Coach Pop Pregame Media Availability - Spurs vs. Jazz

Jan. 15, 2014

(On if the starting lineup will be the same as 1-13-14 at New Orleans…)

(On if Manu Ginobili felt good after the game…)
“Yeah, he felt good. No problems.”

(On the team’s progression…)
“I think the guys understand that it’s that time of year where we have to show some improvement defensively. I thought Tony (Parker) led the way. He was fantastic, his defense down in New Orleans. He did a great job on the pick-and-roll.”

(On Boris Diaw’s defense…)
“He’s always had that ability, but I don’t think anybody has ever really given him too much credit for it. He’s such a creative offensive player and he’s not really a ‘banger’ type, so you don’t really think of him defensively. But he’s really smart, he moves his feet well, he’s able to understand who he is guarding, and he takes things away pretty well. So he’s been really important.”

(On if he thought of Boris Diaw as a defender before he came to San Antonio…)
“Not too much really, to be honest with you. Once we got him and watched him play and put him in certain situations, when you put him in a situation where there’s a challenge, he takes pride in it.”

(On if he is surprised by Richard Jefferson’s success in Utah…)
“Not at all. He’s a talented guy. I think he likes being a leader there. He’s shooting the ball really well, he’s playing well, and he’s a talented guy. So it’s not surprising at all that he’s doing what he’s doing.”

(On Richard Jefferson’s improved jump shot…)
“Chip (Spurs Assistant Coach Chip Engelland) worked really hard with him, because his release was a little bit slow in certain situations. It sounds simplistic, but being ready to catch it and being prepared to catch it and shoot is almost as important as shooting the shot. It can really help you, and it can make you quicker. And I thought Chip did a great job with Richard (Jefferson), and he worked really hard at it and he’s gotten really good at it. So it was a good thing for him.”

(On Richard Jefferson’s leadership…)
“He’s a really good teammate. He gets along with everybody, people respected him, and one thing that I enjoy, always do, I enjoy humor, and he has a great sense of humor. He was just fun to be around. In the locker room he’s an easy guy to talk to, and he engenders that sort of relationship with everybody.”

(On if midseason trades are more difficult to handle than offseason trades…)
“Well, maybe in the sense that if something fails then you know about it pretty quick and it disrupts you for a while. In the beginning of the season you can work through things. But people do it for a reason, we’ve done it before, and obviously all of those teams felt that they had to do something, for whatever reasons. I haven’t really looked at it. I don’t know if it’s financial, or positioning, or role players, I don’t know.”