Nets-Spurs Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn Nets

On if he feels like the team is close to breaking through in these close losses:
“I told the guys I do. I feel like we’re getting close. This is San Antonio, Toronto and Boston, these are elite teams in our league and there are no moral victories. But I do think they’re encouraged, we’re improving and getting better. Like on a night like tonight we got better, we improved, we can look at things. How can we get over the hump, how can we execute a little better? Again, I think our mistakes are execution mistakes and are things we can control. And it’s not just a Joe [Harris] missed shot, which was a great look, but are things we can clean up. Patty Mills five threes, those are the ones that stick in your mind and I know there were a couple breakdowns on our part, just execution, leaving him. That was not part of the game plan, obviously. They’re tough guards. Those areas we can get better.”

On Jahlil Okafor:
“Jahlil [Okafor] is really trying to fit in to our system. He’s really looking to get people involved, he’s looking to draw a crowd and make the right play. I liked the spirit tonight, I liked how we played. I think he got a little fatigued at the end, at the end of his stint there. But he’s really trying to do everything we ask. I just think as he gets more comfortable, the production will increase. But he could easily go out there with blinders and just play his own game but he’s doing great job fitting in with our group.”

On the development of Joe Harris:
“He’s really becoming a complete player. I felt like last year, we would get him out for defense, you know we have to get somebody else out there, if it was a defensive matchup or something. Now there’s no fear, putting him on anybody, putting him on wings, although he did get lost on Patty [Mills] twice, but I think he’s just an all-around improved player. He’s not just known as a shooter now, he’s kind of developed in the whole game, it’s great to see.”

Joe Harris

On guarding the Spurs:
“They’re extremely difficult to guard. When LaMarcus [Aldridge] is able to work on the block like he was it creates space for everybody else because we’re all cognizant of him getting the ball in the post. It’s kind of human nature, everybody wants to focus on one guy especially somebody like LaMarcus and his caliber of player, but all the rest of the guys are capable of making plays. Patty [Mills] got off to a hot start and that rhythm stuck with him throughout the course of the game.”

On the late rally and falling short:
“It’s tough. We’ve been in this position it seems like a lot where it’s just a matter of executing down the stretch both defensively and offensively and we played really well and climbed back into it, and then we had a little bit of lapses in judgement. I’m not sure exactly what it is, these experienced teams can seem to find a way to win, and we haven’t gotten quite there yet.”

On the approach to start the second half:
“They came out and they knew they wanted to try and jump on us. I wouldn’t put it all on the defensive end, we forced them into some tough shots, but when our offense is not playing together and we’re not running into things hard and we take tough shots. The tough shots, those bad shots usually lead to easy possessions for them on the offensive end.”

Spencer Dinwiddie

On what happened in the third quarter:
“They’re a great ball club and they had probably a little bit more intensity than we did and they made plays and we didn’t, you know quite simply. That’s why the Spurs are the Spurs.”

On what they do that causes problems:
“Obviously they get the ball to Aldridge (LaMarcus) and Gasol (Pau) and then they also make plays and get it to their shooters off of the post-up actions. Patty Mills had a great day today as well.”

On how frustrating the loss was:
“I mean, it’s part of basketball. In those situations we have to rely on our defense so it doesn’t get out of hand and we don’t have to make a furious rally.”

On the Spurs’ defense:
“For the past three games I’ve been broke so you know Washington and, well I mean obviously the Knicks game got out of hand, but Washington and the Spurs game obviously I left too many points on the board for us to get those wins. For us to be a good team I can’t play in that fashion. I have to make more shots. Is it something that people are doing? Not really. I just missed. I mean quite frankly it’s not like I really feel like anybody can stop me. I just gotta make shots. I have to be better for our team to get wins. I can’t be out there shooting – I don’t know whatever it is 20-something percent. Especially in those close games it hurts because one shot here or there swings things and me leaving three, four, five shots on the board, it hurts so I have to apologize to my teammates on that.”

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