Quotes : Spurs vs.Sixers : November 29, 2009


Gregg Popovich

Manu Ginobili

DeJuan Blair

Eddie Jordan

Andre Iguodala

Thaddeus Young

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Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

On the game - “It was a good game. A lot of guys participated. I thought in the second half we played a little bit smarter then we did in the first half.”

On when asked if it was critical for the Spurs to hit the three pointers against an athletic 76ers team - “Three pointers seem to be an important part of what every team does. The 76ers are a very tough team to play. We’ve always had a trouble against them, because of their athleticism and their length. Their aggressiveness, I think there’s something in the water in Philly. They play hard from begging to end and they gave us a hell of a lot of trouble. It took us a whole half to play as focused and to play with the same edge as they played with. So, I have to give them credit, because they’re playing a lot better then what their record indicates.”

On when asked if he’s surprised with the numbers DeJuan Blair puts up in a short span of time - “You can’t be surprised when you don’t know what he’s going to do.”

On paying tribute to David Robinson tonight - “It’s going to be great to add the words ‘Hall of Fame’ on the jersey hanging up there. David is almost getting embarrassed with all the accolades and the attention, because he’s a pretty selfless person. I’m sure after tonight he’ll be glad that’s it’s finally over. He certainly deserves it.”


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Manu Ginobili

On the game - “It was great to be playing. I didn’t play good but I knew it was going to happen. I felt great being dressed, wearing my number 20 and getting a win too. It was a good night. Hopefully I start improving from now on.”

On David Robinson - “It’s a big thing to be selected in the Hall of Fame, it’s something huge. I am very proud of having to play with him and getting to win a championship with him. It’s something I will never forget. I am proud to be here and have played with. I will be out there supporting him.”

On Tim’s play - “He has been impressive. He has been very solid in making the key plays and finding the open man. He is one of the big reasons why we have won five in a row. It’s great to see him like that and playing so well.”

On the winning streak - “We really shouldn’t care about winning five in a row. It’s always good and helps your confidence and in the standings, but we still believe that we have a long way to go. We can still improve so much. Sometimes we are going to lose at home, but we just have to keep improving and be good in April, May and June.”

On his injury - “I didn’t want to push it too much, especially in the first half. Then in the second half, I felt better but I really didn’t want to push it. I just want to play.”


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DeJuan Blair

On the game - “I had a pretty good game and brought the energy, that’s what Richard tells me to bring every game and that’s what I try to do. I thought I did a good job. Every game feels a little bit better. I am learning the system every game. It’s a process. It’s been pretty good so far.”

On Pop’s expectations - “He asks me to bring energy and to go after every board – just to bring energy. That’s what I try to do. He is an excellent coach.”

On the biggest adjustment as a rookie - “I am just learning the system – both on offense and defense including the entire professional game and how to be a pro coming from college. I am trying to learn the system and become a pro instead of still playing the way I did in college. In college, I was the first or second option and now I am fifth or sixth. It’s something I have to get used to. I will just keep playing hard and when my time comes I’m going to be here.”


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76ers Head Coach Eddie Jordan

On the game - “We’re still trying to find ways to close out games. I’ve got a job to do to get the right guys on the floor and make the right adjustments. We’ve got to keep people out of the middle and I have to keep emphasizing to close out on the 3-point shooters. It’s just work from our coaching staff. We just have to do it. The players gave great effort…they followed the game plan. We’d like to make a few shots, but again, from our coaching staff and from my point of view I’ve got to get them better.”

On defending a team with so many weapons - “Good teams force you to play terrific defense if you’re going to make a difference especially on their home floor. You just gotta keep coming in rotations. They drive, they cut, they’re a well-coached team. They have a monster in the middle and a terrific All-Star at the point and I thought we did a good job on those guys. Their bench hurt us. Bonner with the threes and DeJuan Blair with the rebounds and the put-backs. That’s what hurt us.”

On how to turn the energy on defense into a win - “That’s why I put it on myself. I have to find ways to make the correct adjustments in the game. We tried to stay out on Bonner and he got loose on us. We talked about Blair being a rebounder and he did it. I come out of every game looking myself in the mirror and how can I get better to get this team better and what can I do more for us to close out a game for the win.”

On what is on the top of his list to get better - “I told the team that I like the fact that on our defensive scheme I want to try and keep the ball on one side of the floor. We may have to over-exaggerate. I want no middle drives. Over-exaggerate on help defense. Over-exaggerate pushing people down to the baseline so there won’t be middle drives and passes to 3-point shooters who are spotting up in a certain position. It’s a scheme that we’ve talked about that we haven’t really put in place yet.”


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Andre Iguodala

On the game - “When they have a guy like Tim Duncan down there inside, you can really plug in the guys around him and that’s what [the Spurs] have done in the past 10 or 15 years that he’s been here. Tony Parker didn’t score the ball a lot, but he got some penetration and got the ball to some guys that were open. We probably did a decent job on our principals, but they were hitting some shots. Michael Finley came in a hit some shots. Bonner…he had it going for awhile. After the first couple he hit he got a lot of confidence.”

On closing out and getting the win - “We just need to continue to push the ball. I think we did a good job of keeping our turnovers down in the first half. In the second half we just had a few more. I think the biggest thing that got the game apart was their offensive rebounding in the first half. They got the lead up in the second quarter. In the third and fourth quarter the game was pretty much even the whole way. It was just those small stretches that we had that we didn’t do things right.”

On moral victories - “That’s tough. A loss is a loss. You’d rather play bad and win than play good and lose. We didn’t have a bad game tonight, but we just gotta get a win.”


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Thaddeus Young

On the game - “I think we played a pretty decent game. We went out there and executed. We played at our pace. We just couldn’t get a few stops. Those guys got up big before the half and we just couldn’t fight back.”

On Bonner off the bench - “It doesn’t get down at all. We just have to figure out a way to contain him and contain the other guys. He’s just one more key part of their team that we have to stop. He was hot tonight. He hit a lot of big threes and he did a lot for them tonight.”

On moral victories - “We’re definitely looking for positives, but we’re still taking it as a loss. We gotta go out there and we gotta figure out a way to win. When we figure out a way to win that’s when we’re going to get ourselves over the hump.”

On what’s missing in their game - “We’re going out there and we’re doing all the right things. It’s just that when we get down it’s kinda hard to fight back when you’re constantly getting down. We have a lot of positives out there. We’re going out there and pushing the ball and getting in transition. We’re keeping our turnovers down. We just gotta figure out a way to get the win.”


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