It’s Pressing: Post-Game Pressers from Mavs-Spurs Game 3

Posted by Rob Mahoney on April 24, 2010 under Recaps | 3 Comments to Read

Photo by D.Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images.

Tons of quotes here from the locker room and post-game press conferences, so dig in. I’ve bolded items of interest for various reasons, but if nothing else, at least check out Damp’s comments about the officiating.

See the Mavs and Spurs BARE ALL after the jump.

DIRK NOWITZKI

On the Mavs’ big third quarter run using the three-guard lineup:

I think we showed in the third quarter that we need to speed the game up and our zone defense was effective. We got some stops and then we were able to speed the game up. J.J. got to the basket and Jason and I had some good looks. In the half-court sets, they seem to take our options away. We’ll have to do more of the same on Sunday. We battled the whoel way, we had some tough calls, and turnovers but we will play again on Sunday and see what happens.”

On fatigue being a possible factor down the stretch:

“I don’t know. You can rest in the summer. I think we had enough left to battle. Parker made some tough shots and in the third quarter, I thought we gave up the lead too quickly. Ginobili had some good shots at the basket and we made a couple of turnovers and bad plays, which let them right back in the game. We gave it away. Down the stretch, we had too many empty possessions. They started to double team me in the fourth quarter and we didn’t get much out of the weak side and that obviously hurts our offense.

On the, shall we say, “shortened” rotation tonight:

“We just roll with whatever is going for us. Obviously with Caron and Shawn struggling, Coach decided to go with J.J. in the second half and he was able to get to the basket and it gave us another ball-handler. He had a good game and made an impact. Coach just goes with whoever is going that night and went with the three-guard lineup. It was working for awhile but it didn’t seem to have enough down the stretch.”

On the Mavs’ getting off to yet another slow start in the first quarter, ad how it impacted the game:

“It’s not great always having to battle back. At least we fought back and got back into the game. I thought when we were down seven points early we attled but we still would like to start better. We came out of the gate with three or four turnovers. We really battled and it could have gone either way. They just made a couple more plays.”

On the Spurs getting the win without a single made three-pointer:

“We obviously want to take their three-pointers away. We want to take away how they spread the floor and we want to run them off the spots they like for shooting three-pointers. They have a lot of good three-point shooters. They also have a lot of guys who can get to the basket and Duncan is a beast on the block and had a big game tonight.”

On the Mavs’ pick-and-roll defense last night:

“If you play San Antonio, it’s Duncan on the block with lots of pick-and-rolls. In one game this series, they ran something like 80 pick-and-rolls with Manu. I think we did alright on defense tonight but we have to make more shots on offense and speed up the game. It’s also being able to get better looks for our guys. Defensively, we battled but you are always going to make mistakes on pick-and-rolls. Manu’s speed will beat our bigs and he can get to the basket. Overall [though], we did a decent job.”

—–
RICK CARLISLE

On his decision to bench Caron Butler in the second half in favor of J.J. Barea:

It was a coach’s decision. I was going with a group that was going good. We needed penetration and that was it.”

On the Mavs’ shot selection in the fourth quarter:

I thought our shots were very good. There are going to be a few you wish were a little bit better. But it was a very tense game and contested shots are one of the realities of playoff basketball. From time to time, there are fouls that aren’t called and those end up looking like bad shots too, both ways. We would love to get great shots. I’ll look at the film and study it and see what’s what. It’s a very physical series and there’s a lot of contact going on. One of the realities of playoff basketball is that the best way to get good looks at the basket is in transition and on second shots because in the half-court teams become familiar with one another and it gets more difficult as the series goes on. Some of the shots we got were difficult and some of the shots they got were difficult.”

On Jason Kidd’s extended minutes:

“I would love to get him more rest. He said he was OK and we needed him out there. It was my decision to roll with him. We always play better when he’s on the floor. That’s pretty much a fact.

