San Antonio Spurs 125, Miami Heat 95: The Spurs have been around longer than the Heat, and it showed

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AT&T Center–In the Miami Heat locker room before the game, on the white board coaches like to put together with pre-game notes for players, Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra asked his team a question: Where do we stand?

Among the list of keys to the game, along with strategic things like denying three-point shooters open looks and swarming Tim Duncan, was a call to show resolve when things were not going well, trust under pressure, and play with enthusiasm.

The Miami Heat literally did none of those things, letting Manu Ginobili score on the opening tip on their way to a 36-12 first quarter deficit and a 30-point loss.

Where do the Heat stand? The same place as where they started when the Decision trio first united, as an undeniably dominating collection of talent hastily thrown together with scraps, that is still learning how to deal with adversity.

“We need this adversity. I’ve learned that the quickest way to bring change in this league is through adversity,” Spoelstra said before the game. “Those events, as long as they don’t break you, can fast track you towards what you want to do.”

These San Antonio Spurs have seen those battles and fought those fights, having long ago proven themselves a hundred times over. In a question of talent versus chemistry, chalk tonight up to the team that wasn’t practically  just assembled yesterday.

As LeBron James pointed out before the game, the players on the Heat have played plenty of close games, but this is the first go around that they have played them as a team. The difference in experience is noticeable.

“They know exactly what you’re going to do defensively. Whatever you do or whatever you try and take away, they have a counter for,” James said. “You take away the roll on the pick-and-rolls and they’ll hit the guy in the corner for the three. Take away the threes and they hit the guy going to the rim.

“They’ve seen every situation and they’ve seen every defense, and right now they’re just clicking on all cylinders,” he added. “Everyone on their team has confidence. They all believe that when they get the ball they can make a play to help their team.”

You can accuse LeBron James of many things, but you cannot question his basketball intelligence–his assessment is spot on. Of the eight rotation players that played (Antonio McDyess was given the night off), every single one of them reached double digits in scoring.

Manu Ginobili was the catalyst once again, scoring 11 of his 20 points in the first quarter, and seven assists. He and Parker (15 points and eight assists in a surprise start) might not be the top five players that LeBron James and Dywane Wade are, but they do enough to open up the games of the rest of their teammates.

And while Tony Parker was passing to Richard Jefferson who was driving and kicking to Matt Bonner for an open three-pointer, or Neal was passing up an open three-pointer of his own to find Bonner for a better look, or Bonner was catching a pass out of a Ginobili pick and roll (Bonner was open a lot), the Heat were a mess.

When adversity struck, it was LeBron James and Dywane Wade going one against the world, each picking up two fouls apiece in the first quarter, each of them on offensive fouls.

At times they’re talented enough individually to put together successful runs in stretches, as they did in getting the lead back within 10 in the first half behind LeBron James’ 15-point second quarter outburst.

But the singular approach eventually gave the Spurs something to focus their defense on, while the Heat defensive rotations were three, sometimes four steps behind where the Spurs were moving the ball.

“We were really focused,  starting the game strong defensively and offensively,” Ginobili said. “That gave us a lead pretty quick and that really got us going. We were feeling great, shots were falling, and of course when that happens, everything becomes easier.

“We know they jump out on pick-and-rolls hard and were were trying to move the ball, find the open teammate, and we did that great.”

Spoken like a man who has been there before.

 

  • junierizzle

    I know the other Elite teams have beaten the Heat as well but man, this was the most focused I’ve seen The Spurs play all year. Even when the lead was cut to 10, they(like always) never rattled. Only 8 turnovers. Wow!

    TP dominated just like he should against this team. Manu has quietly put together a nice string of games.

    I don’t see how they can’t play the same way on Sunday against The Lakers. Not that I’m expecting a blow out.

  • Hobson13

    Wow! What was the highlight of the night? Perhaps the highlight of the night was the fact that Parker started and had the highest +- of any player on the court or maybe the fact that Duncan was talking sh*t after only 12 minutes of basketball (Game Over!). LOL!!! The Spurs really couldn’t have played much better with 8 players scoring in double digits.

