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NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: GRIZZLIES v SPURS


May 27, 2013


Mike Conley, Jr.

Marc Gasol


MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: Game Four

San Antonio – 93
Memphis ‑ 86


Q.  Frustrating, you were able to get within three there but just never could get past three.  What were the Spurs doing that just kept you from being able to make that last close?
MARC GASOL:  A little bit of everything.  They were getting stops, and they were executing very well offensively, making some tough shots, ran when they had to, stopped, played with a lot of patience offensively, and defensively blocked the paint.  They're a good team.

Q.  Mike, all year long you guys have been known for your defense, defense, defense, but whatever you did Tony Parker always had an answer for you.  Can you talk about what you could have probably done different or was there just nothing to stop him?
MIKE CONLEY:  He was in a zone.  They play so well together that any adjustment we'd make, they'd make another one.  We'd play them well for about 18 seconds on the shot clock and then he'd make a play.  You know, that's why he's one of the best and they're headed to The Finals.

Q.  Getting this far for the first time ever, what can you take out of this series as you kind of look forward, because we've seen teams through the years, they get a step at a time, so what do you take out of the series as you look forward?
MARC GASOL:  I think tomorrow will be a better day than it is right now.  Right now it's too early.  It's too recent.  We just wanted to win tonight and be able to play another game, and we were not able to pull it off.  We played, we hustled, and we just didn't have enough.  We just didn't have enough to go over the hump and win for ourselves and for our people.  It was real hard.

Q.  Mike, do you see from afar what Tony Parker has evolved into?  Coach Popovich talked about he was once just a scorer and now he's a true point guard.  Do you see yourself evolving into a similar type of role?
MIKE CONLEY:  Well, I do.  I feel like we have similar games.  Tony, we're kind of‑‑ started hitting his stride around the same time, his sixth year, fifth year in, and I'm following that same path, and I feel like one day I'll be able to do the same things he's doing.

Q.  Mike, when you first got to Memphis, the Grizzlies had a small core of fans that over the years has grown.  Talk about the love that's reciprocal between you and how the city has treated you the past few years?
MIKE CONLEY:  The city has been great.  They've had to endure the good and the bad and stuck with us.  They're loyal, they've been there for us, and I'm proud of them for being there and helping push us through, supporting us when we weren't good, and now that we're making strides in the right direction, they're still there, they're still supporting.  That means the world to all of us, and it's tough on us to let them down, like tonight.  So we'll be back.

Q.  I know the ownership is committed to having both of you for the long‑term.  How much input do you expect to have and how much do you want to have in terms of how they put the pieces around you guys going into next season because obviously there's going to be a lot of question marks?
MARC GASOL:  I think it's too early now to talk about that.  I think it's way too early.  I think tomorrow is going to be, like I said, a different day.  Right now I think the game just‑‑ as soon as I close my eyes tonight, the game is going to start all over again, I have no doubt about that.  It happened before, and it will for sure tonight.
I think it's too early to talk about anything else but the game.

Q.  The identity stuff, it certainly helps us do our jobs, the fans love it.  Inside the locker room and behind closed doors is it something that matters to you guys?
MARC GASOL:  What do you mean?

Q.  The grit and grind, the identity that's been sculpted around this team?
MARC GASOL:  No doubt, that's who we are.  That's who we play for, not just the don’t bluff, grit and grind, not just that, but that comes there for a reason.  We scratch, we claw, we fight.  It doesn't always have to be pretty, but we always get it done‑‑ well, not always, of course not always, but we always try as hard as we can.  When the other team is just better than you and you give it your all, you're able to sleep at night a lot better than if you just give up.
But even though it's tough to lose 4‑0, we gave it all.  We fought, we just‑‑ they taught us a lesson how to play at this stage, this far into the season, this far into the Playoffs.  They taught us a lesson how to execute, how to play, how to read schemes.  They taught us a lesson all around.
I think we're going to be better because we played against to me one of the greatest teams there's been in the past 15 years.  I think we're going to learn, we're going to create habits that are going to work for us in our best.

Q.  Coach Popovich talked about they didn't invent some new defense in the post, that was a lot of just pure effort.  Was that the case and what was so effective about what they do to you in the post?
MARC GASOL:  They made you catch the ball a little off the post, and they didn't double‑team like they used to before.  They didn't come from the baseline‑‑ they came from the baseline a couple times, they forced you to the baseline, but they wide shoot, they came from the other side, from the weak side, forcing you to skip pass.  They put pressure on the elbow so I couldn't go high‑low with Zach, so I was forced to skip the ball to the corner so the other big had to come across.  But that's just a little portion of the game.
We'll get better.  We'll learn.  We'll watch tape.  We'll see what happened, why it happened.  We'll create better habits, and I'm sure we'll come out better, because experience, that's what it takes.  You've got to go through experience even though it's hard to lose, and we all hate it.  It kind of teaches us a lot.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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