One of the main areas of concern for the San Antonio Spurs and head coach Gregg Popovich on the road in Oklahoma City was their lack of production in the second quarter.
“We have sucked in the second quarter,” said Popovich in his pregame press conference before the Spurs and Thunder prepare to battle in game five at the AT&T Center.
Popovich said he’s been unable to find a key reason why the Spurs have played so poorly in back-to-back second quarters. He said to have the lead after the first quarter in game three, then go into the second quarter tied in game four meant his team was on the right track.
“And then it just went to crap,” said Popovich of how the Spurs have played in the two second quarters. “We’ve looked at whose on the court,” continued Popovich, “we’ve lost our pace in the second quarter, we’ve gotten into a half court game.”
Popovich said the biggest change he’s noticed in the second quarters has been the pace of the Spurs’ game. They get slower and need to look to continue to push the pace tonight, and there’s also one more thing Popovich wants his team to concentrate on, not turning the ball over.
As Danny Green has been struggling (4-of-21 from 3-point range) in this series against the Thunder, the question has been brought to Popovich if someone like Manu Ginobili or Gary Neal would start in his place, Popovich refused to talk about such a lineup change.
“We’re not going to talk about my lineup,” said Popovich.
As for the guy who took over game four in the fourth quarter, Popovich had nothing but praise for Kevin Durant.
“He’s arguably the best player on the planet,” said Popovich of Durant. He quickly shut down the Durant versus LeBron James debate by telling the media to focus on the series at hand.
As for Popovich’s leader this season, Tony Parker, he says that Parker won’t be the only reason why the Spurs win or lose tonight.
“We can’t concentrate on one guy getting something done for us,” said Popovich of Parker. He said the Spurs as an entire team will be responsible for how the game ends, not just Parker.