    IMO the most telling story was the fact that outside of Miami’s Big 3, the Heat scored 33pts. The Spurs players minus their Big 3 scored 79pts. That was the game. The Heat’s Big 3 are probably the best in the game. The rest of that team is easily outclassed. The Spurs, on the other hand, have 3 All-star players and then 6 other good role players.

    I still can’t believe Parker played in this game. What a crazy ass week! First we lose Parker for 2-4 weeks, then we get blown up in Memphis. Next we barely miss out on getting Corey Brewer who ends up going to the Mavs. Then today Parker appears out of the blue and we destroy the Heat in what may be our best performance of the season. My how quickly fortunes change in the NBA.

  • ruth bader ginobili

    Geez, who saw that coming?

    Great to see ‘Bron and Wade taking the shots the Spurs wanted them to take. Even their best drives seemed to end in 4 foot shots (and not lay-ups).

    But the story is really about our offense, right? Getting those looks against a great defensive team is a good sign for the playoffs. Of course, making everything helps too.

  • Mitch

    GO SPURS GO!

    One of, if not the best game of the season so far. Lets take it to the Lakers on Sunday!

  • The Beat Counselor

    Our transition defense was excellent tonight.

    Now I hate when we go ultra-small as much as the next person. And I definitely got a little worked up in the 2nd qtr when Pop went extra-small (with RJ at the 4 and DeJuan at the 5) and we practically let the Heat back into the game.

    But not too long later, as I was enjoying Othyus Jeffers’ game in garbage time, I got to thinking: did Pop in his infinite wisdom, go small and sacrifice part of the lead so that he could up the tempo so that the already exhausted Heat would run themselves into the ground?

    Hmmmm…not sure if I would be looking at both sides of this coin if the game weren’t a blow-out…

  • David

    This was a fantastic game start to finish, even the so called garbage time guys did their job. Great game start to finish, good to see Manus three ball coming back

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com deadeye4021

    What a game! I didn’t think the silver and black would dominate the way they did. I was happy the home team brought their “A” game and didn’t let this opportunity to spread even more fear to the rest of the league pass them by. Their three point barrage and defensive prowess were ultra impressive. While the threes will come and go, if they can keep the same defensive effort up against the Lakers Sunday and into the playoffs there is no reason this TEAM can’t go all the way.

    GO SPURS GO

  • spurholic in Mumbai

    Now if we could do an encore on Sunday and then repeat, threepeat, fourpeat the same level of performance over and over again times till the season is over in June with the LoB in TD’s calm hands!

    Scary, the level of execution during the game. Should give the team the right level of confidence against the Lakers. Go spurs go.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com deadeye4021

    And by defensive prowess I mean hustle and not giving up layups or threes. Over the course of a seven game series those three areas will equal wins.

  • Buckets

    I wonder what Barkley will say about the Spurs after this performance?

  • Silverwulf

    As a Bulls fan, who has always had a lot of respect for what you guys do down there in San Antonio … (would love to take you guys on in the Finals :-) … Congratulations on an outstanding performance. That was about as fun a game to watch as I’ve seen all year.
    I love solid defense and crisp offensive execution … and you guys put on a clinic in those departments tonight.
    Good Luck Sunday

    Silverwulf

  • rob

    If ever there is a thing as a perfect game…this game was as close to perfect as it got. When the Spurs can play defense like last night and execute offensively like they did it’ll be hard not to think they can win it all.

    Chemistry>Talent? It was in this game. Even the new kid in town Jeffers looked poised to become a good role player. This year’s bench and Pop’s masterful way of rotating/resting players is becoming a text book way of operating a team without breaking the bank.

  • http://meong.posterous.com/ meong

    when all the cylinders are clicking, the spurs are fun and exciting to watch. the spectacle of tony parker’s wolverine like healing was well played in the media but the game was really something. the barrage of threes, jefferson’s semi aggressiveness and the seamless passing probably sealed the game from the get go. the heat never really found an answer for the whole 48 minutes. i hope they will bring a portion of that fire into the next game in la.

