Popovich loves rookie's performance despite Spurs' worst start in 35 years

Dusty GarzaContributor INovember 5, 2008

"Maybe I need to give better pre-game talks," said Gregg Popovich after seeing his Spurs open the game against the Dallas Mavericks without much energy and poor shooting.

"They shot the ball well and we did the opposite," said Popovich. We had pretty poor aggressiveness in the first half."

After trailing by seven at the end of the first quarter, the Spurs cut Dallas' lead to 30-27 with 8:34 before half time, but the Mavericks quickly shot out to a double-digit lead.

The Spurs came back after a half-time tongue lashing, showing more energy, but the hole they had dug themselves into was too much to overcome. It didn't help that the Mavericks continued to play and shoot the ball very well.

Finally making an appearance in his first regular season game, rookie George Hill not only impressed the fans, but his coach. "I thought he did great," said Popovich. "He did his best of trying to get into his first NBA game as much as he could. He's got great composure, mentally and physically. He's a tough kid. I was pleased with what he did."

Hill scored eleven points in fifteen minutes of play, including one 3 pointer.

"Yeah, yeah. He did a great job," said Tim Duncan.

Hill brought some energy after getting off the bench and sparked a Spurs run.

"That's one of the things I'm here for is to bring energy out there and pick up defense," said Hill.

Still it was hard to be excited solely about the individual performance. The Spurs are 0-3 and looking for their first victory as they play Minnesota tonight at Target Center.

"We're all a little pissed about the 0-3 start," said Tim Duncan. "It's still too early to hang our heads. We're going to turn this around (with a win in Minnesota), it's not like it's playoff time yet."