San Antonio is a rock. They’ve won 50-plus games in 14 straight seasons and are fighting for their Playoff lives in their 16th consecutive appearance. Now, the Spurs need to showcase some of that consistency to get a win in Game 5 Sunday night in what seems like a series of perpetual must-win games.
In a conference call with members of the media earlier today, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich spoke about the mindsets of players and their ability to respond to a loss: “You like to be a little bit more on an even keel, and perform the same way each night. The only thing I can tell myself after all these years is you’re dealing with people with emotions, and not robots.”
Popovich continued, “They come out and they all play hard, but there’s that little intangible. That little spark of intensity. A little bit of fear that seems to kick in when you’ve lost the previous game, and when you find teams that can get over that, those are the Championship teams.”
It’s clear Popovich has had a hand in building the Spurs from the ground up to embody those characteristics. When describing his team’s approach to Game 5, it didn’t stray from the theme of consistency.
“After a game like last night, players are smart, they don’t need to be told how many turnovers they had,” said Popovich. “They feel it, and they’ll respond in that regard and they’ll play well enough—or they won’t. But it won’t be because of lack of effort. They’ll stay pretty consistent.” —Daniel Friedman