Quotes: Spurs @ Celtics: 3/28/10


Head Coach Gregg Popovich

Manu Ginobili

Antonio McDyess

Doc Rivers

Paul Pierce

Kevin Garnett

Ray Allen

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Head Coach Gregg Popovich

“One of our better games on the season. It’s always great to get a win on the road, especially when we need any win we can get.”

“We had the same game plan, pretty much (in the 2nd quarter).”

“Manu’s been playing great you know for the last month. He’s basically taken over the team. he’s been the same Manu we’ve had when we won championships, so you know without Tony it’s really important for somebody to step up like that and he’s done it.”

“We did get to the basket. As I said, Manu’s been great, but George Hill’s been big time improved player, at both ends of the court. He did a great job chasing Ray around. He did a better job of that, really, than he did offensively. That’s what people notice, because he can make a 3 and he gets to the rim a bit, but his defense is outstanding.”


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Manu Ginobili

Key to second half run: “Defense, defense we were very good, we were very active, we shifted very well off of the guys that we had to shift off. We played good defense on KG and Paul Pierce, nothing was easy for them and that was a big key. Offensively we made some key shots to maintain that lead so it was really always uphill for them, it was a great game.”

Spurs team last time playing Celtics vs tonight’s game: “Definitely. That was the worst we had been probably, last time we played them. Now we are kind of looking better, looking like a team at least. We are playing hard, hustling, communicating, all that. We are still making a lot of mistakes but that’s part of the whole deal, but when you look at our faces going to the bench with subs and stuff it is totally different so I am glad to see that.”

Defense as of late: “We are very steady now, as I said we are hustling a lot, we have guys going hard to the rebounds. We know better what to do, when to do it. That’s a big key, at the beginning we were kind of confused and weren’t executing well and now we are just following the game plan better.”

Has it taken a while to get used to the game plan?: “I’m not sure if it is us getting used to it, because it cant take you 50 games to get used to a system. It wasn’t only the new guys that weren’t playing defense or playing well, it was everybody. So we cant blame just that, we had a very very slow start to the season, we are now paying for that because as I said many times we should be at least 5 wins ahead of where we are. But it is what it is and we have a very tough schedule and we just have to fight through it.”


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Antonio McDyess

Team’s play tonight: “Coach always tells us to jump on teams in the first five minutes, and this time we did, we took that to heart. We jumped on them in the first five minutes and kept it on them the whole game. We tend to let up some games but this game like I said we came out and played together and continued to talk on the floor and made big plays.”

Manu’s play lately: “Like I said, some of the plays he makes, he still suprises me. You can never count him out because he always comes up with big plays at all times. To be new on this team and still see him doing those types of things, its still great to watch.”


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Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers

What went wrong?: “We just didn’t play well, really. I thought early on we had great shots and they didn’t go in. I thought we pressed a little bit, and started forcing instead of ball movement offensively. And they won the 50-50 game. It was one of those nights, guys. We played awful. I thought they wanted to play. You know, the first quarter I thought was terrific. I thought the bench came in in the second quarter and just everybody went iso. There was no ball movement at all with that group. And then after that I thought the starters came back in, got us back into the game, and then the third quarter was awful for us. But I thought in the third quarter is when they stopped moving the ball, I thought offensively. And defensively we struggled all night. Ginobili was fantastic and Blair in the fourth quarter was a one-man wrecking crew.”

Is he where he needs to be on rotation?: “Yeah, I think so. I didn’t think we were tonight, but that’s basketball. It happens. I thought we wanted to, but I thought it did break down tonight. I just thought everybody just held onto the ball and was going to do it themselves. You know it’s funny, that’s all we worked on yesterday. So clearly that didn’t work. Playing against the Spurs, you know, it’s extra pass. You’re not going to beat them off the bounce. You’re just not. And it seemed like we were hell-bent in trying to do that. And it’s like Pop said before the game to me: “You’re not going to beat the Celtics off the bounce.” And they didn’t. They moved the ball. They kept swinging it, kept passing it, kept making passes. They did what we were supposed to do.”

