- The Mavericks play Phoenix at home on Saturday, take three days off and then play Memphis on the road. They control their own destiny -- two wins will do the trick. But a win an a Grizz loss will also work, whether it's against Phoenix or Dallas.
- But if the Mavericks are just going to squeak in as the No. 8 seed, it's going to be a very short first round series that ultimately ends in the same bloodbath that was seen at the end of tonight's game.
- That's your playoff picture in two bullet points. On to the depressing quotes (and Pop being Pop, of course).
On the Spurs' 3-point shooting success
Most of our problems were in transition. We just didn't find them quick enough. We just weren't good enough in that area. It was an area that was easily identifiable as one of the big keys for the game. We just came up short there.
On potentially facing the Spurs in the first round
I'm not answering any questions about playoffs until we get there. We got work to do. One of our goals is to get there. When we get there we will talk about match ups. Right now, we have to win two games. (long pause) But I will say the law of averages is in our favor.
On how the Spurs are so good
They've got a lot of shooters out there and spread the floor. Timmy's always playing well against us playing one-on-one, he was great tonight. But I just didn't think we were sharp enough on the defensive end. They do shoot a lot of threes and that means there's going to be some long rebounds. We've just got to get to more of those, they had 15 offensive rebounds or whatever. If we cut that in half I think we're in great shape tonight.
On how the team approaches these last two crucial games
Same way we have the last few weeks -- leave it all out there, hopefully be a little smarter, get to some of those loose balls, just let it all hang out. Phoenix is a tough team. We lost one, won one, so the tiebreaker is one the line.
On why Dallas just can't seem to beat the Spurs
They move the ball so well; they take up every ounce of the shot clock; they make you guard for 24; they take advantage of your mistakes, and they obviously make you pay for them. The extra effort plays...if they do make a three, they get offensive rebounds and get another crack at it.
On confidence going forward
We've got two games left and we feel like they're winnable games for us. Obviously, Saturday is huge for us, and we've got to come out with that type of effort knowing that our season's on the line and it's a game we have to have.
On a potential Spurs match-up in the first round
Anything can happen in the playoffs. Our focus is to get there.
On the zone defense
It definitely gave them a different look. Our zone's been really effective, something we'll use going forward. I think it's more important to give them a different look and keep them out of the paint.
On not being able to give a sustained push
I guess you could say it was a few things. Stops...we couldn't get stops more than one or two at a time, and when we did, it seemed like they would make another run at us. ... They're a tough match-up for us. For some reason, we just have a hard time with them. It's like, we can be there, and all of a sudden we're not there. They do a great job of consistently moving the ball and pushing the tempo and making sure everybody spots up.
On the Spurs offensive rebounding after a good defensive series
Oh man, that's just like deflationary [? something with the word deflation]. When you bust your butt to get a stop and do everything you can to stop them and you're not able to come up with the rebound, it kills us. The one thing about them that makes them special is that of course they're a great transition team and they don't turn it over, but they transition very well from misses as well.
On whether he's surprised the Suns are in this playoff hunt
They found a unique way to attack teams. What they do is they got Dragic and Bledsoe who are their backcourts, and they do a great job of forcing the tempo with those guys and they can also score the ball. They put pressure on the 1 and 2 spots, and at the 3, they got a guy who's kind of tough and spunky in [P.J.] Tucker. Frye, who can space the floor. ... When you're able to shoot the ball one through four and you've got an athletic big who can roll and dunk and stuff, it opens the game up. It speeds the game up a lot because a lot of teams can't match up with that.
On having all three teams in the playoff hunt play each other in these final games
That's nuts, but that's what it is. We got two games left, Saturday and Wednesday. That's it right there.
On the defensive work on Dirk
We did the best we could.
On Patty Mills' big game.
He can score. He's not afraid to shoot it, that's for sure.
On his aggressiveness
That's how he plays, he's always aggressive. That's what he does. He's not going to get a whole lot of rebounds or stop a lot of people, but he's going to shoot it, that's what his skill is.
On what he was thinking when Tim Duncan go down
Not much. You don't have time...he came back pretty quick so you really didn't have time to worry about it.
On the biggest difference from the first to second half
I don't know, did we do something different in the first half? [That's what I'm asking, you were down at half] We didn't do anything any different.
On Kawhi Leonard's play
Kawhi is a monster. He's just going through the roof with his skills and his basic fundamentals of the game. 50/50 balls, important rebounds. He got 16 boards tonight and a couple of them down the stretch were huge. Gave us second opportunities, took time off the clock, they were huge. He was fantastic, amazing to watch the young kid get better and better.
On whether the Spurs will sit anyone tomorrow
The game just ended. We're going to have some of that good barbecue they have here, enjoy it for a half hour, and then think about tomorrow.
On his tweaked knee that caused him to briefly leave the floor
It really wasn't that bad, it just scared me more than anything. When I landed I kind of twisted my knee and it just scared me basically when it happened. I just wanted to get off the court and make sure everything was alright.