Gregg Popovich has seen a ton of basketball over his 20 years as the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. He has seen players come and go while continuing to create a winning culture down in Texas that never really seems to falter.
During this second round series, the head coach has laid his eyes on some disheartening play by his roster against the Houston Rockets. In Game 1, they took it on the chin as their opponent thoroughly stomped them 126-99 on Monday.
Houston drained 22 three-point shots and just looked faster than the seasoned Spurs throughout that entire contest. Then, they responded well in Game 2 with a 121-96 victory, but lost their starting point guard Tony Parker to injury.
Without Parker on the floor on Friday night, the offence looked lost as they struggled to generate good looks early in the ballgame. San Antonio only netted 19 points in the first frame and shot 35 percent from the field.
After that display, Coach Pop had to give an interview during the intermission between quarters and he did not sound pleased. This was even more negative than he usually comes off because of their poor play.
The head man said: “I haven’t thought about that much, I’m watching the worst offence I’ve ever seen in my life.” Then when the reporter asked him to clarify he just repeated, “bad offence”.
Often times Pop has been prickly with the media as he shows a relative disdain for the entire enterprise of press conferences and answering questions from the media. This moment basically sums up what fans love about the grizzled head coach.
His statements must have done something to light a fire under his team because they came out and responded well. Both of his stars, Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, came out firing and finished with 26 points a piece en route to a 103-92 win.
Ball movement increased and when the role players received the ball, they did their jobs. One man who had been roundly criticised all series was Aldridge and he scored nine points in the fourth quarter to help put the game firmly out of reach.
LA had only scored 19 points in the first two games and stepped up when his coach needed him to help San Antonio snatch back home court advantage. The team will have to keep it going because Parker will not be back in this series as he had season ending surgery on his leg.
Luckily for Coach Pop, he still has a firm grip on what his team needs and he isn’t afraid to say it.News Now - Sport News