“He’s a pretty good enough athlete, but he’s a fantastic basketball player. He really understands innately how to play the game. He’s just built for it mentally, whether it’s shooting the ball or understanding spatial arrangements on the court, who he’s playing with, what shot’s good, what shot’s not, how to play with his teammates. He’s really got a high basketball IQ. On top of that, he’s got good skills. He handles the ball, he passes, he shoots. He doesn’t have any fear, he’s not intimidated by the NBA and he comes right in and plays.”
“I’m trying to work every single day to be better and to play basketball the right way.”
“You hope that you’ve done your homework. You hope that you’ve done enough research, what kind of character guys have, how they’re going to adjust to team play. If they have the mental ability to grow, to learn, become better players. Because lots of times it’s not a question of physicality, it’s between the ears. That’s a function of character so as much research as you can do, you do. But it’s hard to hit, be correct, every single time.”
Warriors beat the Spurs last night 136-100 in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. Golden State now leads the series 2-0 as they head to Texas.
Here’s Pop after the game:
“It’s not about O’s and X’s or rebounds or turnovers or anything like that. I think we’ve maybe felt it too much, Kawhi being gone, in the sense that I don’t think … as I watched, I don’t think they believed and you have to believe. I don’t think, as a group, they really did. Which means probably a little bit feeling sorry for themselves, you know, psychologically, subconsciously, whatever psychobabble word you want to use. That’s the way I process it.
I don’t think they started the game with the belief … I don’t think it was one guy who didn’t believe and he infected everybody else or anything like that. I think, as a group, they just let themselves down. We talked about it during the game, halftime, after the game – because I think the truth always quote unquote ‘sets you free.’
You can’t sugar coat it or say ‘if we would have just made a couple shots, we’d have been right there.’ That’s pretty lame. So call it like it is. We didn’t come to play, we felt sorry for ourselves. We need to get slapped and come back and play Game 3 and see who we are.”
“He does that every night. I mean, everybody worked hard. Kawhi is obviously a talented young man, and he knocked down the last shot. But it’s always a team effort. I thought we hung tough. We didn’t play that sharp. Usually, your first game after a long road trip is pretty tough. We didn’t shoot well in the first half, and they hung in there. The mental toughness showed. They just kept playing, kept playing. We made a lot of mistakes, but they played through them. That was the best part of the game.”