What the Spurs and Warriors said after Monday’s game

Here, courtesy of the good folks with the Spurs’ media services offices, is a post-game sampling of comments after San Antonio’s 111-96 triumph over Golden State Monday night.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

(When asked about the Spurs’ defense after his technical in the third quarter)

“It happens against a team like Golden State that can score points and they’re such a good shooting team.  I thought we were in a lull defensively.  We got into their game and we shot a multitude of three’s without much defense on the other end.  We had a break in the action to talk about the defense and I thought they did a good job of coming back to it.  Steve Novak was great tonight.  He really gave us the energy we needed.  Unfortunately Tony (Parker) and Manu (Ginobili) needed to be on the court as long as they were.  If everybody on the bench would have shown, but we had a couple of guys who need to step-up their games as we get down the stretch and into the playoffs.  I thought (Antonio) McDyess and Tiago (Splitter) were solid for us and Steve Novak was on fire. I just need the bench to be more consistent and I don’t think they’ve been as consistent as I would like in the last five, six or seven games, even though we won a few.”

(on the lift Tiago Splitter gave the team with Tim Duncan going out of the game)

“Well Tiago (Splitter) is going to give you that every night.  He’s going to bust his butt to rebound and play defense.  He’s going to give you that grunt (work) that every team needs and every coach loves.  That’s nothing different from him that’s just what he does.”

(when asked if there was an update on Tim Duncan’s injury)

“X-rays were negative, but he’ll obviously be out a while.”

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili

(On Tim Duncan’s injury)

“Bad timing.  Hopefully it’s nothing really bad, but I saw him in pain and he’s not one of those guys that’s going to pretend or do that if he’s not hurting.  It’s bad, but hopefully it’s just a couple games and he’ll be back soon.”

(On what the Spurs will do without Tim Duncan)

“It’s really hard to tell.  You never know.  I’m guessing that Pop is going to be extra cautious knowing that in three weeks or four, I don’t know how far the playoffs are, but it’s not that far, so he’s going to be extra cautious, but we need him in the court and we’ll see what the doctor says.”

(On Tiago Splitter’s play tonight)

“It’s a great opportunity for him.  It’s the first time this happened all year long.  You never want it to happen, but if you want an opportunity, Tiago is going to be in a great spot now.  He’s going to probably start and have a lot of minutes so it’s the opportunity he’s been waiting for.  So hopefully he does good and gets more comfortable out there.”

(On Tiago Splitter’s confidence level over the last two games)

“Today he had a very good game.  In the first half, he played a couple one-on-ones, he passed the ball very well.  As I said probably a million times, he’s a good player, he understands the game, he’s solid, reliable.  He just has to be out there and feel confident and know that the team trusts him.  That’s what happened to me, what happened to everyone that comes here for the first time.  So he’s going to give us a big hand.”

(On if playing with the first unit will help Tiago Splitter)

“Of course, it makes it easier because Tony (Parker) and me draw attention and if he (Splitter) rolls, we’re going to give him the ball and he’s going to be able to finish or kick it to the wing and he’s really good doing it, so he’ll be fine.”

Spurs guard Tony Parker

(On what he’s thinking when seeing Tim Duncan go down)

“It’s no fun, especially when you can see it in his face that he’s hurting, so hopefully it’s not going to be too long.”

(On what the Spurs will have to do while Tim Duncan is out)

“Play a little bit faster, a lot of pick and rolls with myself and Manu (Ginobili), and just try to get everybody else to pick it up and be aggressive.”

(On his play tonight distributing the basketball)

“I was just trying to be aggressive.  My teammates were making shots and on the pick and rolls, I was finding them, my teammates Steve Novak, Matt Bonner, Tiago (Splitter) was doing a good job running to the basket, Manu (Ginobili) was super aggressive, so everybody picked it up tonight.”

Spurs forward/center Antonio McDyess

(On seeing Tim Duncan go down tonight)

“Actually I was scared that he did real damage as in broke it, fractured it, or something.  I was just happy to see it was just a severe sprain because I actually thought it was worse.  When you looked up at the jumbotron, it looked like his foot really turned and his ankle was on the court, so I’m just happy it wasn’t broken.”

