Postgame Quotes - March 9, 2011

Pistons at Spurs
Detroit: John Kuester | Greg Monroe | Tayshaun Prince

San Antonio: Gregg Popovich | Antonio McDyess | Manu Ginobili

Pistons Head Coach John Kuester

(Opening statement)
“I’ve been in the business for a long time and I’ve never seen a team shoot 80%; that was incredible. I thought that was the difference in the game, first quarter 40 to 26. That hurt us. Then we battled back and competed. When you play a veteran team like this, closing out quarters is very important. Tony Parker hit six straight points on us at the end of that third quarter and that put us in more of a hole. We had just cut the lead to six or seven, a manageable situation and then they score six quick points.”

(On Greg Monroe tonight)
“I thought Greg (Monroe) had great energy. I thought he started out pretty slow and then he picked it up and realized he’s playing a veteran team. Playing against Tim Duncan he has to play with that focus the entire time.”

(On Richard Hamilton being engaged tonight)
“He’s been that way since our meeting. He’s been working so hard at it that’s the important thing. He and BG (Ben Gordon) are pushing themselves in practice and that’s helping us as a team. We have 17 more games and I liked what I saw tonight in spurts.”

(On the line-up switch and bringing back Tracy McGrady to the starting line-up)
“We’re looking to mix and match all the time. We’re always searching to see who’s going to give us the most in certain spots and situations. I thought Tracy (McGrady) was outstanding. His leadership and the way he controlled the game was outstanding.”

Pistons Forward Greg Monroe

(On the Spurs’ hot start)
“This is the team with the best record in the NBA and they’re at home. You can’t spot them as many points as we did in the first quarter.”

(On their comeback throughout the rest of the game)
“We did gather everything together. Everyone started playing hard, but we just got to do that for the whole game.”

(On his own play tonight)
“I was just trying to go out and play hard. That’s one thing I’ve been trying to bring to the team every game. I’m playing hard and my teammates were playing hard and that’s when we made our run.”

(On going up against Tim Duncan tonight)
“He’s one of the best bigs of this generation. He’s one of the best bigs ever. He’s obviously very skilled. He plays hard. Every second you have to be on your P’s and Q’s when you’re guarding him and also when he’s guarding you.”

(On what makes the Spurs such an effective team)
“They make their open shots and they play together. Obviously Popovich is a great coach and the mix of all of those makes them a pretty tough team.”

Pistons Forward Tayshaun Prince

(On working from behind all game)
“For the most part I knew they would come out strong. I knew that they hadn’t played since the Lakers game. They didn’t shoot the ball well in that game. They’re obviously a great team and what they do is they respond after losing a basketball game. We knew that they would come out aggressive and run their offense to a ‘T’, but obviously we didn’t expect them to shoot 80% in the first half. It is what it is. We didn’t defend well at all. We were late on our rotations and other things in that first half. We still played good offensively, but offense doesn’t win basketball games, especially for us. We got to work on that defensive end and we didn’t do that throughout that first quarter.”

(On how they played in the second half)
“When you’re down like we were, at that point it’s a matter of just picking up that pace. It’s a situation where you have to play with a sense of urgency. A lot of times in that situation you play better. When you’re down 17 or 20 points early you got to play with a sense of urgency or it’s going to go up to 30 and then even more. We did a good job of playing with a sense of urgency from that point on. We were making shots and running some good offense, but defensive was hurting us throughout the game. Parker had a strong end of the third quarter where they pushed the lead up right before the start of the fourth. Good teams do that.”

Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

(On Tony Parker’s play in the game)
“Well, I thought he did a great job throughout the game, being aggressive, distributing the ball, and when we really needed some offense, he was scoring when they (the Pistons) made a run at the end. He was fantastic; taking it to them and scoring.”

(On why Antonio McDyess started over DeJuan Blair)
“Starting had nothing to do with Detroit or the one thousandth game or anything like that… We’re just trying to look forward at what match-ups there are to be and what we need to do rotation-wise, so we took a look at it.”

(On Gary Neal’s impact for the team)
“Well, he’s had a wonderful year. From unknown to somebody who comes in with confidence, he plays the game with intensity, trying to do his best at both ends, and learning all the time. So he’s really important to us.”

(On Gary Neal’s defense against Richard Hamilton)
“He did a great job. Rip’s (Richard Hamilton) offense is just better than his defense. He’s not the only one who’s ever been in that situation.”

Spurs Forward Antonio McDyess

(On if it was nice to play in his 1,000th game against his old team)
“It felt great. I actually didn’t know until you told me yesterday, but it definitely feels great. I can feel it in my body also that it’s 1,000 games, but to actually play my 1,000th game against my old team definitely feels good.”

(On if Richard Hamilton still has some game left)
“No question. Like I said, that guy can still play competitive and be a good player. To see him still out there on the floor, I’m happy for him.”

Spurs Guard Manu Ginobili

(On if they were ready for tonight’s game after Sunday’s loss)
“Yeah, at least more ready than against the Lakers. We knew today that we had to move the ball better, get everybody involved, and I think we did a very good job, especially at the beginning. Then we got a little sloppy with the lead and we didn’t play as concentrated, as focused as in the first half, but it was enough to win the game.”

(On if the Spurs have to focus on not getting sloppy against Sacramento)
“Hopefully we face the Kings the same way we did today: starting hard, moving the ball and playing good ‘D’ solid. We know we are all very experienced and we know that when you give a team confidence and they start playing relaxed and they don’t have anything to lose, they can get you in trouble and you can get up losing a game that you shouldn’t. So hopefully we start hard and play our usual style.”

(On the play where he found Tony Parker in the corner for the three-pointer)
“We were up five and I remember I was trying to be aggressive and get to the rim or draw a foul. I remember getting under the rim and that’s what we usually do, baseline drive, baseline drift. Tony was there, open, and he made a great shot. That’s been a very common play for us somebody penetrating and finding a teammate in the corner.”

(On if Tony Parker has gotten good at the corner three now)
“I would always trust him because that’s who we are and that’s how we play, but probably a couple seasons ago, three or four, he could have just catch and try to penetrate middle or get closer. Now he’s feeling really good about that three from the corner and he’s made some big ones this year.”

(On how big Tony Parker was at the end of the third quarter)
“There were a couple times in the game where he took over. I remember one play that Pop told me to go sub in, but he was playing so well that he told me to wait two more minutes and see what happens, so he finished the quarter and in the fourth quarter he just finished the game, so he was huge.”