“I don’t know. We didn’t play well in the first half, very unusual,” Spurs reserve Manu Ginobili said. “Seventy-one points in the half, 30 free throws, I think it was the first time ever it happened to us. We were not as sharp. We sent them to the line too many times. Then, we were able to correct it in the second half; much better defense, less fouls, more aggressiveness.”
Popovich called the Spurs back in December a B-plus to C-minus squad. Now, Popovich’s grade probably hasn’t improved much, if at all, considering the team’s 5-3 record this month. In each of the team’s last three losses, it held leads of 10 point or more, including Saturday’s 108-105 defeat to the Phoenix Suns in Mexico City.
The Spurs now own a record of 27-3 in games they lead after three quarters.
“Again, as we’ve done very often, a tale of two halves where we gave up 71, and then we gave up 44,” Popovich said. “We gave up 30 free throws in the first half and nine in the second half. That’s what it’s about — being physical, playing smart — and we did it for the second half. So we played a great 24 minutes.”
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Is it just a matter of maturing and being in a comfortable place in your life at 30, or did you change anything in your training or add anything to your game?
I always try to continue to get better at shooting the ball and places where I am going to get good shots and working on that during the summertime, coming off screens a certain way knowing that I am going to get these certain type of shots. There is always that, in your summertime, in your work and preparation. Just going out there and understanding what is needed and where my shots are going to be and where they are going to come from and taking the right ones.
Take me back to the night when you went back onto the Air Canada Centre court to get shots up after losing Game 1 in overtime in the 2016 Eastern Conference semifinals against Miami.
Authentic Womens Josh Bailey Jersey [I was] just frustrated with the shots that I felt like I was getting and I was missing. Man, if the cameras weren’t there, no one would have known. I probably would have done it after upstairs [on the Raptors’ practice court], but I’m sure other All-Star and starting guys do it and try to get themselves some rhythm. It was more a matter of going out there and like, ‘OK, you are not playing well. What are you going to do?’ What happens when you aren’t playing that well? You go out and figure it out and make sure you get back to your techniques and make sure you are comfortable in doing what you do, no matter what.