  • Rey

    I guess that’s what happens when you surround three egoistic talents with a lot of mediocre role players and make them face a team that’s filled with three egoless talents with a benchful of great role players who are also not full of themselves.

    And if your center’s “talent” is bullying a point guard that’s way much smaller than him – but still get his butt kicked by that point guard in every opportunity – then you got yourself a doomed team.

    The Heat are way overrated. Honestly, I’m more worried about facing the Hawks or the Magic (and that’s saying a lot!) in the Finals than them. It’s already showing now in the second half – a bunch of me-first players who seem to not realize that basketball is a five-man game.

    It was no surprise seeing the Spurs win on this one. I’ll take chemistry and humility anytime over hype and selfishness.

  • gahid

    Rey
    March 5th, 2011 at 5:07 am •I guess that’s what happens when you surround three egoistic talents with a lot of mediocre role players and make them face a team that’s filled with three egoless talents with a benchful of great role players who are also not full of themselves.
    ……………………………………………..
    It was no surprise seeing the Spurs win on this one. I’ll take chemistry and humility anytime over hype and selfishness.
    ……………………………………………..

    Amen brother!!!!

  • clearlybehind

    Great game.. It was a statement. Hope we can make many more statements when the top teams are well prepared. Proves yet again that TP is indispensable to the system as much as TD and MG. He may not be as fired up as Manu but he gets great shots for his teammates even if assists will not show that.

    TD must be watching a lot of movies of late to make the “Game Over!” only about 3 times in the FIRST quarter. Did not think he was capable of that! Maybe once in a while he lets loose.

    I disagree with the statement that Heat is a selfish team, atleast as far as playing basketball is concerned. They will figure out playing together with time. Wade and James are used to dominating in their own style but they are nowhere near selfish. Unlike Kobe and Shaq, who had issues, they can co-exist and with some solid role players and system will be able to get to greater heights.

  • TD = Best EVER

    The Heat’s problem is simple – THEY CAN’T SHOOT it outside of 15 ft. so basically SAG CITY. RJ/Manu just kept backing off and daring King James/Flash to take the mid-range jumper. Which is not what they are best at. So yes if we can execute our Defensive game plan and make our 3-point shots like that, number 5 is definitely on the way.

  • Bankshot21

    I am going to guess I’m the only one who was unimpressed by Jeffers’ game. May be too small of a sample size but in the short time he was on the court he appeared to be a black hole. The ball would get to him and no one would see it unless going for the offensive board.

  • Rowrbazzle

    Well-written article. Really enjoyed it.

    I think last night belonged to Parker. Even though Ginobili’s numbers might have been a bit better, Parker was about as good as a player can be (well, aside from the 4 TOs). If the NBA counted assists like the NHL I imagine his stat line would look even better. He lead the team with a +31, despite playing only 23 minutes. In fact, every Spur was positive tonight.

  • Bankshot21

    And all of you pin pointing what’s wrong with the Heat need to give it a rest. This team still has an awesome record and is capable of giving anyone a run for their money on any given night. Spoelstra needs to make his rotations a lot better. They have 3pt bombers just like we do so to say all the D has to do is sag is way off base. Those guys didn’t get much time. House and Jones are knock down shooters and Jones can also play D. Chalmers can play. They need to allow him to run the point and quit going back and forth with Wade and LeBron. I don’t think Joel Anthony got a single minute of playing time yet he’s a rim protector. I’m normally an advocate of assessing the blame to the people who pass and take the shots (players) but with this team I feel Spoelstra is @ fault. Not because of the way he handles his stars but the fact that he is not maximizing the role players.

  • cay

    Give Jeffers a break. He’s got 10 day contract, he’s got to do something. Additionally he just saw Novak get signed for the year by…shooting the ball if it was in his hands longer than .2 seconds. He may not end up being great but he’s doing what he’s got to do.

  • rob

    @Bankshot21

    “The ball would get to him and no one would see it unless going for the offensive board.”

