Gregg Popovich: Spurs Played Like Dogs

by April 19, 2010

Pop was, ahem, less than thrilled with his team’s performance in the opening game of the Mavs series. From the Star-Telegram: “Gregg Popovich had yet to address his players when he met the media a few minutes after the San Antonio Spurs’ 100-94 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night. He didn’t say exactly why, but presumably it was for their health. Bystanders reported that when Pop left the floor after losing Game 1 of the Spurs’ first round series, he opened his mouth and flames spurted out. Pop the magic dragon was not a happy camper. ‘I think we have to have more people step up and play worth a damn,’ the Spurs coach said. ‘We had a lot of guys play like dogs.’ Dogs, of course, can be a bit sloppy, which, coincidentally, is how Popovich described the Spurs and their 17 turnovers. But when asked if he was surprised by that, he attempted diplomacy… but wasn’t really successful. ‘We’ve been capable of doing that before,’ he said. ‘So it’s not a surprise.’ He wasn’t smiling. The Spurs lost a first-round series in five games to the Mavericks last year, but in that series Pop devised a defense to try and contain Dirk Nowitzki, and he was reasonably pleased with the results. Sunday night, however, he chose to play Dirk straight up most of the night, and Nowitzki torched the Spurs for 36 points.”