The San Antonio Spurs (44-9) lost to the Philadelphia 76ers (25-28) last night, 77 to 71, in Philadelphia on their Rodeo Road Trip.
After the game I caught up with the newest Spur, Steve Novak, and got his thoughts on the Spurs loss, playing for the Spurs, learning from "Coach B" and more.
Jeff: Spurs have a difficult time playing in Philadelphia. The Sixers have now won four straight games over San Antonio here in Philadelphia. What is it about this team at home that gives the Spurs troubles?
Steve: You know what? I just think tonight obviously on our side we just didn't shoot the ball well. But they [Sixers] played great. Look at how many deflections they had, how active they were on defense, I think they made it difficult for us to kind of get into what we needed to get into. I think on some plays they had deflections on three, four different passes. I think that they just played really good. And credit goes to them obviously. We've been playing well and we came in here and they were ready for us.
Is this loss to the Sixers a sign that fatigue might be setting in for this team in this long road trip?
No I don't think so. I think if any team that I've seen that has mastered in terms of keeping guys fresh and really understanding what the bodies feel like, I think it's these guys (Spurs). Coach Popovich does a great job at walk-throughs and practices in keeping guys fresh, even mentally. He doesn't over do things especially at this point. These are all veteran guys who have been through it so they know what to do with their bodies. So I don't think it's fatigue. I think if anything it's just we came in here and ran into a buzz saw with how well they were playing.
What happened towards the end of the game when the ball was in Ginboili's hands? Was that a play gone wrong or what the Sixers did defensively?
We wanted the ball in Manu's hands. But like I said a few times it was just how active they were defensively. We got the ball in tough spots and later in the clock than we wanted. That was kind of the case on that. We wanted him to have it but we didn't think it would be where he had the ball so it was good defense.
How was the bench reacting when Antonio McDyess fell into the crowd chasing the loose ball?
(laughs) We were just hoping he was OK. We know that's our job when we're out there. That ball goes flying out of bounds, it's your job to go get it. He's a tough dude. I think he banged his wrist up a little bit but he'll be alright. It was a big play at the time. He knew we needed to try to get it, so he went for it.
How is it coming from the Reno Bighorns of the D-League and now playing with the best team in the NBA?
You know it's great! I obviously have been around long enough to know what the Spurs stand for, who they are, what they have accomplished. From a distance, I think every team in the league admires the way they win and do things, the players they have. I knew for sure I was coming into a good situation. I obviously know it's just my job to come in and not disrupt anything and hope that I can add something.
OK admit it. You been taking basketball lessons from the instructional video series "The Fundamentals of the Game" with "Coach B" aka Matt Bonner.
(laughs) Yeah I saw those online actually. I haven't got a chance to watch because they just came out. I definitely plan on tuning into all of them.
Glad you caught up with Steve Novak. I am a native San Antonian who graduated from Marquette around the sametime as Steve Novak. Great character, a coach's son type of player. Shoots the ball lights out as others are starting to realize. I might even take him in a three point contest over Ray Allen. :)
I alos hope that Steve Novak stays with the Spurs his shooting and basketball experience will be good for the Spurs. Nice interview.