Tim Duncan NBA Finals Game 1 interview quotes
Game 1 of the Finals of the 2007 NBA Playoffs began yesterday and the San Antonio Spurs, playing at home, beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 85-76. Spurs superstar Tim Duncan was terrific, playing his usual great defense and shooting 10-of-17 for 24 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals and 5 blocks. Here's what he said after the game:
Q. Defensively the game plan, can you just talk a little bit about it and how you felt you guys executed it?
TIM DUNCAN: All in all I thought we did a pretty decent job. Fourth quarter we gave up a little more than we should have. I thought they did a good job of dissecting it big towards the end there. But all in all I thought we contained very well. We did a pretty good job on LeBron, not giving him the lanes that he's used to. We won the game, we held them to 76 points. That's right where we need to be.
Q. Did you sense LeBron getting frustrated and he went 0-for-7 shooting in the first half and his shots kept clanking and his passes being tipped away? Did you kind of sense some frustration?
TIM DUNCAN: Honestly that's not something I was looking for. We were just trying to stick with the game plan and doing the same stuff. Honestly I didn't know he was 0-for-7. I knew we were doing a pretty good job on him, but I didn't know his numbers. He's so good at finding guys with his size, we just needed to keep hands in there. Like I said, we got a couple hands on balls, which helped our defense a whole lot.
Q. What is it about you guys that every round no matter who the star is, you guys seem to figure out a way to slow that person down?
TIM DUNCAN: Well, you have to. You've got to in this league. Stars carry teams, and our coaches do a great job of putting a game plan together, and if we're able to stick to it, we do a pretty good job of containing people. It helps a little bit to have somebody like Bruce. That's definitely not something you look past. He's guarded every position throughout these playoffs, and he's done a great job with it. So a lot of credit to him. But all in all, our team defense tonight was really good, and I think that's what's going to be the key for us.
Q. Can you just talk about the discipline that's required for your defense to play solid half-court defense for 18, 19, 20 seconds of a 24-second clock, even if they readjust, repost, do all the things teams normally do, that you guys still fight through screens, still beat them to spots, still close out on shooters throughout the entire shot clock?
TIM DUNCAN: It takes five guys understanding what we're doing, understanding a game plan and sticking with it. Even with the repicks and the reposts and everything else, it might be a different guy in the play, but we've been sticking to what we do. I think that's a lot of credit to our coaching staff getting us prepared at that point, and five guys on the floor, whoever it may be, getting it done. Five of them played great tonight. Francisco stepped up and played really well for us, got us some stops, some rebounds, scored a couple points. We just get play from different people. I think guys continue to step up, guys that aren't usually there continue to step up for us.
Q. Were you surprised at the ease with which you and Tony got to the rim for dunks and easy lay-ups tonight?
TIM DUNCAN: I was surprised the first two shots I made that I got to the rim, yeah, absolutely. They adjusted their defense and I don't think I got as easy a look for the rest of the game. But to start the game, to come out of the gates and have two baskets like that helped me tremendously.
Q. And with Tony, too; he seemed to be able to get to the rim whenever he wanted?
TIM DUNCAN: Tony gets to the rim all the time, and there's no knocking anyone, the Cavs or anyone else. But with his quickness, his ability to finish in the lane, he gets in there almost at will. People make adjustments and he's got to make adjustments, too. I have no doubt they'll try to prevent that as much as possible and really pack that lane in. But night in and night out, he does it against just about anybody.