also think you got -- Marc's pretty steady out there and a high IQ level, pretty level-headed guy, doesn't show much emotion. Danny comes and goes a little bit, I guess, but you know -- and I think like, too, I think a lot of that veteran stuff, Kyle's been great with his emotional makeup this season, and Pascal, for being a young guy, has probably taken the cues from those older guys. And Freddie, Freddie's pretty steady too.

Q. Even though these were two road games, there was a strong contingent of Raptor fans that were in attendance, very vocal. What does that mean to your team to see fans travel all the way from Toronto to here to a tough place to play in Oracle and you hear them chanting "MVP" for Kawhi, and every time that you guys make a good play or a shot really are very vocal? Did you guys hear that, and how do you feel about that?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, it's awesome, first of all, right. I think we travel, our fans travel really well in the regular season. We get this a lot on the road. It's really amazing. It's Canada's team, and Canadians from all over the country are traveling down and making plans when we play in Florida or California or any of the -- Detroit especially. You ought to see a Detroit game. It's really something in there, both teams' fans really get going.

Surprises me a little in The Finals because I don't think it's that easy to get tickets to these games, so our fans are working extra hard and being extra vocal, and we appreciate that.

Q. Just wanted to get your thoughts on the chess match, Coach Kerr is sort of known to make adjustments throughout the series and in his history, but it seems like you're kind of getting the best of him a tad. Do you relish that chess match back and forth?
NICK NURSE: I wouldn't say that at all. I'm just -- listen, I think that we have to go out there. We don't know who is available, who is playing, and we have taken the stance of just whoever's out there we got to figure it out. And we try to change the who is guarding who a little bit here and there, just because there's so many different guys in and out, they start somebody different every night it seems like.

I don't know about any other adjustments or any of that stuff that we're getting the better of, we're just -- our guys are playing really hard and so far, especially the last couple games, we have been fortunate that it's come out our way.

Q. How do you compare this team to the 2014 Spurs in The Finals in terms of defensively? It seems like there's a lot of similarities there.
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I don't remember much about those guys other than they were really good and -- I don't know, I'm not very good at comparing teams or players from years gone by.

But this team, I thought we played really tough tonight, we were taking a lot of punches early and we just kept standing in there and playing. Then we were able to kind of exert our will in the second half. I guess it was probably similar to what they did, but I don't really remember.

Q. Pascal had a really rough offensive start to the game, and he sort of just stayed with it and was even able to hit that final 16-footer that they sort of left for him. Do you think as the playoffs have progressed he's sort of figured out how to stay in games better, or has that been in him all along and it's just improved?
NICK NURSE: He obviously -- he was kind of -- his game was kind of typical of the game, right, he was getting doubled early, which was an adjustment by them, and then they were also taking the easy -- well, the quick pass back right out where it came from, they were doubling and then denying Kyle, and we weren't doing a very good job of giving him an outlet.

So he was pretty rattled early, and that's part of what you do to double team guys, is to try to rattle them in general. So for him to hang in there and keep finding some moments to play was good. I think he made a bunch of free throws tonight, too, didn't he? 7-for-8 from the line.

I thought he got -- again, I always say when's playing good, he has great composure, he gets in there, he gets to two feet, he gets on balance, he'll wait for the angle or he'll pump fake or whatever, and I thought he did a better job of waiting for his moment in the second half.

Q. We hear a lot about Golden State's championship pedigree. Tonight I think we saw Kawhi Leonard's championship pedigree. What has his pedigree done to help you, to help put you in this situation in this series?
NICK NURSE: Well, obviously he's playing great and he's lifted us a lot of times with big buckets or runs of buckets or just that settling bucket when the place is going crazy and he'll calmly sink one to kind of quiet the crowd.

But I think more than anything, just once we saw him early in the year, I think, again, your team's vision of who they can become eventually changes. I say that about Marc Gasol too. When we got him, I think we started passing the ball, our assists started going way up, we became the No. 1 three-point shooting team in the league because of the extra passes and the contagious passing, et cetera, and I think our team again thought their sense of who they thought they could become went up.

Q. All playoffs long we have been hearing from the players one day at a time, one game at a time, one win at a time, all the way through. One to go now. How do you keep on that mental thing with so much excitement going on?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I mean, I think it's difficult. I mean, we're going to get back there, and as you know, they're going to be going crazy in Toronto, and my message to them is, is we have never really talked about the series score, can't let people take you someplace you aren't yet, right, and we know this is a great team and we know how hard we have to play to beat them. Home or away, we know how hard we have to play and just focus in on trying to be the hardest working team on the floor. If we do that, then we'll give ourselves a chance to win and go from there.

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