Coach Pop Pregame Media Availability - Spurs vs. Jazz

Nov. 3, 2012

(On the team's translation from practices to the first two games...)
"I know I've said we've had longer practices and harder practices than we've had in the past. I think we've done a really good job, and I thought the carryover defensively in the first two games was good. I didn't see a lot of carryover in the preseason games, but perhaps they weren't as interested. I saw good carryover defensively in the first two games and of course we want to keep that up. I'm sure at some point there's going to be some slippage and we'll have to talk about it, but at this point they responded really well defensively."

(On changes to Utah's offense this season...)
"They're a different team. They have better balance this year. They've got their inside game and their inside plays among the best in the league as well as their offensive boards, but they've added three point shooting to this team in a significant way, and it's given them a lot more balance. They're going to be a tougher team to guard, so it's going to be a good challenge."

(On the addition of Mo Williams to Utah...)
"He helps them with pace and he helps them by spreading the court really well. He's one of the additions that they've made that really makes them a more balanced team."

(On Dennis Lindsey...)
"Dennis (Lindsey) is a gem. We warmed up to him very quickly when we realized he wasn't just intelligent but he's got a great way about him. He's very even-keeled. He thinks both in the short term and in the long term and really understands the game. It's really great to have somebody in management who understands the game the way coaches do. He understands the decisions we make, so I think his skills in that regard and his interpersonal relationship ability is really spectacular. He was in a lot of our coaches meetings, very welcome, and I would go to him often to check different stats and different trends that he saw in games because I really respected his ability to understand the game."

(On Tim Duncan's longevity...)
"It's just a credit to his professionalism, his character, his understanding of the human body, and that there are only so many steps and years you have. He's taking the best advantage he possibly can to extend that as long as he can. I don't talk to him about it. I don't tell him what to do. He does what he does on his own. His flexibility, strength, diet, all of those things. He's just magnificent in that regard."

(On Kawhi Leonard's development offensively and defensively...)
"That's his personality. He's a defender first and he's learning about offense and how to insert himself into the game. Offensively, he's a role player like everybody else around Timmy (Duncan), Manu (Ginobili), and Tony (Parker). As far as defense goes, he can pretty much lead the way for this team, which he did in New Orleans and he did against Oklahoma City. We followed his lead defensively because of his energy and his steals. He had five in each game. He's really got a knack in that regard and that's where his main focus will be. He's extended his offensive game to get more confidence in the three point shot and penetrating when it feels like something is available. He really understands that offensively he's a role player, not a creator."