Gregg Popovich ‘Scared to Death’ as Spurs Advance to Second Round

by May 08, 2012

Gregg Popovich may be overseeing a basketball juggernaut that mows down opponents with extreme prejudice – the San Antonio Spurs have posted a stunning record of 30-5 since March 1st – but the brilliant head coach continues to fret over their fortunes as they go deeper into their postseason run. From the Express-News: “Coaches torture themselves over success, and Gregg Popovich has been lately. He’s been wondering out loud among his staff that, well, wouldn’t it be better to lose a game? ‘That’s why,’ one of his assistants kidded him, ‘you are coach of the year.’ Popovich wasn’t laughing. He’s felt the winning streak has become a burden, and he didn’t like the feel that a relaxed first round was giving his players. It’s the same reason he also dislikes 20-point leads in the first half. So what happened Monday, when the Spurs coughed and sputtered toward a sweep, gave him hope. Popovich can treat the latest win like a loss, and he will take the Spurs into the film room to see a few things. Or, as Stephen Jackson put it with a smile, ‘Pop’s got something to teach on.’ […] Asked after the game if getting some time off will help, he said flatly, ‘I don’t think it will.’ The Spurs might not play again for a week. That’s a lot of time to worry. But that’s also a lot of time to fix every one of Monday’s missteps, and it will have to begin with what went right. Popovich didn’t manage minutes this time; his players did. But Popovich will correct more. He will use what Monday gave him, and he will manufacture some anger, and he will approach what comes next as he always does. ‘As usual,’ he said, ‘scared to death.’”