Gregg Popovich solidifies himself as greatest coach on opening day in Spurs win over Timberwolves
No Kawhi Leonard, no Tony Parker …. no problem for Pop.
The San Antonio Spurs held on for a 107-99 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on opening day. The Spurs were without leading scorer Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, but they had enough to hold off the new-look Timberwolves. LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 10 rebounds and Dejounte Murray had 16 points, five rebounds and two assists while starting in place of Parker.
Aldridge looked much more interested in playing basketball than he looked at any point last season. The Spurs have won 129 regular-season games since Aldridge joined the team, which is the best two-year span in the franchise’s history. Gregg Popovich in his 22nd season at the helm of the San Antonio Spurs, the longest tenured coach with the same team, improved to 19–2 in season openers (lost to the Suns in 2008 and to the Thunder in 2015). Popovich’s .905 winning percentage in San Antonio’s season openers is by far the best such percentage of any head coach with at least 10 such games. Phil Jackson is second-best, having led the Bulls and the Lakers to a 16–4 record (.800) in season-openers.
San Antonio swept all four games against Minnesota last season, winning by an average of 9.0 points. All-time the Spurs won 85 out of 113 head-to-head matchups.