Were the Celtics lacking energy in the third quarter?: “We just didn’t play well. Energy, I don’t know, if you want to say we didn’t have energy, we didn’t have energy. I don’t know.”

Pretty good San Antonio team despite their record: “Despite of their record? Their record is pretty damn good. I mean, they’re 44-28. That ain’t bad. No, they’re very good. They’ve had more injuries than I think us. I don’t know that factually, but they have to be knocking on the door to that. And Tony Parker’s still out. But everybody played well. It’s amazing. They’re doing this right now and getting not a lot out of Tim (Duncan.) You know he still sets the table for them, because they still go down there. And I thought for us in the third quarter we never went down; it was all jump shot, jump shot, jump shot.”

94 points and only 8 from Tim Duncan – should that have been a win?: “Oh, I can look at the box score and say before the game, ‘I would take that on their end.’ Except for the Ginobili. When Ginobili has points and assists they usually win. And 28.7 assists is a great indicator for them. That means his hand print – Ginobili dominated this game. All the loose balls that he kept alive, that he didn’t get credit for, defensive plays – I thought he single-handedly was the will of the game. And then Blair just followed in. But once you get a chance to beat a team on the road, and a team like us, your energy does go up. And you can see that with them in the fourth quarter. It was going to be tough to turn it around.”


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Paul Pierce

What went wrong tonight?: “I thought they came out with more of a sense f urgency in the third quarter. Just the extra effort plays. It was a one point game I believe at the half and we just didn’t make the second and third rotations. They were driving, being more of the aggressor, and had us on our heals pretty much all of the second half. Like I said they made the extra efforts plays tonight that we usually make. The team that you saw, San Antonio, the way they played is usually the way we play and we just got an old fashioned butt whooping.”

Was there uncertainty about how to react?: “I feel like we always got a chance regardless if a team makes a run. I just always feel like we got a chance when I’m on the court. Until the final buzzer rings, unless you’re down like we were tonight. I mean you’re down twenty with like two minutes to go against San Antonio you pretty much know. But it’s all about effort regardless if you’re gonna win or lose. I mean coach is always saying that we gotta prepare for the next game. It’s also about getting better and that’s about habits. But I feel like regardless of whatever type of lead a team’s got on us I feel like we’re a team that’s always gonna fight and has always got a chance.”

How is your shoulder?: “It’s a little sore. It’s a stinger, got some numbness down the right side of my arm but hopefully it doesn’t get any worse.”

What happened to the shoulder: “I don’t know I ducked my head and something. It’s a collision, a collision. I mean you guys watched the game and seen the replays, I hope.”


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Kevin Garnett

Scoring trouble being a product of Spurs defense: “I don’t know I just think we was just flat, we wasn’t aggressive. I thought we put a lot on Paul to score the ball. I don’t think the ball was moving as it was the first half and we gotta get better at that.”

Do you think you guys fought tonight?: “Yeah, we did.”

Ginobli: “I think he definitely imposed his will on the game, that was apparent. I thought when he was in there, for the 35 minutes he played, he was aggressive. We just wasn’t scoring the ball. He was setting guys up, getting guys open shots. He’s been playing well over the last four or five games. We were well aware of that. he just got into a groove where he was scoring and setting guys up for the long ball. If you don’t have your rotation down or you’re not solid with what you’re doing. What makes San Antonio so good is they do a real good job of moving the ball. We didn’t adjust and they hit shots.”


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Ray Allen

How did the Spurs play defensively?: “I think that defensively they kept us out of the paint. It forces a perimeter, we didn’t get anything in transitions. They were the more progressive team, more proactive. They attacked us all night.

How difficult was it to play a team that is moving the ball like that?: “It is us trying to help, we are always in the help position. When they move the ball like that, it’s one of those things that we didn’t anticipate what they were going to do, and it was tough to do but we have done it and we proved that we can do it over time. They took our strength, and they used it against us.”

Is this game a set back, or will you be plugging along?: “Nope, keep plugging. The bad games just make you crystallize just what we want to go even more. It makes us work harder.”

Do you see any similarities in the Celtics and the Spurs?: “I think that we are similar teams, we are definitely similar teams.”


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