Coach Pop Pregame Media Availability - Spurs vs. Heat

(On whether he was surprised with Tim Duncan’s production at this point of his career…)

“I guess to some degree I should say yes just because people in that stage of their career don’t do the things he’s been doing. So maybe I am surprised to some degree, but knowing how he’s worked with his body with both intake and conditioning, what he does in the summertime, he put himself in the best possible position to be playing like this. In that part of it, he’s done his preparation so that this could happen. To this degree, being on pace to break his own shot block record in a season and the way he’s rebounding and scoring, it’s got to be a little bit of a surprise.”

(On whether players let their guards down when opposing stars do not play…)

“It happens all the time in the NBA. We’ve all seen it before. No matter how good a team is or what the team’s record is, there will be to some degree a letdown mentally. It’s hard to define it, but all coaches try to fight it, and so I won’t know a thing until we get out there on the court and see if we respond the way we should respond. We gave them a hell of a game in Miami, and I would totally expect them to give us the same kind of game here, even though their stars are not playing. Everybody is getting an NBA check. They want to go out there and play well. It’s about playing well as a team and playing together, and it’s a great motivation for people to play when the starters do sit. We’ve been on both sides of it and Miami has too, so I expect it to be a tough game.”

(On Manu Ginobili’s injury…)

“It’s more than days. It’s more like weeks, unfortunately. It’s a huge blow for us because he’s the guy that allows our second team to do what they’ve been doing all year long. It’s a huge loss for that group. In the game situations, it’s a tough one for us. He’s one of the two guys, he and Tony (Parker) are the creators that make things happen for everybody else on the court. It’s an unfortunate loss at this point in the season, that’s for sure.”

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