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Gregg Popovich deflects further comment on Avery Johnson firing

San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Popovich looks

San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Popovich looks on during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. (Nov. 29, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

SAN ANTONIO -- Gregg Popovich wasn't in much of a mood to talk about Avery Johnson's dismissal, given the awkward nature of the situation that presented itself Monday night.

Just like Johnson, Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo is a part of Popovich's coaching tree and spent five seasons with him here. So the Spurs' longtime coach admitted things were a little weird for him with the Nets in town days after Johnson was axed.

However, he didn't want to fan the flames, instead pointing to comments he made in the aftermath of Johnson's firing last week, when he indicated he didn't think Johnson got a fair shake.

"I already made a very concise statement about that situation," Popovich said. "I'm not going to go through it again.

"This is San Antonio. We don't talk much," he added, drawing chuckles. "We pretty much keep it in the locker room. We keep it to our ourselves. We don't care who you are or anything."

Popovich did praise Carlesimo's coaching acumen, though, and said he's hopeful the Nets will play well for him. The two spoke on the phone at least four times in the days leading into Monday night's matchup, a 104-73 Spurs victory.

"That's because he wanted to go eat after the game, [know] what restaurant to go to," Popovich said. "We didn't talk any basketball."

Wait, didn't Carlesimo figure that out while he was here?

"We have a lot of new places," Popovich said. "It's a very progressive town."

Green light

Danny Green continues to flourish with the Spurs, though not Monday night, when he had only three points and two rebounds in 16 minutes. The North Babylon native is averaging 10.2 points and shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range.

"If Danny has the ball," Popovich said, "he should shoot it. That's basically what he's done. At the other end of the court, his defense is more intuitive than it is Bruce Bowen-like. He blocks shots from behind. Sometimes we have him guard point guards.

"He's pretty smart in what he does defensively, but really, his confidence that he has amassed shooting the three has really served us well this year. He's gotten a lot of time to get that confidence and he's been great."

New York Sports