Quotes: Spurs vs. Wizards: November 21, 2009


Gregg Popovich

Roger Mason, Jr.

Tim Duncan

Flip Saunders

Gilbert Arenas

Brendan Haywood

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Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

On the game - "Timmy was great. He almost had a triple-double at halftime. He was really active and really great as a quarterback out there. Tony really surprised me; I thought he had a lot more athleticism on that ankle. I was a little worried that he said he was ready and that everyone else said he was ready to go and I didn’t want to bring him back too early. He had his quickness and did a fine job out there."

On the Spurs ball movement and offense - "We have been talking about it quite a bit. We watched a decent amount of film, some Utah film, some Washington film trying to emphasize attack and driving - not just settling and learning to play with our teammates. That’s how trust develops offensively. It can come and go depending on who you’re playing or what the defense gives on a certain night. But overall, I thought our focus in that regard, as far as to penetrate and pitch to the open man, was good tonight. I thought defensively we were more consistant than we had been and it worked out well and got us a win. I think overall our defense has been better than it has been the last couple of games."

On Tim wanting to get back into the game and get a triple-double - "No. Timmy isn’t built like that. He has never cared about stats and obviously he never will."

On Theo and Antonio - "Those are two guys we wanted on our basketball team last summer and we were fortunately enough to get them. They are getting more and more comfortable with the minutes. You can’t get it unless you play. They both got a decent amount of minutes tonight especially Theo. I thought he had a fantastic defensive game and offensively he was very poised. This was a really good game for him."

On Bogans’ and Hill’s defense tonight - "There are so many great players in the league. It’s pretty mandatory to at least have one or two guys on your team that you have confidence in and that can give someone trouble or at least make them work hard for what they get. Both of those guys do a good job in that area."


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Roger Mason, Jr.

On the game - "We shared the basketball and got a lot of assists. It’s fun when you play like that. It feels like forever when you are losing close games. We kept fighting and it feels good to be on the other side."

On playing against his old team - "It’s like playing against friends. They have a really talented team, I am sure they will bounce back. They have been hit with some injuries but it’s always fun to compete against them."

On ball movement - "It’s been a constant thing that Pop has talked about all season. We have so much talent and we have a lot of capable scorers. For us, it’s about making the extra pass and trying to make your teammates better."

On Tony returning from injury - "I couldn’t tell he missed any time. He looked great. He distributed the ball well and it’s really good to have him back."


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Tim Duncan

On how long it felt since the last win - "It felt like a year and a half. It was good to win one and play a complete game. A lot better energy than when we played against Utah to start the game and I think that was a big key for us."

On if he was trying to pass more - "No actually, I came out trying to shoot tonight and I found out that I couldn’t make a shot so I thought passing might work better for me."

On possibly playing point guard - "I’d love to – I have been trying to work that for the last 10 to 12 years and it hasn’t worked. I am going to continue to do what I do and hopefully every once in a while I can help guys make shots."

On ball movement - "We haven’t stressed it but it’s a key for us. Ball movement and driving the basketball, we having been settling a little too much for jump shots and it’s about attacking the rim and trying to get to the free throw line. If we can do that we have such great shooters and we can get someone a little bit better open shot and that’s best for us."


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Wizards Head Coach Flip Saunders

On the game - “We haven‘t been able to put everything together. Players are playing tight, there are players that are frustrated and there are players who aren‘t playing who feel that they should be. I felt better tonight actually than I felt last night as tonight we played hard earlier in the game, but we missed some great shots and when we lose Mike [Miller] all of a sudden we‘re having to change how we‘re approaching everything. We‘re trying to shuffle people in, we‘re trying to get Randy [Foye] going a little bit as we were in a situation that when you‘re struggling scoring, you try to put some scorers on the floor which results in less defenders. So we’re in a catch 22 but at the same time we cannot start thinking that things can’t be worse because they can and all we can do now is just get back to work.”

On how hard it is to look at their season‘s record - “It‘s tough. We have guys that are frustrated that they‘re not playing and I‘m sure that they are sitting there wanting opportunities and guys will get those opportunities starting Monday because we‘re not getting it done as it is right now.”

On the low-percentage tonight from the field goal range - “We had good shots as we missed a lot of open shots. What happens when you shoot that tough of a percentage there is so much pressure on you defensively as every shot you take is like a game-winning type shot. And vice-versa on the other end, when you‘re up twenty you shoot loose as every shot is like shooting practice as they started knocking down a lot of threes at the end.”

On Mike Miller‘s status after tonight‘s injury - “They thought he might‘ve popped it so if it‘s like that, you‘re looking at a minimum of four to five weeks. So we‘ll have to see.”


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Gilbert Arenas

On the game - “Everybody needs to get on the same level, that’s all. Everyone’s got their own individual goals I guess. Hidden agendas. You can’t win like that. I have no idea why. I’ve never been on a team where you have eight free agents next year. I’ve never played on a team like that. I’ve never seen it turn out well. Sometimes it works out for the best because everybody’s hungry and everybody’s fighting. Sometimes it works out for the worst when everybody’s out for their own.”

On the team’s focus - “I guess when you start losing everyone wants to start pointing fingers everywhere else. I converted my game to try to get people involved, but at the end of the day, to be honest, this is the same team since three years ago. We added a couple of pieces, but everybody else is basically the same player. I’m sitting here thinking ‘Do I have to go into attack mode?’ like I was two years ago to get us over this hump. I hope not. I hope we’re strong enough mentally that we can get over this. We have a lot of season left. At the end of the day I’ve never seen a team win all 82 games.”

On sacrificing in order to win - “I think the only person who actually had to sacrifice was me. Everybody else can just play their game. That’s the only thing I can actually look at. Everyone else just has to play their game.”


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Brendan Haywood

On the game - “I think they came out and they played well defensively. I don’t think we adjusted. I think Mike Miller getting hurt early really hurt us. He’s one of our best ball-movement and scorers on the perimeter. It’s like the same old thing every game. They came out tough. We started playing one-on-one. We started taking bad shots. Can’t do it.”

On their record early in the season - “It’s very frustrating because our talent isn’t winning out over our egos. If you want to win, you have to check your ego at the door. Bottom line. If you normally score 20 and you don’t get your 20 but the team wins, who cares? If you average 15 and you don’t get your 15, who cares? Check your ego at the door. Let’s try and win. I watch the Celtics and that’s what they do. Paul Pierce can have 12 in the fourth quarter. If they’re up, he don’t care. That’s what we gotta do. Check your ego at the door. Move the ball. Play some defense.”


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