Postgame Quotes: Suns @ Spurs, April 3, 2011

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital

Alvin Gentry

Aaron Brooks

Gregg Popovich

Tony Parker

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Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry

“We got knocked on our heels early, obviously. We struggled at the end of the first quarter and then into the second quarter. When you get that kind of separation, it is hard to work your way back. They shot the ball extremely well from the three. We have to get in and get out and challenge the three point shooters. We had too many open three point shots. We missed a lot of shots early on, right at the basket. That could have kept the game close and we needed to make those and we didn’t. We didn’t come up with any stops, and when you don’t come up with stops, what happened happens. You end up giving up 70 points at the half.”

(On not making the playoffs)
“I’m a realist. Even if we would’ve won every single game we played, that wouldn’t have guaranteed us getting in the playoffs. The chances of that were not good. It is what it is, but that doesn’t mean we can’t compete and play hard and finish on a real positive note. I think that is the thing we have to look at.”

(On the team’s effort in the first quarter)
“We have to have all our guys playing hard, it cannot be just a selective few. The only thing I am obligated to do, is to have the team prepared to play and the only thing they are obligated to do is compete hard. They owe that to Robert (Sarver), to every fan that has come to our game, we owe that to Phoenix, and we owe it to everyone in the locker room. That has to be our goal right now, to compete hard and do the best we can and if we do that, then we can live with that.”

(On lead in first quarter)

“We had to sustain. You have to be able to sustain that. We can’t let George Hill come in and get 24 points in 13 minutes. We can’t do that. He shot the ball well, but after the first couple you have to understand he must be having a pretty good day and we have to get our guard up. We didn’t come up with any of the 50-50 balls. Even on the misses, they ended getting them back and ended up scoring the basketball. After the first quarter, it was really difficult to get back in the game. When we did make a little run and have a chance, all of a sudden they make larger runs and get the same separation again. We knew they were going to have a reaction. They lost six straight games and obviously they are fighting like crazy to stay ahead of the (Los Angeles) Lakers and the (Chicago) Bulls. It obviously becomes really important to them, and they played that way. We just have to match that energy and be able to execute in the process also.


Suns guard Aaron Brooks

(How did you feel about the team’s overall performance today?)
"I think we just got outhustled, outplayed, they were clicking on all cylinders offensively. They played a great game. They went on a run and we couldn’t get back.”
(What made George Hill so tough to stop today?)
“He is a good player. You have games like that where it seems like everything you’re doing is working. They did a good job of finding him when he was hot. I think the whole team just played a good game. They found the open man, and when it was their turn to hit shots they did.”

(Does being eliminated officially make it any different?)
“No, I never was thinking about it. I was just going out there playing every game. We let this one get away early and I don’t think eliminated even matters.”


Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

(When asked about the three-point shots hitting tonight)
“We shot it a lot better. It makes things a little bit easier that’s for sure.”
(When asked about a pass from an open Gary Neal at the three-point line to an open Matt Bonner at the three-point line, was Gary trying to get Matt going with a wide open shot)
“No it’s just trying to make a good shot a great shot, sometimes that’s an extra pass. Without Timmy (Duncan) there those games I think a lot of our three-point shots were contested. That principal is even more important, but we didn’t follow it very well. I think it hurt us. Hopefully we can work on that and make good shots, great shots.”

(On George Hill’s game today)

“George had another one of those games where he’s aggressive. When he comes off the bench and he gives what Manu (Ginobili) use to give us coming off the bench it really helps our group. I thought he did that very well today.”

(When asked if he liked what Tiago Splitter contributed to the rotation today)
“Yes he was willing to play behind those big guys. He did a good job of battling. He’s a tough customer and he does a good job with that.”

(When asked if he got what he was looking for defensively in the first half)
“I think we’ve played basically the defense we’ve played most of the year. It’s gotten to the point where we’re about as good as we’re going to get defensively. That wasn’t our problem during the six games we lost. We’ve talked more about decision making, free-throws, three-point shooting, contested shots versus non-contested shots that sort of thing. Defense was a focus, because given the fact that those other things weren’t happening the defense had to be there or they would have been 15 or 20 point losses. But we were in every game so the defense was good enough.”

(On Matt Bonner’s complete game tonight)
“I thought that his activity on the offensive board was more impressive, then him making a couple of threes. He was very, very active for us in that regard. Against Phoenix it’s real important, but just in general his pursuit of what we call ’50-50 balls’ was real important, and he was great at it.”

(When asked because George Hill had to step up did that boost his confidence and scoring more these days)
“Well he’s been a little bit inconsistent in that regard. We’re trying to get him to the point where every time he steps on the floor he knows that he’s a heck of a player, that we want him to be aggressive and that he has the green light to do that and be a scorer. It’s just a process, he’s a young guy and a respectful guy who defers and he wants everybody to be happy. In an ironic sort of way we’re trying to get him to be more selfish. {When asked is that hard to do} No, because he’s intelligent and he understands what it means when he does what he did tonight. He’ll become more and more consistent as the years go by.”


Spurs guard Tony Parker

(On getting their first win in a little while …)

“It feels great to win. Everybody played well. George played great and Matt made some big shots. Overall we played some great defense.”

(On Bonner coming out of his shooting slump …)
“It was huge. He’s a big part of what we do and he played great tonight.”

(On the weight off their shoulders after ending the losing streak …)
“A little bit. At the same time we still have a lot of confidence and we’ll stay positive and hopefully we can finish in first place.”

(On the importance of momentum going into the playoffs or there being enough of a reset …)
“It doesn’t really matter. I think for us it’s about staying positive and just making sure we play Spurs basketball.”

(On the importance of Hill being aggressive …)
“Definitely. He needs to be aggressive, especially coming off the bench. Tonight he was great; being very aggressive, shooting the ball very well, playing great defense. He did everything tonight.”

(On their recent injuries affecting chemistry …)
“We never lost confidence. I think overall the whole season we’ve been playing great. We had some tough game on the road, but at the same time you just have to forget it and focus on the next one. That’s what we did tonight.”