The San Antonio Spurs lost 95-91 to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night, dropping their road record to 13-1. Hey, that’s not undefeated, and head coach Gregg Popovich is frequently not even satisfied when the Spurs win.
So Pop, of course, was quite disappointed after an actual loss, and went off about how the Spurs “played 24 minutes again” (quotes via ESPN):
“We played 24 minutes again, as we have for about the last 10 games,” Popovich said. “We go through the motions in the first half. I think we shot one free throw in the first half. We shot four or so the second half. But we played harder in the second half. I don’t know if we played much smarter. Our opponents have outplayed us physically and execution-wise in most first halves for most of the season. So now we pull it together in the second half, and played harder and smarter and got it to [a] four [-point deficit]. That’s the disappointing part: We’re not a very consistent team, and we haven’t learned as a group that the game is 48 minutes. We also have some people playing very poorly. You have to participate in your own recovery. Some players have to play better.”
**Note: San Antonio is still 8-2 over those last 10 games**
And one reporter at the United Center asked Pop if it was his fault the Spurs weren’t mentally ready to play:
— Sam Panayotovich (@spshoot) December 9, 2016
Classic Pop, and he’s exactly right. These guys are getting paid millions to play professional basketball games, in front of thousands of people (and this game was a nationally televised one on TNT, so it was a much larger audience). Yes, a regular-season NBA in early December doesn’t have near the same intensity of a playoff game, but the players shouldn’t need a pep talk to get out there and take their job seriously.