Quotes: Spurs vs. Clippers Game 2: 5/17/12


Gregg Popovich

Tony Parker

Tim Duncan

Vinny DelNegro

Chris Paul

Caron Butler

Randy Foye

Click on a player to read quotes


Gregg Popovich

(Did it seem like Tony was more intent on getting to the rim tonight, in spite of the pressure he was getting on the perimeter?)
“I thought Tony played very, very aggressively and really focused knowing full well he was going to get hit, he was going to get doubled and so on and so forth.  He welcomed it, played through it and did one heck of a job.”

(Talk about Tim Duncan...he had a huge game.  Everyone thinks he’s getting old, but that’s not how he’s playing…)
“He is getting older, just like you are and all of us are, but Tim Duncan is still the backbone of the program.  He’s the guy we build around.  He sets the tone for us.  Tony and Manu know that full well.  We’ve shifted the offense a bit, so it’s a little more perimeter oriented the last couple of years and Timmy understands that.  He continues to rebound and play defense.  We’ve gone to him quite a bit in these playoffs.  He takes care of his body.  He’s disciplined.  He’s a competitive son of a gun and he’s still one hell of a player.”

(The Clippers had seven assists and 12 turnovers…what did you do to make that happen?)
“It just happens.  It’s a game.  You don’t go into a game and say you’re going to do this tonight or we’re going to hold them to this or that.  You just try to do the best job you can and it came out in our favor.”

(Defensively you had a lot of people switching off on Chris Paul, but how much of it was Tony and his aggressiveness on offense charging after Chris and really making him work on defense that maybe frustrated him into some of those turnovers?)
“Tony did the lion’s share of work tonight on Chris.  He really set a tone defensively for us.  He was just driven and did one hell of a job. ”

 

(Has Boris exceeded expectations based on when you first brought him in?)
“No.  Boris Diaw is pretty well known; the things he does and he’s done them for other teams and now he’s doing them for us.  He’s done a very good job for us, fit in pretty seamlessly coming that late in the season, but it’s basketball, it’s not all that complicated.  If you’ve been around in the league, you know how to play and he’s done a good job.”

 (On Tony Parker…the motivation of the match-up with Chris Paul and his high level of play…)
“He’s been like this ever since he came back from his National team and started the year.  He made some commitments and has followed through on those commitments…things he wanted to achieve…and he’s in the middle of another one of those goals right now.  You can see it.  His play with the French team, I think, is one of the things that motivated him and also last year against Memphis he didn’t have a great series and he wants to make up for that too.”

 (With the Clippers pressing and trapping, can you talk about Boris’ ability to come back as a secondary playmaker?)
“They’ve done a great job. They’ve been very aggressive in the pick and roll.  The “bigs” have moved well and made it very difficult for us and they’ve done it for 48 minutes.  They’re great athletes.  They’re deep. Their second team comes in and energizes them and they continue that for the whole game, so we have to use other players.  Tony’s been smart enough to know that he’s got to get rid of it and other people have to participate and score.  He hasn’t been stubborn about that at all.  He’s played a really smart game.”


Top

Tony Parker

(On the Spurs control of the game…)
“I think it was very important for us to keep doing what we worked on in Game 1. Timmy (Duncan) had a huge game. They tried to take me out of the game once, so I tried to be patient and make sure I get my teammates involved. The first half they did the same thing, they played on the pick and rolls and tried trapping me. I thought Boris (Diaw) did a good job of being the point guard. When they trapped me I gave it to Boris (Diaw) and he finds shooters. We had a great start and a quick lead of 15. For whatever reason we lost it, I don’t know why. When the second unit of the Clippers came, they played a lot harder and a lot more physical than us. I thought in the second half we did a better job to match the energy and match the intensity.”

(On Tony Parker’s defense against Chris Paul…)
“I’m just trying to do my best. I’m just trying to stay in front of him and try to contain him and make sure he takes hard shots. Obviously Timmy (Duncan) is helping me out too, and Boris (Diaw) and Tiago (Splitter). It is not just me. It is the whole team. It is a team defense. It is everybody being focused on Chris (Paul) and making sure he doesn’t keep going.”

(On Boris Diaw’s performance as the second point guard…)
“It is huge. If they take me out, Timmy (Duncan) is going to have a lot of wide open shots. He made a lot of open shots in the first game. In this game tonight Boris (Diaw) did a great job of finding other guys. Boris (Diaw) is a great passer. That is what he does best. If they are going to use the same strategy, I have confidence in Boris (Diaw) making the right decision; if it is Timmy (Duncan), same thing.”

 (On the Tony Parker’s aggressiveness tonight)
“I felt that I was more aggressive but in the second half I felt like I had more opportunities to do stuff. They were covering Timmy (Duncan) a little more on shooters so I was able to penetrate and get some easy baskets. I got fouled too so they switched a little bit and changed strategy in the fourth quarter. They were switching with Blake (Griffin) so I was able to attack him.”

