What the Spurs and Bobcats said after Friday’s game

The media services people for the Spurs were ready after the Spurs’ 102-72 victory over Charlotte Friday night.

Here’s a sampling of what was said in both locker rooms after the game.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

(Opening Question – Charlotte made you work for it tonight, didn’t they?)

“Yeah. They don’t have a great record obviously, but Coach Silas isn’t going to let them just walk out there and do nothing. They were aggressive. They went after it and did everything they could. We got hot there in the second half and had a good run and that was the game. But, they busted their butts all night long and worked very hard.”

(Is this a good opportunity to get Tiago, T.J. and Kawhi back in sync?)

“We didn’t want to play them too many minutes, but since we made some shots tonight we had some chances to get them out there. T.J. got some time and Kawhi and Danny with his shoulder and so on and so forth. So that was good to give them a little introduction back into the flow of things.”

(You had a lot of assists and made a lot of shots…)

“We’ve got a very unselfish group. They know that if the ball moves we’re a much better basketball team. We’re the kind of team that’s not like ‘give the ball to this guy and he’s going to score.’ We’re not built that way. We have to win as a group and they know that, so they move the ball well.”

(Do you like what you got out of Richard Jefferson tonight? Not just the points, but he had seven rebounds.)

“I loved the points out of Richard. That’s what Richard does best. I love when he catches and shoots and does what he does. I thought he was real aggressive defensively tonight. I thought he had a darn good defensive game. Corey’s (Maggette) a tough nut. He likes to drive, he’s real physical and that kind of thing. I thought Richard had one of his better games in that regard too.”

Spurs forward Richard Jefferson:

(Was tonight’s game really more about the Spurs?)

“Coach (Popovich) said a good thing right after we played Chicago, which is that Chicago was able to get one game in before they came to us. So you get the post-All Star break butterflies out. Tonight we came in, we were still a little rusty early on, but we were able to settle down and get it done.”

(Feelings on 3-point shooting tonight?)

“I have been trying to catch and shoot more the last few games. I was a little frustrated that Chicago game because I got into foul trouble early. But, Denver I felt like I had some good looks and at Utah I had some good looks late. So, the last few games I have been trying to be more consistent with just catching it and shooting it.”

(On the Spurs’ passing)

“Pop will lose his mind if you throw a bad pass to a shooter. Sometimes you have to do what you can with the defense. Especially, if you have the ability to give it to a shooter with his feet set and right in his pocket. That’s something we practice everyday.”

Spurs guard T.J. Ford:

(On the team’s growth?)

“Just trying to build that confidence as quick as possible. It felt good to kind of know the game was out of reach, but still getting back in the form of running the show out there. You just have to make sure you’re still doing the right things.”

(On Spurs still rebuilding chemistry?)

“We haven’t had practice time for people to build chemistry. So, we’re still learning on the fly. We have guys who have a certain kind of rhythm and know when they are going to touch the ball. Some guys like Gary (Neal), had the ball in his hands a lot more, so we’re all making adjustments. We just have to continue to progress.”

(How did you feel tonight?)

“I felt good, I felt better. Still have a ways to go to get totally in game shape, but I think it was a good job and I had a better performance today.”

Charlotte coach Paul Silas:

(When asked how do you combat the 3-point shooting of the Spurs?)

“It’s tough. They penetrate and we have to help, then they kick out. It always seems that they always make a lot against us. I’ve haven’t seem them make as many threes against other teams then they make against us. Then when you’re leading by as many points as they were there’s not a lot of pressure on you. Then you can always make more shots. If there’s pressure on you then you’re not going to make as many.”

(When asked about the Bobcats forcing 11 turnovers in the first half… )

“Yeah, we did and I thought we played very well. We just couldn’t make shots in the first half. We rebounded and we defended. They turned the ball over and what not. I thought when Eduardo Najera came in he really helped us a lot by knowing how to play basketball. But in the second half it went back to the way that it’s been. We just didn’t play well.”

(When asked not having Bismack Biyombo makes things challenging…)

“It does. Here again we need everybody here. Still you have to rely on the guys that are here. As long as they are playing really hard and giving it to you, then I don’t have a problem with it. We just didn’t seem to have it in the second half.”

Charlotte forward Corey Maggette:

(What happened after the first quarter…)

“We just did not shoot the ball well and that starts with myself. We have to be a better shooting team. The Spurs are one of the best shooting teams in the league, so it’s hard to beat them when we are not hitting shots. ”

(What was the difference?)

“I thought we played well in the first half, then we had turnovers in the second half. Their second group came in and demolished us and that’s the game. It just went downhill from there.”

(On team rebounding…)

“I think it all starts with myself, I have to be more aggressive and help our big men out. With a few of our big guys out, it hurts us a lot. Aggressively, everyone has to rebound. If one guy doesn’t go to the boards, it’s going to hurt us but we have to get better as a team.”

Charlotte forward Boris Diaw:

(Started out great, then what happened?)

“We did pretty well, but the Spurs also didn’t start off to good either. They were missing shots and we were in a rhythm. We played good defense and we moved the ball pretty well, then the Spurs put more intensity on the defensive side. They played good defense and it was tough for us to find easy shots.”

(What did the Spurs do differently in second half?)

“They adapted to what we were doing defensively and they found our gaps on defense to get better shots. They also ran better plays. Defensively, we just did not play as good in the second half.”

(On the play of his good friend Tony Parker…)

“It’s great for him. The thing with Tony is that he is always getting better. It surprises everybody else but this is the best he has been playing, so it shouldn’t be surprising anymore. He is doing great and I’m happy for him. He has become the focus of his team.”

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