    My guess (Jeffers) was given the green light just to see how he would handle the situation. 2 points, 2 boards, 1 assist, 1 TO plus adequate D in only 8 minutes of play being the first time he ever played for the team without practice. Not too bad.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Bankshot21

    “And all of you pin pointing what’s wrong with the Heat need to give it a rest. This team still has an awesome record and is capable of giving anyone a run for their money on any given night.”

    Way to pub the record again…. gotta love it when that’s all people say. But my point is simple, we had a game plan. To pack it in and force Wade/LBJ to beat us with jumpers. And they can’t shoot.

    And why is Jones/House not playing more.

    Well they play the 2/3 positions – And any coach who benches Wade/LBJ for Jones/House would definitely be fired. You could run house a bit at point, but he isn’t very good their and Chalmers played last night, just was very ineffective.

  • rob

    To follow up regarding Jeffers, I would also assume the Spurs, never seeing him play in game time situation, would want to see exactly what he would do in order to have some sort of basis to evaluate what they need to do to help him improve.

  • The Pragmaticist

    Jeffers comes with a reputation for almost an ideal Spurs make-up, so my guess is he was doing as he was told.

    Nice to see more Splitter time. Despite Z making those jumpers over him, he seemed to be defending better – more controlled, less temptation to bite on feints designed to play on his eagerness for help defense and open up his own man.

    The Spurs might actually be getting even better.

  • trade TP in 2 seasons

    Loved the beat down last night. Currently living in Cleveland I wanted to see a career ending injury to LeBron, however, 30 point loss and the 2 offensive fouls in the 1st was BEAUTIFUL.

    1. Tim talking trash- AWESOME.

    2. Bonner being wide open and HITTING them in a quasi-big game = priceless. Now if he can do that one game in the playoffs I might lay off of him.

    3. Coaching- I think I should get all the credit for Pop’s game plan. Start Manu, uptempo offense, start Blair, RUN the ball, Not try to dominate with Tim: all things I have been saying for three years. I will gladly accept a role as an assistant for one year.

    4. The game started with Manu. His energy is the reason that we play like we do. Period. Anyone who complains about the shots, the drives, any thing else is WAAAY of base. He is the reason we go. He has been for multiple years. Its funny to look at the posts and comments from typical fans and media about how only “scoring” matters. Anyone who has played the game should know that simple scoring does not make you a good player. It doesnt even make you a great player. There will come a time when people learn how to really evaluate a WHOLE game analysis of each player. Once that happens the NBA will be more competitive and A LOT more fun to watch. Instead of now where you have a league full of gunners, playing against people who have no clue how to defend.

    Stat sheet fillers are better than high scoring players 99% of the time.

    Congrats to Tony for actually toughing up so far this year.

    Great Game from all participants.

    Stat of the night = only 8 TOs for us. Parker 4 Duncan 2 Neal 1 Jeffers 1

    Too bad the WCF will really be the finals this year right?

  • irongiantkc

    We probably won’t be abl to hang with the big boys unless we make som major roster changes. Don’t be fooled. This game means nothing. We’re still going to be blown out in the first round of the playoffs. Just you wait. Once, we start playing the big boys, we’re going to be exposed for the pretenders we really are. Right, TD=BE?

    OR NOT.

    Go Spurs Go! Beat LA!

  • Nima K.

    So now we know we’ve got the power to stand up and defeat an Eastern conference elite team with confidence.

    So now the question is can we be consistent with this level of playing. I like to keep that Memphis game as a cautionary tale, just so that we remember what can happen if we slump into apathy and hopelessness. TP is an essential piece of the Spurs, but this game with Miami showed us that we’re a frikin team, and that’s why we won.

    Let’s now focus on LA, and let’s disappoint Mark Cuban by not losing to LA and the barrage of tough opponents to come next.

    Well done to ALL spurs players. You make us proud.

  • idahospur

    The Heat need to develop a bench, that’s what really hurts them. Sadly, I believe they had to give up a lot of draft picks to Cleveland and Toronto to sign LeBron and Bosh so it will be hard to get younger talent on board.

    In the first quarter, every time Wade or LeBron was coming down the court it looked like the Spurs knew exactly their first move and stopped the play before it was even set up.

