"It sounds like the playoffs,” said San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich to the variety of reporters awaiting his pregame press conference. For the Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder, it feels like a playoff game as familiar faces prepare to duel; only the Thunder have traded the “Beard” and brought in some replacements, while the Spurs will be missing their own crafty lefty tonight.
Manu Ginobili, who missed the Spurs’ season win against the New Orleans Hornets is once again out against the Thunder said Popovich. Though, he might be back this upcoming weekend.
“He’s out,” said Coach Pop,” (but) he’s really close (to return). I think he’ll be ok for the weekend.”
“It doesn’t change anything,” said coach Popovich of the Spurs facing the Thunder with new additions to their lineup. “(Kevin) Martin’s a veteran,” said Coach Pop, “it’s like us bringing Boris in last year. He doesn’t know everything yet, but it’s the NBA and its basketball, it’s not real tough.”
As for Thunder head coach Scott Brooks, he did discussed former player James Harden’s big opening night with the Houston Rockets in which Harden led the Rockets to a victory by scoring 37 points. However, Brooks is really only focused on his own team at the moment.
“We knew James is a good player,” said Brooks, “in three years he’s really developed. We’re real focused on our group and our guys moving forward. I’m excited.”