After being defeated by the San Antonio Spurs 112-103 on Saturday evening, the Indiana Pacers felt they were beat by a team that has a chance to win the NBA Championship this season, as head coach Frank Vogel, forward Danny Granger, and guard Paul George spoke about the Spurs’ winning ability and their young rookie, Kawhi Leonard after the game.
First, coach Vogel gave some reasons why the Spurs are a serious contender.
“(They have a) Championship core,” said Vogel, “they have a legitimate shot to win it all. They have Gregg Popovich, Tony Parker, (Manu) Ginobili, and Tim Duncan.”
“That foursome is capable of doing anything,” continued Vogel, “they upgraded their bench, that spread four makes them very-very difficult to guard, so they’ve got to be in the conversation.”
Vogel also spoke of how the Spurs are no longer the traditional post-to-Duncan and fire out to three point shooters Spurs teams of the past, “They get to the rim or get to the free-throw line.” Said Vogel.
Even though his team lost, Vogel was content with his team losing by nine points in San Antonio, and not double-digits.
“They’re playing terrific, nobody’s coming in here (and winning), and we lost by nine.” Said Vogel after the game, “It’s the first time in five home games that a teams been down under eleven.”
George pointed to the Spurs’ chemistry as a veteran group as a major part of San Antonio’s success.
“They’re a veteran group, they’ve won championships together,” said George, “regardless of what their age is, experience will always outplay athleticism or youth.”
Granger also gave his thoughts on why the Spurs are so hard to defend.
“They execute so efficiently, they move the ball from side to side,” said Granger, “they get you in rotations and they have shooters all over the place.”
I also asked Granger what he thought about rookie Leonard, Granger thinks Leonard has a bright future in the NBA.
“He’s probably got the biggest hands I’ve ever seen on a basketball player first of all.” Began Granger, “I think he’s going to be a good young player, he can hit open shots, and he’s a pretty good defender.”
George talked about what adding Leonard and trading for Stephen Jackson does for the Spurs on defense.
“It brings a lot, Kawhi Leonard brings youth and length,” George said, “he’s a solid strong defender, and young in his career. Jack is an experienced defender, so they have a pretty deep team.”