 (On Danny Greene’s three point shots)
“They were huge. Huge three’s. Timely three’s. We needed it and he has been doing it all season long.”

 (On Boris Diaw’s ability to pick up the Spurs plays)
“When Pop was trying to recruit him, I told him that we do the same plays in the French international team. For five years we have been doing the same stuff. I knew when Boris (Diaw) came here there would be no problem for him to adapt because he is used to those plays.”

 (On Chris Paul’s performance…)
“I am sure he is going to come back strong in Game 3. He is going to be at home. He is going to have a lot more energy. I am sure he is going to bounce back. We know that Game 3 is going to be a very tough game and they are going to come back very hard on us.”

 (On San Antonio’s win streak…)
“I think for us, it is not important to look at that. We want to concentrate on our task. We know that Game 3 is going to be very hard. We need to focus on that and not focus on the winning streak or what we are doing well. We know that Saturday is going to be a long, long game and very physical.”


Top

Tim Duncan

(On the play of Tony Parker…)
“It was great. He did it on both ends. He is fighting to stay in front of Chris Paul and do all he can on that end and he’s our offense on the other end. He was unbelievable tonight. He was great. He kept attacking and played through the physicality. It was great for us.”

(On the physical play of the Clippers...)
“Yes we understand it is the playoffs. It is going to be that way. We aren’t surprised by it in any way. We all saw the last series they were in and how physical that was. We expected much of the same. We have done well with it. We have used our ball movement. We have used our shooting to alleviate a little bit of that and we are going continue to do that.” 

(On the play and youth of Tim Duncan…)
“I feel great so far. Obviously, I played better in the first half than I did in the second half but all in all I feel great. It was a good team win, all around. I look forward to the next one. Actually I am not looking forward to the back-to-back but it is what it is.”

 (On the development of the Spurs with Boris Diaw…)
“He is a very smart basketball player. I said this about him all along. You play the way he does (and) it is easy to fit in. He is unselfish. He understands what we want to do. Defensively, he is solid. He can pass the ball better than many of the big men I have ever played with. He shoots the ball. He is starting to shoot the ball and gets his confidence in that respect. You put all those things together and he is just a great addition to our squad.”


Top

Vinny DelNegro

 (When asked how did the Spurs get separation in the first six minutes of the third quarter ...)
“We did a better job in the second quarter holding them (the Spurs) to 17 points.  We turned the ball over to much tonight.  We can’t give them those kinds of opportunities.  We shot it well tonight, but they got a lot more shots at the basket because of our turnovers.  They moved the ball well.  A lot of guys shot it well for them.  We just couldn’t keep up with that kind of pace scoring wise.  We have to do a better job of not turning the ball over and playing more of our pace.  We just need some more consistence production from our guys.  I didn’t think we did a good job at our closeouts at the end of the second half in terms of running them off the three.  A couple of guys got loose on us tonight.  That’s what they do, they spread you out and they shoot it.  We can’t think we’re going to give them that many points especially in the second half and play at that pace.”

(When asked about the play of Blake Griffin and if his injury slowed him down…)
“Health wise he (Blake Griffin) looked a lot better tonight.  He just had one of those nights where he needed to get more rebounds than that.  I thought DeAndre (Jordan) was active on the glass for us.  Blake knows he has to do better for us on the glass.  He will, it’s just one of those games.  We just got to get back home and get our legs under us a little bit.  Hopefully Chris (Paul) and Blake will feel a little bit better.  Come Saturday with the back-to-back we have to take care of business.  It’s one game at a time.  We have to regroup in front of our home crowd, get our energy back up and execute a little bit better.”

(When asked about the turnovers Chris Paul had tonight…)
“He’s (Chris Paul) trying to make plays.  San Antonio corralled him in certain areas.  I don’t really worry about that with Chris.  He’ll get lose here soon and we need him too.  He was trying to make plays for us but he got on offensive foul and a couple turnovers that way.  He lost the ball a couple times, which is very unusual for him.  He’ll bounce back.”

 (When asked about how Tony Parker is responding to playing against Chris Paul…)
“Tony (Parker) has had a fantastic year.  He’s difficult to contend with in the open court.  Tony has a ton of weapons around him.  Obviously he has played at a high level with Tim (Duncan) and Manu (Ginobili) for a long time.  We have to do a better job at corralling him and not giving him all of those easy ones in the open court.  Chris (Paul) on the other hand is in his first year with this group.  He’s trying to get a feel.  He has battled through some injuries right now.  But like I said, Tony has had a good year.  Obviously Chris finished third in MVP voting.  He’s been a dominating player all season for us, especially in the fourth quarter making huge plays.  I’m proud of the way he has played for us.  I know he’s not feeling great, but he’s battling through it.  He’s being a great leader for us and getting us to the second round.  They (the Spurs) protected home court and we need to get back and regroup and stay together.”