    In the second quarter, I was getting nervous (even with the big lead) when we had Blair at the 5 and RJ at the 4.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ irongiantkc

    “We probably won’t be abl to hang with the big boys unless we make som major roster changes.”

    1st – I have given up on anything close to major changes at the deadline.

    2nd – If anyone can tell me what Splitter/Anderson/Quinn and the like have done to ensure this or any other major win we have gotten this year, then ya I would have been foolish to say anything about moving them. But they haven’t so the talks of trades were spot on and should have been pursued, if for nothing else to ensure that our team has the best chance possible, THIS YEAR.

    It confuses me that so many of the cheerleaders who post here can’t understand that. If you all loving cheering so much and want to win so much, how can someone saying trade the 11th or 12th man and a draft pick kick up such a fire storm.

  • rob

    @ TD=BE

    “If you all loving cheering so much and want to win so much, how can someone saying trade the 11th or 12th man and a draft pick kick up such a fire storm.”

    You know for a fact the Spurs were offered or turned down any offers prior to trade deadline with that same scenario?

    If you do…your inside knowledge is better than the staff of the 48.

    Let’s say the Spurs WERE offered or offered such a scenario…could it be the cost of what the other team was wanting was more than the Spurs were willing to part for the TOTAL good of the team?

    If your knowledge is of that as well…What the Hell Are You Doing Posting on a Blog Site? Go do your job and make it happen.

    By the way….fans do cheerlead for their favorite team…it’s part of being a fan.

  • Bruno

    @TD = Best EVER if we trade JA and Splitter right now, will get any better!!!! And they will be important next year!!

  • rob

    @ TD=BE

    It’s hard making a sarchastic remark as I just did without it sounding as being smug…my comment of “What the Hell…” was meant to be taken as toungue-n-cheek and not rude.

  • Dillonc44

    I just hope this amazing performance doesn’t go to their heads and they play as if they were avenging a loss against the Lakers on Sunday. These wins are for us fans to marvel at, not them. The Heat really need to learn how to defend the three, 16 and 17 threes against you in two nights! GSG

  • Casey

    So, where is Captain Late?

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ rob
    I’m not saying I know of a trade because how could I. What I’m saying is that most trades I proposed involved our end of the bench guys and it seems like winning a title this year should be more important than you 11th man. But on here people jumped down my throat just for saying I think we need X… whatever X is, and most of them have nothing to back up there statement other than our record.

    Just doesn’t make sense……

    How many good teams have come close only to realize they were one role player short….. Our Series VS the Mavs in 2006 might have turned out differently if he had one more piece. May be we would have been up 5 instead of 3 in the closing moments of game 7.

  • Kevin

    I really don’t see the point of throwing the future away to get role players, especially when these pickups guarentee NOTHING.

  • duaneofly

    TD=BE, our 06 series against the Mavs would have turned out differently if Manu didn’t foul Dirk and give him a 3 point play.
    You’re right that Splitter and Quinn have done nothing, which is why I find it weird that you think any other team would give us someone worth while for the two of them and the upcoming #30 draft pick.
    Going by your trade logic, next season the Celtics would easily be able to trade Shaq and Jermaine, plus whomever else needed to make salaries match, and draft picks to the Magic for Dwight Howard. I mean, Howard is going to be a free agent, it’d be better for the Magic to trade him immediately and get some cap space and late first round picks instead of risk losing him in free agency.

    On top of all that, the trade deadline has passed. The “best” pickings of buyouts have been picked up (Murphy, Bibby, Brewer) and nobody released now can even be picked up for the playoffs. So give it a rest man. Complain about something else if you want, but stop it with the Spurs not doing a trade and not picking up a bought out player, because there is nothing the Spurs could do about that now.

  • Colin

    I’m tired of EVERYTHING being about the Heat whether they win or lose! The media simply slants it as a Heat failure when they lose and shower them with “heroic performances” when they win.

    Yet, here are the Spurs. A Tim Duncan team who has won 4 RINGS, Poppovich who arguably is the coach of the decade regarding the talent on his roster, and barely a blip regarding their accomplishment thus far.

