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NBA FINALS: WARRIORS VS. RAPTORS

June 9, 2019

Stephen Curry

Toronto, Ontario - Practice Day

Q. How do you describe this particular challenge and compare it to anything else that you guys have ever faced?
STEPHEN CURRY: I don't know. I think this is, just thinking about what's happening now, it's hard to kind of compare just because everything, all my mental energy and whatnot is focused on the task at hand right now, being down 3-1 in The Finals. We haven't been in this position before in The Finals, but playing OKC and the whole 2016 run, where we were on both sides of this equation, you can kind of relive those experiences and understand what the emotions were like and how important literally every possession of those potential closeout games were on both ends, and what it took for those comebacks to happen.

But for us it's just a matter of, can you win one basketball game right now? Can you go out tomorrow, play an amazing 48 minutes, quiet this crowd that's going to be probably unbelievable tomorrow, and slow down a team that's been playing amazing, especially these last two games, and just win one basketball game and take it from there? And if we focus on that mission, our history kind of speaks for itself in terms of being able to get that done. Just win one basketball game and then we'll worry about the rest.

Q. Coach Kerr just said there's a chance KD might be playing tomorrow after all. How do you see him during this process, him being out, and how your way of playing is going to change if he is back, considering he's probably not going to be at hundred percent?
STEPHEN CURRY: I don't think it will change much at all. It's just having another powerful weapon out there that can do some very dynamic things on the floor. We'll be able to adjust in transition pretty smoothly. He's been in plenty of Finals and has played well. No matter what percentage he's at, I'm sure he'll be impactful and effective out there.

But again for myself or anybody in our rotation who's been playing a lot of minutes, we just have to be aggressive and smart and competitive, especially on the defensive end. And the rest should take care of itself.

Q. As the leader of the team, can you assess the vibe around the team, the mindset going into this situation?
STEPHEN CURRY: I think after Game 4 it was a tough vibe in the locker room just because you lose two in a row at home. Nobody likes that feeling at all, especially in The Finals, and it's kind of a little self-reflection of what do we need to do, what do we need to correct for us to stay alive.

But I don't know -- I wouldn't say we're down at all. It's mostly just we're anxious for tomorrow to just get out there and play a great basketball game. I think we're confident in the fact that we can do that. The best bet for us is just to block out as much noise as possible, have a great practice today where we home in on the details that we need to correct and really come with the right mindset and the energy and effort we need to play with with our backs against the wall. And again, like I kind of said earlier, we know we can do it. It's just a matter of proving it.

Q. This idea of how important it is to take it one possession, one game, blocking out the noise, does that come naturally? Is that something that you can't imagine being any other way, or is it something you've really had to practice and learn and get better at?
STEPHEN CURRY: It definitely comes with experience, for sure, because you can say it, but just how hard it is to do that at this stage and at this level. Having been here five straight times and been through all type of experiences and different styles of play, different paces, playing against amazing talents that we have had and even now with the way that Toronto has been playing these last two games, it's just a matter of buckling down and figuring it out.

It's easier for to us say that because we have been through so many experiences. I think the confidence that we can flip that switch, and no matter what has happened the last two games, be world-beaters tomorrow from the jump -- that's definitely something that we can do and execute. But it does help having been on the back end of this five-year journey, where we have seen so much and been in a lot of different atmospheres and different pressures and expectations that we can lock in on just strictly 48 minutes. The context of it all really doesn't matter. It's win one basketball game and take it from there.

Q. Along those lines, in a 3-1 series in a Game 5, how much of it is sort of tricking yourself, if you're up, to play with urgency and if you're down to not look at sort of we have to win three, but it's one? Is this more of a mental test, Game 5s?
STEPHEN CURRY: Yeah, considering how tough the last two games were, you can't lose your identity and certain things that have made us successful over the course of this run. I don't think we need to reinvent the wheel by any stretch -- these huge adjustments or anything. Looking at Games 3 and 4, where we lost them were these four- to six-minute mini-runs that Toronto went on, where they put a lot of pressure on us by just how efficient they have been on the offensive end, and felt like they could get any shot that they wanted to. And obviously the way that they're defending us, just trying to create good offense on those possessions to kind of go back at them. We haven't done it. So that's really it.

Can you see the picture and envision what we need to do out there and turn that into reality by executing it? We have high-IQ guys that I feel like won't be rattled by the pressure of that situation, because a couple missed shots here and there, you can start to think like, oh, this might not be our night or stuff like that. That can't creep in. It has to be, in spite of whatever happens, Game 5 just get the job done, no matter how pretty or ugly it is.

Q. You mentioned in practice today working on detail or two. Without divulging state secrets, could you just elaborate on what you think a couple of the details that need to be cleaned up are?
STEPHEN CURRY: Mostly just defensively in terms of the stuff that they have done to create good looks on the offensive end, whether it's communication on our switches or rotations out of traps or simple details. Just boxing out when a shot goes up. Those are valuable possessions in a pivotal game like a Game 5 when you're down 3-1. So we just have to have everybody in the same mindset, on the same page. Just the mental focus you need to have. It starts in practice, again, envisioning what that's going to look like, everybody marinating on it for the next 24 hours and then going out and getting the job done.

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