Despite a Game 1 that featured a number of Spurs franchise playoff records, the Spurs coaching staff is more interested in looking ahead instead of bragging about the win.
Head coach Gregg Popovich pointed out that the Spurs simply took care of business in the opener, and then reminded everyone about the 97-87 Kings win over the Spurs on April 5th. "Sacramento is one of the best teams in the league," said Pop. "They kicked our butts the last game we played them during the season. They'll come back. All that’s important now is preparing for the next game. It’s all even again." Assistant coach Don Newman reiterated that the Spurs will go into Tuesday night's game two as if it was game one, like the impressive performance in the opener didn't even take place.
The Spurs dominated in nearly phase of the game, including shooting percentage, rebounding, and bench scoring. The late regular season loss to the Kings clearly provided some motivation for the Silver and Black, and that was apparent from the opening seconds of the game, with a very aggressive Manu Ginobili hitting Ron Artest with an inadvertant elbow and then driving into a late closing Brad MIller at the basket. The Spurs were in attack mode from the outset, and the playoff intense crowd showed its appreciation.
The Spurs know that this is no time to relax and their playoff experience should ensure the same type of hungry effort in Game 2.
The Spurs will also have to be ready for a Sacramento team that suffered the worst playoff loss in franchise history, and will feel the need to establish themselves early in Game 2.
"We would have two less championships here if it wasn't for Manu Ginobili," Popovich said. "In my book, Manu Ginobili is the stud of the world.
Pop is trying to keep the players motivated. I don't think he needs to. Our veteran leadership know what time of year it is. Every game counts and they know it. But it is nice to hear Pop continuously reinforce the urgency in staying focused.
GO SPURS GO
It is what it is -- Bruce Bowen
When everyone thinks alike, no one thinks.-- Bill Walton
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