"We watched a lot of film on [the Dallas guards] to see what they like to do, their strengths and their weaknesses, and the main thing I tried to do was take away their strengths."
--George Hill, San Antonio Spurs guard, discussing the key to their upset of the second-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2010 NBA playoffs. The Spurs move on to the second round to play the Phoenix Suns. Hill scored 21 points in the winning effort.
Homework and Hard Work
"I spent most of my summer working so I could be able to come in here and make big shots," Hill said.
Faith and Trust
“I’ve just got a lot of faith in them. I know owners say that all the time, but we’ve all been together for 14-15 years now. We understand how hard it is to have the kind of decade we’ve had, but also to be able to stay with it in a small market. I’ve got a lot of faith…I mean, I’ve got a lot of faith in these guys.”
--Peter Holt, San Antonio Spurs owner, talking in the corridor of the AT&T Center late Thursday about the staying power of his franchise.
After the six-game series against the Mavericks, the four-time NBA champion Spurs and head coach Gregg Popovich had advanced out of the first round for the 11th time in the past 13 seasons.
The Spurs never lost their composure after they lost a 22-point lead in the game, lost their touch at the free-throw line and Popovich finally blurted in the huddle:
“Next guy to miss a free throw owes me a car.”
On the way back to the court, Duncan, the worst of them all with six misses in seven tries, stared back blankly at his coach and asked, “What color do you want?”
Spurs Still Hungry
"This matchup was about which team came out and wanted it more," Mavs guard Jason Terry said. "I give the Spurs a lot of credit because they were the hungrier team."
Dreaming of the Challenge
“You dream about playing in big games like this that really count, and that’s the type of person I am,” Hill said. “I like to compete. I like the pressure. I like the challenge and things like that.”
“We’re thrilled that we beat them,” Manu Ginobili said. “We’re really proud of it.” Ginobili led the way with 26 points. Tim Duncan scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds.
Excerpts from Yahoo! Sports.com Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, NBCsports.com and Kens5.com San Antonio (April 30, 2010).
For more on the San Antonio Spurs, click on San Antonio Spurs, Peak Performance Case Study.