Steve Kerr, Warriors coach, after their victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday (107-88) in Game 2 of the NBA Finals: “I found everyone much more invested. It was quite obvious even. Our level of strength and aggression has increased. He had to. Given what Boston did in the fourth quarter in Game 1, we needed to be more motivated and more aggressive. It started from the start of the match. Draymond (Green) was a huge part of that and Steph (Curry) took my breath away.
Not just the shots (14 points at 4/9 including 3/6 at three points), but also his efforts in defense. We just don’t recognize enough of his fitness level, strength and defense. Opponents go after him because they know how important he is to us. But his difference in preparation is incredible compared to when I arrived 8 years ago. He works on it every year, it’s a pleasure to see him play every night. The guy is amazing. »
“I’ve been talking about Steph’s (Curry) progress on defense for two years. Teams could target him before, but that’s over.”
Draymond Green: “ Steph launches us in attack, me in defense. It’s my job. I wanted to do it from the start of the match. First action, we get an in-between (him and Al Horford), and behind they lose the ball. I’ve been talking about Steph’s progress on defense for two years. Teams could target him before, but that’s over. He gets into position, defends and, if necessary, we are behind him to help him. But he doesn’t need it too much, which is great…I’ve already said he’s a lot beefier.
And in attack it has always been him the main point. It’s all about him. Even when “KD” (Kevin Durant) was there. Against a team like this, you have to look for the attack elsewhere, and we did a pretty good job in this area. Klay (Thompson) signed a 4/19, but that’s not going to last. We didn’t lose the ball, above all. We had to cut off their counter-attacks and play them against our half-court defense. »
“Five minutes after Game 1, when I saw Draymond’s (Green) response, I didn’t need anything more”
Stephen Curry: “In Game 1, we gave Al Horford, Marcus Smart and Derrick White four to five open shots in the first half. We are also pros, we play the same game, we know very well what happens if we have the same shots, and the effects on the rest of the match: confidence, trying more things… So there, we kept a defender on Al and we sent Marcus into traffic. Jaylen (Brown) and (Jayson) Tatum, they are incredible ball in hand, but it was already more obvious what we have to do against them in defense.
(About Draymond Green) You could have put him on (Ime) Udoka (the opposing coach), and it would have been a different game from the first one, just in the way he approached it. Five minutes after Game 1, when I saw his response, I didn’t need anything more. His presence, his intensity, the team opposite feels it and it’s contagious for us. »