Video: Gregg Popovich guards strategy for defending LeBron during in-game interview

Wednesday June 12th, 2013

ESPN's Doris Burke and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich make for an outstanding interview pairing, as the league's foremost coaching curmudgeon is confronted with legitimate questions from one of the best sideline reporters in basketball. Of course, great questions don't guarantee great, thoughtful answers. When asked about his team's approach to guarding LeBron James during the second half of Game 3, he delivered a perfect, guarded response worthy of a place in the greater Popovich canon:

Burke: LeBron James [scored] nine straight to end the quarter. What are you asking for from your defense on him?

Popovich: I can't tell you that. Interview antics aside, the Spurs had defended James well up to that point, holding him to just 13 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field and zero free throw attempts while forcing him into two turnovers. San Antonio's defense has very clearly prioritized its coverage on James over all other potential threats, primarily by loading up on his drives and challenging him to shoot from the perimeter. James missed on some great, open looks in Game 3, but ultimately struggled to find a productive rhythm in a 113-77 loss, finishing with just 15 points on 7-of-21 shooting. Game 4 of the Finals is Thursday in San Antonio.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.