Coach Pop Pregame Media Availability - Spurs vs. Thunder

March 11, 2013

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich:
(On the impact that Tony Parker has defensively when he is healthy…)
“He did a great job at both ends of the court. Defensively, he’s been unnoticed but has done a hell of a job at that end of the floor guarding difficult players every night. His leadership has been very important to what we have done. He’s taken control of the game many nights. I trust him the way I used to trust Avery (Johnson) and offensively you have all seen it. All three of those aspects of the game have been apparent all year long. As I also said up until the point he got injured there wasn’t a point guard playing better than him in the league. There were other people that were talked about more but nobody playing better than him at that point.”

(On the importance of Kawhi Leonard guarding Kevin Durant…)
“He guards the three’s. He guards people who are difficult matchups on the other team. He’s our so-called ‘stopper-in-training’. It doesn’t matter what team we are playing it is the guy he is going to take.”

(On the development of Kawhi Leonard’s offense…)
“He’s been playing in the middle of the court as much as on the baseline. He’s basically been doing what he feels is available to him and what the defense allows. He is just becoming more aggressive in a variety of situations. It doesn’t matter where he is on the court. We want him to think about being an aggressive scorer. He’s developed that very quickly for a young guy.”

(On Kevin Durant’s playmaking ability…)
“Obviously in the very beginning he wasn’t the same playmaker because he was concerned with other things and he was finding his way. He was understanding the league and the people he was playing against. He was scoring. Now he is playing more of a complete game. He is trusting teammates. If it is a situation where the best play is to pass it to somebody who is open for an uncontested shot he does it just the way Lebron (James) has gone through that process. Michael (Jordan) went through that process. Kevin has done it magnificently and become somebody who is basically unstoppable. He is going to score. He is tremendous.”