Sunday, April 6, 2008

Notes and Quotes: Spurs 72, Blazers 65

This one was ugly. Nothing but bad news from the tip to the final buzzer. Shooting a season-low field goal percentage was bad. The season low 65 points was worse. But Joel Przybilla sustaining a season-ending broken hand had to be the worst. It's hard to take anything positive away from this one. At least it was LaMarcus Aldridge bobblehead night. On to the note and quotes.


Blazers 65 points season low (previous low 74 vs. Orlando Nov. 26) and matches fifth lowest point total all-time . . . Tied season low FGS (25) . . . Blazers 34.2 FG percentage season low (prev. low 35.3 Jan. 30 vs. Cleveland) . . . First time since Dec. 14 Blazers have been below .500 . . . Spurs 12th straight victory over Blazers and 18 of last 19 . . . Last Portland win in series Jan. 24, 2005 . . . San Antonio has won five straight in Rose Garden and 9 of last 10.


Nate McMillan
“I thought we played pretty well on defense but down the stretch our failure to execute on offense, especially the inability to use our screens to get good looks hurt us.

“You’ve got to have ball movement and set a lot of screens against this team because the Spurs plya you very well one-on-one. Our failure to recognize that hurt us and that’s one reason we shot only 34 percent from the floor. We did have some open looks but tonight they weren’t falling for us.

“The situation with Joel (broken right hand ending his season) is a sad one. He has played so well and so hard for us all year and he’s become a big piece of our team. I know one of his goals this year was to play all 82 games. It’s a shame he won’t be able to do that because of the freak injury. You hate to see that for him.

“I thought Brandon played pretty well once he started to get his rhythm. He didn’t let Bruce Bowen get to him this time. He just ignored him and got some good looks.

“Even though we’ve lost, this was not a nightmare. We’ve done some good things this year but we’ve had a lot of injuries in the last part of the season and we’re playing some really strong teams. And even though we’re not playing our best basketball I think we’ve been pretty competitive against them.

“The rest of the season we’ll call up Josh (McRoberts) and at center we’ll use Channing and LaMarcus and we may even go small and use Travis. Raef (LaFrentz) has done a pretty good job for us lately too, so they’ll all be in the mix.”

LaMarcus Aldridge
“We had open looks, including myself, that we didn’t knock down. It was frustrating at first. That made guys hesitant and not take shots. Of course winning is a goal to finish out the season.

We want to win every game. We wanted to win tonight but the ball didn’t bounce our way. They made some big shots. They’re champions. They made big plays down the stretch.”

Channing Frye
“You can’t control everything. Joel broke his hand doing the right thing. (About Joel going down) Its just part of the game. We’ve got to deal with it. We’ve had injuries all season. Joel’s a big part of this team. He did it playing ball, going hard. He’ll be good when he comes back. I’m upset he didn’t get to play the 82 games this season that he’s been talking about.”

Raef LaFrentz
“San Antonio is coming into form. They’re getting ready for the playoffs, and getting ready for a long playoff push. They’re a great team. They run a great system. They’ve been playing together a long time and they’re playing great basketball.”

Greg Popovich
“A win is never ugly. I thought we played a really good defensive game. That allowed us an opportunity to win. Neither team was very good offensively, but defense got it done for us. Tim and Kurt Thomas did a real good job on a couple of good, talented young players. We just play.

I didn’t know this was 12 straight wins against Portland. I don’t think that makes a difference. We feel great going into the playoffs. We may win it, we may not. Life will go on either way. We’re going to give it our best shot, but so are the other 7 teams. All of them are just as good as we are. I don’t anybody has anything over anybody else. It’s going to be who can play the best over a seven game series. Most always, the best team will win a seven game series so that will tell the tail.”

Manu Ginobili
“Of course I was concerned about the offense. Today, defensively, we were there. We were active and we made them take some tough shots. Defensively we were good but we really struggled again offensively. Tim played a very good game. He was solid, but we were not making shots. We weren’t making many things happening today, especially Tony and me. So it was important to have Tim ready and taking care of the offense.

I think this year there are like 12 teams to beat in the NBA. A lot of teams are having great seasons. Of course we’re the defending champs so we have a target on us. Everything is so tough. Now the difference is what spot. It could one, two or six. We have to try and fight as much as we can to get a spot. This is tough because you can’t take a break. In past seasons with five games to go, you knew you could be first, second, third or even fourth, and that’s it. This year it could be seventh so it puts pressure on everybody. We can’t slow down, we have to keep playing.”

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