    Poppovich does a better job “coaching up” his roster than any other coach in the league. Forget Phil Jackson with Jordan, Pippen, Grant, Rodman, Shaq, Kobe, Odom, Gasol.

    Poppovich has had Duncan, Robinson, Parker, and Ginobili and simply filled in the parts around them for over a decade. Period. Someone else name a coach who can do that? Anyone?

    It is agreed that the Spurs don’t have the star power of the Heat. They simply have a better team from top to bottom. They have more guys who contribute more on a nightly basis. Without mentioning Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili. The Heat don’t have guys like Bonner, Neal, Hill, Blair, or Jefferson who at any point, all can score double figures every night of the season. Do the Lakers have that? Maybe. The Mavs? Yes. Celtics? Yes. Bulls? Maybe. The Heat? No.

    Quit talking about the Heat! They will fail in the playoffs!

    The Spurs WON this game and did it very decisively. They made a statement! Who cares if it’s a segababa or whatever bullshit you guys say? The Heat came in so-called desperation mode and laid their biggest egg of the season.

    Look at the Celtics in ’07-08 with their additions of Allen and Garnett, they simply played and won the championship. There were no conversations of chemistry or bench play or motivation or “coming together as a team.” They simply played and won with little conversation of how they did it. The Heat haven’t and won’t as long as Lebron James is the player he is.

    Go Spurs! Let’s hope the they can retain the #1 seed and have to only face the Lakers or Mavs once. That will be a helluva a series. Seriously, this is the best Mavs team I’ve ever seen them have.

  • KOC

    Thankfully, they never showed the prison rape scenes in “Shawshank Redemption.” But I’m pretty sure last night was an accurate representation.

  • Flavor

    I for one don’t like the fact that people forget we have TIM FREAKING DUNCAN on our team. He is playing great D.

  • rj

    anyone know why james anderson was deactivated? strange. he played some solid defense on lebron in the preseason. thought maybe he could get a shot against he or wade. spurs put on a clinic. it was a clash between a team representing basketball ad a team, X O sport vs the NBA, ESPN sensationalism. they whole country may not be talking about the spurs, but they will talking about chemistry and teamwork trumping talent.

  • Mike T

    Was Jesse’s misspelling of “Dwyane” Wade’s name intentional? He spelled it “Dywane” a couple of times. I just thought that was funny. Also, it’s great to hear Coach Spo talking about adversity “fast tracking” the cHeat to what they want to do when facing a team that is famous for pounding the rock.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ duaneofly

    “Going by your trade logic, next season the Celtics would easily be able to trade Shaq and Jermaine, plus whomever else needed to make salaries match, and draft picks to the Magic for Dwight Howard.”

    I won’t even try to explain to you why this is totally different from what I was talking about. You either get the NBA and trade logic or you don’t.

    “On top of all that, the trade deadline has passed. The “best” pickings of buyouts have been picked up (Murphy, Bibby, Brewer) and nobody released now can even be picked up for the playoffs. So give it a rest man. Complain about something else if you want, but stop it with the Spurs not doing a trade and not picking up a bought out player, because there is nothing the Spurs could do about that now.

    Again do you try hard not to read/understand the flow of a conversation……

    Read the comments above the trade talk and you would understand that I said the same thing. So I’m not talking more trades. I said I don’t understand why me talking trades before the deadline pissed so many people off…….

  • irongiantkc

    TD=BE
    The reason why you frustrate me is because you perfectly illustrate one of the oldest criticisms of science. A poet might say a flower is pretty, but you would tear it apart petal by petal to illustrate that, while it could be considered pleasant, it would not meet the scientific criteria for it to be clinically considered beautiful. It just seems like you tear every game apart, win or lose (but especially if we win) to show us why it doesn’t really count as a good win.

    Yep, I’m a cheerleader and I foolishly allow myself to enjoy wins all year long, even in the winter. You’ve criticized the team so much this year, that even if we do win it all, you won’t be thrilled like us cheerleaders, you’ll only be relieved that we were able to luck out over all of our obvious weaknesses that were ignored all year.

