http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2 ... -and-more/
SAN ANTONIO–The Spurs are not the Nuggets. It’s so true and it’s a comparison that is very much on the minds of the Warriors right now, a day before Game 1 of the second round.
The Nuggets have very dangerous elements, no doubt; but once the Warriors slowed Denver’s fast break down and got a little handle on Ty Lawson’s penetration, that series unfolded on the GSWs’ terms… and in their favor.
The Warriors had some very scattered moments of their own, but not as many as Denver had, and the Warriors flipped on the switch a few minutes at a time–mostly thanks to No. 30–and that was enough.
San Antonio’s far more consistent, far more balanced, a far better half-court team and far better in the post game than the Nuggets could ever be.
The Warriors know this–they have to know this. Doesn’t mean they’re not confident; guided by their coach, they’re always extremely confident. But they go into this one knowing the Spurs won’t crumble, and that’s a huge difference from the last series.
—ANDREW BOGUT interview transcript/
-Q: How different are the Spurs from Denver?
-BOGUT: Polar opposite. Polar opposite. I think Denver thrived on turning you over, getting fast break points, second-chance points and getting in the paint.
Whereas the Spurs just out-execute teams. They don’t rush things, they get the shot they want every possession. They spread the floor very well, they get a lot of ball movement.
So it’s a completely different beast.
-Q: Maybe the Denver was riding the ups and downs, while San Antonio is even-keel, which forces you to be much more consistent.
-BOGUT: Exactly. And San Antonio, a 10-point lead to them is like 20 against other teams. They get an 8-, 10-point buffer, it’s hard to get that back against them. That’s probably the biggest difference.
Denver and those kinds of teams, you can have a three- or four-minute run and all of a sudden you can be back in the game. With San Antonio, you’ve got to grind that and just grind and grind. I think that’s why San Antonio’s been so successful over the years.
-Q: Yeah, I looked and it’s a little surprising–San Antonio took way more and made a bit more three-pointers than you guys in the regular season. Is that a sneaky strength of theirs?
-BOGUT: They shoot the ball very well. They’ve got a lot of good three-pointer shooters–Matt Bonner and Manu’s shooting it well, Gary Neal, Danny Green. So they have a lot of guys that can knock it down.
A big part of that is Manu, Tony and Tim. They get the ball in the paint almost every possession; Tim demands double-teams, so does Manu and Tony, and those other guys are unbelievable role players and know their roles and spread the floor.
-Q: Whether you guys were trying to or not, clearly Denver was a team you could probably get off of its game emotionally at times. Do you think there’s any way to do that with San Antonio?
-BOGUT: San Antonio. you’ve just got to stay solid for 48 minutes. You have those two-, three-minute lapses that we had against Denver, I mean, that can almost cost you a whole game against San Antonio.
They’re not affected by physicality or whatever it is. They’ve seen everything.
Tim Duncan’s seem double-teams, triple-teams, one-on-one coverage, hard fouls, flagrant fouls. He’s seen everything in his career. So I don’t think they’re too fazed by it.
I don’t think we are as much, either. We tend to play through a lot of things, through a lot of mistakes, and that’s how it’s got to be.
-Q: You OK health-wise?
-BOGUT: It’s OK. Everyone at this point’s banged up. I’m banged up, just like everyone else is at the end of the season… But it’s the playoffs–mentally we feel real good. Physically, sometimes you just need some extra ice.
-Q: It was clearly tougher for you after Game 5.
-BOGUT: I sprained my ankle in Game 5 a little bit and (felt) pretty bad the morning of (Game 6) and didn’t think I was going to make it–give it a go. But ended up getting an injection before the game and it felt pretty good once it got warm. So I was pretty lucky that I even got to play in that game.
-Q: Same thing Steph took, an anti-inflammatory not a pain-killer?
-BOGUT: Yeah, anti-.
-Q: Think you might have to end up doing that again?
-BOGUT: I don’t like doing it. It’s the first injection I’ve had in my career; so I don’t like relying on them. I don’t think it’ll be an issue for me because we’ve had three days off now and the ankle’s feeling much better. I don’t like relying on those things.
-Q: Any side effects?
-BOGUT: Not really. It just keeps you up that night, didn’t get to sleep that night until 4. I think the adrenaline of the game or whatever. But other than that, felt OK.
-Q: People were surprised when you said you hadn’t been able to drink a beer over the last year or so. How difficult is that?
-BOGUT: (Laughs.) Well, I made it sound like I’m an alcoholic. (Laughs.) I just try to take these things in stride to get out there, man. That’s how serious I took it.
I haven’t had a drink ’cause it swells up. When I was going through my ankle stuff early in the season, I wouldn’t even go out; I’d go straight home after practice and ice ’til I went to bed.
Those kinds of sacrifices you have to do as a pro athlete.
-Q: If this series goes that deep, you could feel that way again with your ankle, right?
-BOGUT: Yeah, it will. And we’ll manage it as we go. At this point of the season, everyone’s got some kind of thing they’re battling. It’s just a matter of getting the treatment in, the recovery on the off-days and making sure you look after your body off the court, and let the chips fall where they may.
—–JARRETT JACK interview transcript/
-Q: How different will it be playing San Antonio after the Denver series?
-JACK: Obviously tempo-wise they’re a lot different. They’re a lot more half-court based; even though they’re able to get out in transition, they’re offense isn’t predicated on it, like how Denver is.
They play through the low-post a lot more; they play through Duncan and those guys.
And they’re an executing juggernaut in the half-court, that’s what they depend on, that’s why they’re so successful.
-Q: Do you say, stop Parker first, or stop Duncan first?
-JACK: I think that’s the tough part about defending them. You have to defend everybody on the court; everybody on the court is a live option.
Going into playing them, it’s not one person or two people you have to worry about. It’s a collective unit.
-Q: Mark was just saying you’re playing with house money. That loosen things up for you?
-JACK: I don’t know if it makes it loose, but that’s the reality of the situation.
If we come in here and get out-played by them, they’ll say, ‘Aw, they were supposed to do that anyway, it’s the Spurs, they’re supposed to do that.’
It’s not necessarily to play a psychological mind game with us. That’s the truth. Just come out, let the chips fall, may the best team win.
-Q: You guys were pretty loose against Denver. Can you be even looser against the Spurs?
-JACK: You can be loose, but you have to do in a certain type of mindset. Because each mistake you make against them is costly–because they execute so well, they don’t turn the basketball over and they’re a team that plays steady and even the entire game.
Most teams play in kind of peaks and valleys, they might be down by 5, up by 10, kind of go through those spells. San Antonio, they’re an evenly-based team through 48 minutes. You can’t have any type of drop offs.
-Q: Denver was up and down.
-JACK: Exactly. And San Antonio doesn’t play like that. They’re a more consistent team, consistent in what they do, consistent in their methods.