(On how Tiago Splitter handled himself with getting more minutes)

“He did a great job.  He came off the bench with a lot of energy, played hard, rebounded, almost had a double-double in the first half, so he did great picking up the slack, but I think with Tim (Duncan) out, everybody is going to have to pick up the slack, the bench, the starters.  Everyone’s just going to have to pick up the slack from him being out.  It was just good that everybody came in as a group and got shots and did their job.”

Warriors coach Keith Smart

(On effort on the second night of a back to back)

“One thing that this team has shown is that they create a great reputation of how they will compete and play regardless of the back to back or they play a bad game one night—they have shown all year that the effort is going to be there.  Even when they are down within the game they have shown urgency to get themselves back into the game.  Once you get back into the game it comes down to a little know how and little nuances of controlling the tempo of the game.  Now you have gotten yourself back in to just a six-point lead and now that quick shot is not necessary and all the drive without vision is not there.  Then you get something really good going.  And that’s the growth part that you will develop over time.”

(On the Spurs’ loss of (Tim) Duncan and the effect it had on the game)

“Well they did make a lot of 3-pointers, so tonight their game was pretty much out on the perimeter.  But in tough games you would hope Tim (Duncan) is alright.  You don’t want to see a good guy like that getting hurt.  When he is in the game and it is close, then they will be going down to him which puts your team in a bind.  But that wasn’t the case tonight because we didn’t have any big guys.  But we were doing all we could tonight.  My guys worked their tails off, off of a back to back- flying in and getting ready to play against a good team that cuts hard and moves hard.  I thought we did that tonight, but we didn’t do that last night in Dallas.  I thought we did that and they tried to do everything that I wanted.  The game plan, they tried to do it and I know that they can do it because they have done it in the past.  We just didn’t get the results we wanted.  This was a test and it was a good game that we played.  Now we move on to Houston. ”

(On guys stepping up from the bench)

“Early on our big guys weren’t playing too well offensively.  Ginobili doesn’t slouch on defense and he will make you work really hard for the ball.  Parker also has the ability to make you work.  You have to catch out higher on the floor, so the help must be in a sooner position rather than a later position.  So that is the privilege of having a “1” and a “2” player.  Richard Jefferson is also another player. So you take three of our best scorers right away, and they are going to make them catch the ball a little bit out of their comfort zone.  But I felt we got that a little bit under control later on.  Our bench has played very well over the past few weeks, which has given us the ability to be down by 20 or more and yet get the game close. They always say, “Let’s get it down to seven.”

Warriors guard Acie Law

(On how the team just doesn’t give up)

“We can score the ball pretty good. We just got to finish it out defensively. It’s been a long season and it’s a work in progress. Hopefully we can get better but I mean to your question, we won’t give up, we are going to continue to fight it out.”

(Playing in a back-to-back tonight, did that impact the team’s performance?)

“I’m not going to make an excuse. There a damn good team, one of the best teams in the league, probably going to compete for a championship, we just got to figure it out. Got to try and finish up strong and go from there.”

(On the second unit’s performance tonight)

“Our second unit comes in and scraps, just try and make plays, hustle plays, and things of that nature. We were able to do that and chip away, but unfortunately with them being the veteran ball club that they are, they continued to stay with it, didn’t get rattled, made plays when they had to, and won the ball game.”

 Warriors guard Monta Ellis

(On the overall performance of the team tonight)

 “It was cool. We didn’t shoot the ball well at first, but we were still right there in the game. They made some shots; I think they hit every open shot, besides the first quarter. They hit every shot they had; I mean it was just a good ball club. We fought hard to get ourselves back in the game and they just made plays down the stretch.”

(Why weren’t you able to get going tonight?)

“It’s like that sometimes. I had all good looks. It felt good. It just wasn’t going down for me tonight.”

(What the team could improve on going forward?)

“We really just have to stay together, play hard every night, that’s it.”

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