Among the notable Game 3 press conferences are Tim Duncan, Blake Griffin, Vinny Del Negro, Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich.
Duncan talked about how Kawhi Leonard’s emotional fortitude is an important quality in the postseason.
“It’s essential,” Duncan said. “Trying to stay cool and collected when thing are going all different directions around you and if you can keep that even keel and you are not affected by the goods and bads as much, it’s a great quality to have.”
Del Negro talked about what, specifically, makes the Spurs a special basketball team.
“You have to pick your spots,” Del Negro said. “That’s why they are deep and why they won so many games. It’s difficult. You help on the corner 3-pointer and you give layups with Tim (Duncan) diving or (Tiago) Splitter diving or Boris (Diaw) making plays. They have a bunch of shooters and they spread you out and you have Tony (Parker) or (Manu) Ginobili attacking the rim. There’s a lot of things that make it hard (to beat them).”
Griffin talked about the disappointment in blowing a 24-point lead and the sense of urgency the Clippers will need to come back from a 3-0 series deficit.
“Our backs are against the wall,” Griffin said. “If we don’t play with that sense of urgency, it’s not going to be pretty. We have to dig deep, find something and make it work.”
Parker talked about how the Spurs approached their mounting deficit.
“We just took our time and told ourselves if we cut it to 10 at halftime, (that) would be a good position,” Parker said. “Third quarter we got a good start and defensively we made a lot of stops in a row. Ball movement was good again and it’s just the results of us being calm.”
Popovich talked about how the Spurs climbed out of a 24-point hole and how maintaining a large lead is very difficult in the NBA.
“You get a quick lead in the beginning of the game; it’s like a coaches nightmare,” Popovich said. “The NBA game is so long just about everyone comes back to some degree. It doesn’t mean your going to come back and win but those large leads are tough to hold.”
Of course, Pop added his trademark snark in the interview when a reporter posed the question, “Why are you guys (the Spurs) so special?”
Pop’s response? “I have no idea.”