—–
SHAWN MARION

On his overall impressions of the game:

“Y’know, I think our defense was really good tonight. I think that stretch early in the fourth quarter where Ginobili got some buckets pushed the momentum their way a little bit, but I think we were still able to hold them back and get back into the game. For the most part, that was it. The first part of the game…we missed some shots we normally hit and they got an early lead.”

On not playing much at all in the second half, including sitting out the entire fourth quarter:

“I played a lot last game. I’ve gotta go in and play hard in the minutes I’m playing. I’m not controlling that. That’s not me.”

On whether or not Carlisle offered him an explanation for the benching:

“Nope. You ask him. I don’t know. You ask him.”

On if the situation confused him:

“Of course. How can I be effective being pulled in and out by a rag doll? I’m gonna go out and play hard when I step out on the floor, that’s all I can control.”

More on the benching:

“Go ask coach…When I lace my shoes up I’m ready to go. I can’t control — I was told to stay on Ginobili, and he didn’t score that first half. I had him on clamp. I was on him. But I can’t control that.

On what this team needs to do to win:

“We’ve gotta stay focused, and keep playing, and continue to stay together. I can’t control my minutes or whatever. I’m not the one doing the subbing. The minutes I’m in there I’m gonna play hard and that’s all I can control.”

On the improvement in the defensive communication:

“Definitely. We’re talking. It all coincides with each other. We’ve just gotta learn from this. We were right there. It was a one-point game with a minute or a minute and a half left. We had a crucial turnover and then they hit a big shot. We’re right there. We’ve just gotta try to make sure we hit that first quarter. I think the first quarter is killing us. Other than that our defense has been great.”

On the bright side:

“[Parker] had a big game. Hill had a good game. and like I said, Ginobili had a good fourth quarter. But you take that out of the way, and that’s our game, shooting bad or not. That’s how you’ve gotta look at it.

On if he’s frustrated with his minutes:

“No, I’m good. I wanna play, definitely. Who doesn’t? I don’t wanna sit on the damn bench. What can I do though? I’m not the one making the substitutions.

On the Mavs’ confidence after the loss:

We’re still confident. We’re still very confident. We’ve just gotta help each other.”

—–
ERICK DAMPIER

On the impact of dropping Game 3 in San Antonio:

“There’s nothing to get excited about. It’s only 2-1. The most important thing for us is to come back and try to win our next game. We knew it was going to be hard to win here; they’re a good team and they’ve got good players. They hit shots down the stretch, got to the foul line, and that was the difference in the game.”

On Caron Butler and Shawn Marion being benched:

“It doesn’t matter who’s on the floor. Somebody has to step up and give us something. When the other guys — the starters — aren’t out there. We’re a good team, we’ve got a lot of guys on this team who can go out there and do different things. We’ve just gotta come together and go out there and play hard and try to win.”

On there possibly being a lingering issue with Caron:

“Caron’s a team player. All of us are. Some guys are gonna be giving us better production at that position. It was Rick’s decision to stick with whoever was in there. So he’ll just go out, have a great practice tomorrow, and be ready for the next game.”

On the physicality of the series:

“Physical, is that right? It all depends on who’s calling the fouls.”

On the inconsistency of the officiating, and why the Mavs are still at fault:

“…they drive on the other end and get a little ticky-tack foul. So keep it consistent. Don’t be one way or another. Its on us, too. We’ve gotta take the ball to the basket, make contact, draw the foul, and go to the free throw line. Whoever handles the ball’s gotta drive to the basket and create contact.”

On just how close the last two games have been:

“Go back and look at Game 2 at our place: we started the game off 3-for-18. Even though we started the game off 3-for-18, we’re still in the game. Come here, and we’re up seven in the fourth quarter. A foul here, a rebound here and there…and we’re [possibly] gonna win this game. We can’t let those guys come in off the bench and be a big factor in these games. Blair came in and gave them two or three big rebounds. We can’t let those guys be a factor.”