    As for me, I’m going to be thrilled for every one of our flawed, undersized, humble guys. Maybe it’s because they remind me of me…at least the flawed and undersized part.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ rj

    I’m not sure why Anderson was on the bench in favor of Novak. Jeffers gets a pass because you have to see what he can do. But we all know I think what Novak can do, unless he has shown something in practice that we haven’t seen in a game. And putting him against Wade/LBJ would have been interesting to see. As most of our players don’t have the size/strength to really do anything to them save him and Jefferson.

  • d.iyer

    @Colin

    I agree with you about Pop. I don’t understand how nobody talks about his coaching. Everyone talks about Phil Jackson as the greatest coach ever. I am not saying that Phil isn’t a great coach. I think of him as a coach who is able to manage egos and strong personalities. He is more of a psychologist type of a coach. Sure, he has coached the likes of Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman with great success. Then Kobe, Shaq, and Artest. But he has had all the talent in the world to work with. Pop has had a legend in TD, very good players in Manu and TP. The rest are mainly players that Pop knew how to maximize their talents and make it work for the system.

    Phil doesn’t have the basketball IQ that Pop does. Also, Pop and the Spurs organization don’t mess with players who carry psychological baggage. Pop isn’t going to put up with that stuff. He is here to coach “grown men”, not to babysit players. It is all about winning the right way and winning quietly.

    All in all, Pop is the best coach I have ever seen.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Colin & d.iyer

    +10 both of you

    I think Pop is definitely top 5. I think there are a couple other coaches that I have seen get alot done with little. Sloan / Larry Brown. It’s so hard to compare coaches because of who they coached. It’s kind if like trying to compare Kobe to Duncan. Many would say Kobe hands down. Although I would argue TD was way more dominant on the Defensive end and in his Prime, he made players like Brent Barry studs in this system. More so than Kobe did with players like Fisher, etc……..
    But as you can see very hard to make an accurate comparison.

    I would probably put him tied for 2nd.

    Or even better if someone could write an article and give us a chance to really weigh in. We would need certain criteria though. Like – years or coaching, number of wins, playoff wins, HoF’s coached, etc

  • grego

    @RJ

    Spurs have 14 men on their roster with the Novak re-signing and Jeffers 10-day contract.

    Not sure why Novak gets the nod over Anderson, but I can see why Jeffers would with Parker just getting back and them wanting to see what Jeffers could do (since he did play).

  • Colin

    @TD=BE

    Good analysis. Here’s my 2 cents on the coaches you mentioned

    Sloan =very, very good coach who has been to, and lost, two NBA finals to Jordan’s Bulls. Any other year, he would have the title. Stockton and Malone are legends as well as Tom Chambers and Jeff Hornacek who really thrived under Sloan. Excellent teams to watch. I remember the Spurs having a helluva time losing to those teams in the mid-90’s with Rodman (the Madonna years) and Robinson.

    Larry Brown=very good coach but not in the class as Poppovich, maybe Sloan. He has one title largely due to the best mid-season trade ever for Rasheed Wallace. That pick up could be compared to the Gasol deal of the Lakers. The second year (’05) they lost in 7 games to the Spurs.

    Phil Jackson is in a class of his own. But not without a caveat of having coached some of the best multiple players to ever play the game. Jordan, Shaq, and Bryant, as well as some serious big game role players in Rodman, Odom, Gasol, Horace Grant, Robert Horry, etc, etc.

    Thank goodness Horry came our way or else we wouldn’t have won in ’05 against the Pistons. Anyone remember that left handed dunk he had in the lane?! One of the best dunks in traffic I’ve ever seen in crunch time…..and that 3 from the wing in the same game! Truly, truly a clutch athlete.

    Poppovich has coached one…..Tim Duncan, the best power forward ever. Again, arguably Poppovich has “coached up” more teams than any other coach in the league. I mean, take away Tim Duncan and what do the Spurs have? Some really good role players I think.

    All in all, if we are taking consistency, arguably Poppovich has done more with less year in and year out. Hopefully he retires when Duncan does.