Coach Pop Pregame Media Availability - Spurs vs. Warriors

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich:

(On the points of emphasis on the Warriors’ three point shooters…)
“They’re great at shooting. You’ve got to chase them, be smart, and do your work early. If you’re not focused every second, they’ll be a step ahead of you and the ball will be gone. Transition defense is where everything starts and after that it’s a matter of focus. The only way to beat them is to play defense. If you play an offensive game, they win. You have to make stops.”

(On whether the Spurs season is still a work in progress…)
“Every team is a work in progress…nobody is where they want to be. That’s just logical at this stage of the year. Everything can improve; turnovers, ball movement, transition defense, screen setting, you name it. Every team is looking to get better.”

(When asked if he has had to make a point of emphasis to his players on the new rule changes…)
“Yeah, I think they are getting used to it. The players are getting used to it and trying to figure out what’s going to be an automatic call. Everybody knows if you do this on the perimeter or this in the post, this is going to be the call. I don’t think people were comfortable with the moving screen rule and how much it’s going to be called. It’s just a matter of the referees staying on it, which I assume they will, and players adjusting to it. There are more calls being made now and hopefully that will dissipate as guys get used to it.

(On the Warriors and their improvement…)
“They’re for real. They’re really good offensively. They’ve got an inside and outside game and they are really capable of scoring. And if they were just really good offensively, you would just call them a dangerous team. But they’re beyond that; Mark (Jackson) has done a hell of a job giving them an aggressive, physical mentality on defense. They’ve been demanding in that regard and fortunately he’s got a group of character guys that want to do it right and get to the next level, and that’s what it takes. He initiated that last year so that takes them from a dangerous team to a solid, competitive team that can play with anybody. That’s who they are. Now it’s just a matter of being persistent and consistent on that and reducing mistakes. It’s a long season and they are definitely on the right path.”