On the charge drawn by Matt Bonner on Dirk late in the fourth quarter:

“I’m not gonna even comment on that foul. Well what’d you think, it was a foul or what? Exactly. All of us thought that. It’s funny though, they get the same call on the other end, and one of the refs calls the foul from half-court. It’s almost like they can’t even see it. But when [Dirk] drives, “Oh, I saw he was outside the circle, it was a charge.’ How can you see that? You can’t even see that far. But we ain’t gonna make any excuses, we’re gonna be ready to play next game, that’s all that matters to us.”

—–
JASON KIDD

On his overall impressions on the game:

“We’re not shooting the ball extremely well, but we gave ourselves a chance to win on the road and that’s all you can ask for.”

On his poor shooting night:

“It happens. You’ve gotta be back and ready to go on Sunday and knock ‘em down.”

On Caron Butler and Shawn Marion riding the pine:

“It’s over with, that game. The guys that were out there fighting, that’s who we’re supporting. That was Coach’s decision and we had a chance there.”

On the team possibly having some self-doubt after a loss like this:

“We’ve got too much talent to doubt ourselves. This is a veteran ball club. We didn’t make shots tonight. The big thing is that we put ourselves in a situation to win. Coming down the stretch with two minutes left it’s a one-point game.”

On if the Mavs can win playing like they played last night:

“We almost won tonight. A win’s a win, no matter if Dirk carries the load offensively or if somebody steps up and carries the load and Dirk has a bad game. We’ve found ways to win games that way.”

On the Spurs being a “psychological obstacle” for the Mavs:

“Nah, I’m too old for that.”

—–
JASON TERRY

On the opportunity lost in the fourth quarter tonight:

“We had an opportunity to win this game tonight, there is no question about that. You have to give Manu Ginobili a lot of the credit for coming back into the game and making some great plays. We missed many opportunities we know we would like to have back but things don’t work that way in the playoffs. Game 4 is a big game for us and we have to get our win. The Spurs did their job tonight and now its time for us to do ours.”

On the Mavs’ bench play:

“I think our bench played well and I think we out-played the Spurs’ bench which is a plus. The only things I can look at right now are the missed opportunities with a nine-point lead in the latter stages of the game. A good team, a championship team, holds that lead and walks away with the game.”

On the intensity of the series:

“Oh, this is going to be a dogfight. Every time we match-up with San antonio, no matter if it’s preseason, regular season, or playoffs, it’s going to be a physical matchup. You can’t expect anything else when you play San Antonio.”

On the Mavs staying tough mentally:

“Mental toughness isn’t a factor with these teams. Everyone on that court is tough. Both teams were very tough tonight. I mentioned earlier, our nine-point lead and the Spurs being resilient and fighting back. We kept the game close and got within one for about two minutes and failed to make a basket. Both teams are very mentally tough and are championship teams. I can’t wait until Sunday because it’s going to be another tough game.”

—–
J.J. BAREA

On the officiating tonight, and the 1-15 record the Mavs have in the playoffs in games reffed by Dan Crawford:

“When you’re officiating between these two teams, it can be a very hard game to ref. I feel like the officials did the best they could tonight. I really don’t pay much attention to [the] officials’ stats.”

—–
TIM DUNCAN

On passing the ball to Tony Parker in the corner for the dagger:

“I was going down the middle and didn’t have my feet underneath me. I saw Tony and kicked the ball out to him. He made some big shots tonight. He made a lot of difficult shots like the one against Haywood where he just backed him down.”

On if Tim thought Manu was going to return after leaving the game with a bleeding nose [Ed. note: different from a bloody nose]:

“I had no doubt that he was going to return. He has a strong nose on him. It would take him a second but I knew he would be right back in the game.”

On Antonio McDyess, and his significance in the series thus far:

“Antonio has been in many battles before. He has been great for us. It’s amazing the physicality that he’s playing with. Dirk has been known to draw fouls but he is making Dirk work for everything that he gets. Dirk has hit some great shots. All-in-all, Dice has done a great job at making it as tough as possible on Dirk. Even with all of this, Dirk is still a great scorer and still gets 35.

