What the Spurs, Mavs said after Friday’s game

Here’s a collection of some of the comments from both dressing rooms after the Spurs’ 104-87 victory over Dallas Friday night, courtesy of the Spurs media services representatives.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich:

(When asked what he envisioned defensively when Boris Diaw came into the game…)

“I didn’t envision anything.  I just threw him out there to get use to the team and what we’re trying to do.  He did a fine job.  I thought overall the team’s defense was pretty good.  That was probably the best part of the game.  No matter who was out there, we were pretty aggressive defensively.  We reacted as a team to each other pretty well on defense.  Dallas is such a great scoring team you have to do that if you want a chance to beat them.”

(When asked about the energy of Danny Green in the first quarter…)

“It looked like he was shot out of a rocket for the first couple of minutes.  I don’t know how he did that, but maybe I should find out and have everybody do it before next game.”

(When asked about the energy Stephen Jackson had in the third quarter…)

“He (Stephen Jackson) has an edge to him.  He’s got a toughness, a physicality, he’s a competitor.  I think our whole team had more energy then we had the last time in Dallas and that showed.”

(When asked if he thought that this game had a playoff intensity…)

“I not sure it was all the way to playoff status tonight.  Maybe where you were sitting it was louder.  They are the NBA champions, they competed and we competed as well as they did tonight and our defense did well.  It’s one game and that’s that.  The next game is the most important.  They’ll bounce back and hopefully we’ll play well again.”

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili:

(On the introduction of Boris Diaw…)

“He played well today. Besides his defensive play, he is very active. He passes the ball well. We got a very good game out of the bench. Tony Parker did a good job of running the same Spurs plays on the French National team and that helps. He knew some of the basics because that was what they ran over there. Diaw did a really good job on Dirk.

 (On the intensity of the game…)

“We are trying to be more intense. We are better this year with trying to push the ball a little bit harder. Now we are trying to play with more aggressiveness and toughness. I believe we hustled a lot. We scrambled and made a few mistakes as everybody does, but we played with more intensity. This is something we need. We know how the playoffs are and there only 14 or 15 more games left until then (actually 21).”

(On the team’s collective victory tonight…)

“It was a team victory. We did not have Tony Parker. Parker has been leading us the last 40 games. He has been amazing scoring 30 points in a lot of games. We did not have him today. Also, not having Splitter in the paint hurt us too. But we got a great game from Stephen Jackson, Boris (Diaw), and Kawhi (Leonard). Leonard made three huge plays and it was a great team effort.”

(On starting at point guard…)

“It was different. It was a new thing. If you have to do it because Tony is struggling or not feeling well than you have got to do it.”

Spurs forward Matt Bonner:

(On a collective win against the Mavericks..)

“It was a team effort on offense and defense. We put five or six guys on Dirk Nowitzki in order to try and make him work for everything he got.”

(On Dirk Nowitzki’s shooting struggles tonight…)

“Like I said before it was a team effort. We kept rotating guys on him and tried to be physical. We made him work for everything.”

(On the Spurs rebounding tonight…)

“Guys have been going in and getting offensive rebounds. Especially guys like Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. They have been doing a great job of hustling and getting 50-50 balls for us. They have also been controlling the defensive glass.”

(On Bonner’s night of shooting…)

“I am a catch and shoot guy. I am the recipient of ball movement. Tonight we did a great job. Everybody was moving the ball and found the open man. It was a fun game to play in.”

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle:

(How do you explain you guys getting beat so badly on the boards and in the paint?)

“A lot of the damage on the boards came in the first half. We did a better job early in the third quarter and that’s what got us the lead. The lineup that they had out there tonight had a lot of big guys that were crashing from all over. Our inability to secure rebounds early in the game kept us from climbing out of a hole in the first half. Clearly, that’s what got us the lead. (Jason) Kidd got hot and made some shots. We were doing some good things in the second half. Then, the 22-2 run, that killed us. We had worked our butt off to get a five-point lead, we were in good position, and actually increased the lead with Dirk (Nowitzki) on the bench. It’s disappointing. ”

(What were they doing against Dirk defensively that made it so difficult tonight?)

“Everybody plays Dirk hard and physically. We have to work on getting him some cleaner looks. He had some that he normally makes, that he didn’t make tonight. In those cases, you have to make up for that with efficiency with the ball, being able to rebound, and not giving up second-chance points. It was a tough game. I liked a lot of what we did out there. We played hard, but the rebounding, and then the run in the third and the fourth quarter just killed us. ”

(On decision to not play Lamar Odom?)

“It’s something that I talked to Lamar about, both yesterday and today. That, I was going to look at a different rotation tonight. There were a couple scenarios. If (Manu) Ginobli had come off the bench, (Shawn) Marion would have come off the bench and match up with him. Marion is probably the defensive player of the year this year. He’s been that great on guys individually. So, we wanted him on Ginobili. The way it happened with Ginobili starting, we started Shawn. It tweaked what the original plan was but we knew that was a possibility. It was something I wanted to look at. The thing that it shows is that Lamar’s minutes are valuable to us.”

Dallas forward Shawn Marion:

 (On being beat 50-16 in the paint and being outrebounded…)

 “Rebounding was the key tonight. Our rebounding was a big part of tonight. They got every rebound and they out rebounded us. That’s the game right there. We win the rebounding game and put ourselves in great shape to win tonight.”

 (On the Spurs…)

 “With this team you have to rebound. They get their hands on a lot of balls on defense. Throughout the game the Spurs grab all the loose balls and that hurt us tonight. We took the lead in the third quarter but we exerted so much energy because we were playing so hard out there. Our legs got heavy in the fourth and we could not knock down shots and that is when things hit the wall.”

(On the team’s mindset going forward…)

“We know what to do defensively and offensively, it is just a matter of going out there and doing it. If we rebound the ball, we win the games.”

 Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki:

 (On the Spurs outrebounding and the outscoring them in the paint…)

“They obviously did not want to lose the season series so they came out with a little more fire. I thought we came out strong even though I had a brutal night. We played well at times but we just did not close the game the way we wanted to.”

(On his play…)

“I actually felt good at the beginning of the game then during the middle of the game I just could not get the ball in the rim and a lot of my shots were just short. I just did not have enough to get the ball in tonight.”

(On the Spurs 22-2 run….)

“Just bad decisions…throwing the ball away, we turned the ball over some and they turned up the heat. One time Bonner got a defensive rebound around three of our guys and that is something that should not happen. Those are just things you cannot let happen against a great home team in the Spurs.”

(On the Mavericks’ offense…)

“Offensively we struggled tonight. The Jet (Jason Terry) got going there for a bit. Then he forced some stuff because he felt like he was the only guy that got going tonight but it just was not enough.”

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