 (When asked what has Boris Diaw done on both ends of the court that has made it so difficult…)
“Boris (Diaw) knows how to play.  He gets to that right hand with that jump hook.  He makes the easy pass.  He gives them another shooter with his threes.  He opens it up in the middle for Tim (Duncan) a little bit more.  Boris would rather pass at times; he’ll make the right pass.  He’s big.  He’s another guy they can put on Blake.  He can shoot it well like he did tonight.  We have to find him a little bit earlier.  It sounds easy, but the Spurs have many weapons.”


Top

Chris Paul

(On his health and if had anything to do with his turnovers tonight…)
“Just bad decisions and I have to make better passes. Two of them came from offensive fouls so I have to figure out how to adjust to contact.”

 (On what the Spurs are doing defensively…)
“They are shrinking the court and basically just packing it in. They are trying to keep guys close to us and everybody knows we are not much of a pick and pop kind of team, so they are packing it in.”

 (On his play…)
“I think I just have to be more aggressive and find my legs a little earlier. I just need to be a little more aggressive, make better decisions and adjust to them keeping everybody in the paint. They are just making me find other guys and I need to make adjustments.”

 (On the Spurs offense…)
They are just ball screening all day and that is all they are doing. We are going to be in trouble if we don’t figure out a way to stop it. They got Timmy popping for jumpers; they got Matt Bonner popping out so we have to figure out a way to contain the ball because right now everybody is eating. Tony may rest for a couple of possessions and let Timmy go then let Manu go and everybody is eating right now so we have to shut someone out.”

 (Thoughts on coming to the conclusion that they are playing a team that is better than them…)
“You don’t ever do that and they are also at home. They did what they were supposed to do and win two games. Now we go to L.A. and see if we can cut the water out a little bit. They have not played as many games in that gym and hopefully they don’t make as many shots. Hopefully we can get to the drawing board and figure out how to stop them a little bit because it is nothing tricky. It’s a high ball screen and they go down and roll.”


Top

Caron Butler

(On how the Spurs were able to get separation from the Clippers in the second half...)
“They did a great job of just getting out in transition, moving the ball from side to side, making us play both sides of the floor, and guys were knocking down shots. We were just trying to run them off three point shots and make things difficult for them but they were able to get comfortable.”

(On the team’s offensive with Chris Paul’s struggles...)
“It’s tough because our offense is really keyed around him and obviously Blake (Griffin) as it should, and other guys got to continue to step up. We’re going to have opportunities. We got to play the pick and roll pretty well; blitz in and try to take it out of his hands and make it difficult for him. Other guys have got to be playmakers, be ready to be aggressive and make things happen.”

(On what Caron Butler needs to do to regain the tempo in the series...)
“Get stops. You know, get stops, get up the court and run the pick and rolls. Just get in our flow of offense. We’re great in transition. Blake (Griffin), DeAndre (Jordan), getting into the pick and roll situations and drawing defenders to the paint and kick the ball out where me, Randy (Foye), Mo (Williams), Nick Young can capitalize on those opportunities.”

(On what assets Boris Diaw brings to the Spurs...)
“He’s a great weapon. He’s a great addition to that team along with Stephen Jackson. They’re veteran guys that have been around and know how to play the game of basketball. They’re just comfortable with their roles on the team. They’re not trying to do too much, but definitely not doing too little.”

 (On how the team can prepare to rally back from two losses...)
“They did what they’re supposed to do. They won two games at home. Now we got to go do what we’re supposed to do. We got to win game three and obviously game four is a back to back, so it’s a challenge and we’re up for it. We’re going to watch film on the way back to Los Angeles tonight. Tomorrow we’ll come in and walk through practice, watch film, make some adjustments and get prepared for the next challenge, game three.”


Top

Randy Foye

(On tonight’s game…)
“They played well, they moved the ball well and they found the man in the corner for three. Tim made plays. Tony made plays and that was the biggest thing tonight.”

(On moving on to game three…)
“They did what they were supposed to do and took care of their home court. Now we have a back to back on our floor and we need to take care of our home court.”

 (On important is momentum in this series…)
“We just have to take it one game at a time but sometimes it takes one game or one quarter to gain momentum. We have to come out with a lot of energy on Saturday and Sunday and just bring it from the beginning.”

(On the beginning of the game…)
“They hit some tough shots and I thought we started pretty well but they made some tough shots. They got to the free throw line and Tim made some tough shots but they just started off shooting the ball well.”

 (Thoughts on Tim Duncan and his play tonight…)
“He is healthy this year and he is moving really well. He is really good in the post and his second move is really good. He shows the ball one way and makes a move the other way to get to the rim and lays it in.”

 (On defending the three…)
“They were 10 for 25 and that is not good enough. We have to keep them with less than 6 threes but they are getting some threes in the corner. Diaw hits some threes, which we will live with but we cannot have Kawhi Leonard and those other guys get threes.”


Top