On his impressions of the Spurs’ play right now:

“We are playing the best basketball of the year so far. We are playing our best at the right time. That’s what we wanted to do all year long. It’s frustrating all season to go through all of the ups and downs but all-in-all, you want to be playing your best at the right time of the year.”

—–
RICHARD JEFFERSON

On Manu returning to the game with a broken nose:

This is a guy who beats up bats. He does all kinds of things out there. No matter what he does, nobody is surprised. When he came back we were wondering what took him so long. Then he kind of stepped right in and got his game going again.”

On the Spurs’ defense in games 2 and 3:

“After Game 1, we felt like we had all the right things but we just weren’t doing them with enough energy. That was our goal these las couple games: to come out with more energy. You can still see that both of those games could have gone either way, so we have to continue doing that whether we’re up or down. They hit some tough shots tonight and you just have to keep with it.”

On Tim Duncan’s effectiveness:

“Tim is Tim. I’ve been on both sides now, where I’ve competed against him in the playoffs and now played with him. He’s just consistent. He demands a lot from his teammates and for the most part we follow his lead. Tony and Manu and all those guys hit huge shots down the stretch, but it’s Tim. He’s the head of this monster.

—–
TONY PARKER

On Manu coming back to play after breaking his nose:

“He came back strong. When he came back in the fourth quarter, especially at the beginning, he had some three-point plays and got a little bit of confidence back for us. Dallas played well in the third quarter and went into the zone where we struggled a little bit. They made a great run at us, but we stayed focused and kept battling. That’s what’s going to happen against Dallas. You have to be ready to play for 48 minutes.

On Duncan’s pass to him for the dagger jumper in the right corner:

“I thought he was going to shoot it because I thought he was open. He had confidence in me, though. I had made a shot just before that and that’s why he gave it back to me and had confidence that I would knock it down.”

On having the ball in his hands (and not) during the game’s most crucial moments:

“Well, Manu is playing great. I always tell everybody that’s why it’s so special here, because everybody is unselfish and everybody puts their egos aside. It’s different for me sometimes because I used to have the ball more, but Manu is playing unbelievable. He’s playing at an All-Star level and the ball should be in his hands. If he’s tired, then I will be aggressive and wait my turn. That’s what I did tonight, I just waited my turn. Manu got it going in the beginning of the fourth quarter, s you don’t want to change when someone is hot. You want to keep feeding him the ball.”

On the Spurs’ defense:

“I think it was our focus and our mentality tonight. We know we’re going against a team like Dallas who is very good offensively. Our defense has to be ready. They hurt us in Game 1. If we can keep playing that defense and play it for 48 minutes, we’ll have a chance.”

On working back from his injury:

“I never worried. I put everything in perspective. I’ve been very blessed and very fortunate in my career. In my first eight years in the league, I never had any serious injuries…I just stayed positive and kept working. I worked on my conditioning. I tried to stay in shape and just stay ready for the playoffs. When you stay ready, you have those kind of games…Now I’m 100%. I feel great. That month helped me. My hip, my plantar fasciitis, all the stuff I had — everything was gone when  I came back. Right now I just play free, play my game, and be aggressive.”

—–
GREGG POPOVICH

On Manu Ginobili’s night in its totality:

“I didn’t want to worry until I saw him or didn’t see him. Of course you hope he’s coming back. I didn’t know it was broken until they told me later…He’s a great player. He’s been a great player for a long time all over the world. If Dirk or Jason Kidd get hurt, people like that who are ultimate competitors, they play unless they just can’t do it. That’s what he did.”

On the Mavs’ third quarter run, and what gave the Spurs trouble:

“They went to a zone and we totally stopped playing. It’s as if there wasa rule that said if they play zone, you don’t have to be aggressive anymore. That was the toughest part of the game for us.”

On the Spurs not making a single three-pointer, yet still winning:

“These days, one would think you would need to make some threes to be successful. That was a real oddity about the game tonight.”

On how he would describe J.J. Barea given his productive night:

“Competitiveness. He’s a tough dude. He plays hard, plays physical. He can penetrate, score, or get the ball to someone for a three. He was really good tonight.”