Spurs’ Gregg Popovich ends debate on Jakob Poeltl’s screen, ‘It’s totally irrelevant’
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich spoke to reporters before Game 7 of their first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets, and one of the issues he discussed was Jakob Poeltl’s alleged illegal screens.
Popovich told Nuggets’ beat reporter Harrison Wind that Poeltl is just like any other NBA player. There are times when referees will call him for illegal screens and there are times when they won’t.
“There are probably illegal screens all over the place that don’t get called. Referees do the best job they can. They have set some screens that are illegal and haven’t been called. It’s totally irrelevant.”
However, Poeltl’s moving screens have caused concern for the Nuggets in this series. There have been three different occasions when the Spurs forward has hit someone hard with his picks, two of those incidents involved guard Jamal Murray.
The most recent controversial screen by Poeltl happened in Game 6 of the series.
Michael Malone is not happy about the Poeltl screen that clipped Jamal Murray pic.twitter.com/1DcRYE9HnV
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) April 26, 2019
Nuggets coach Mike Malone has submitted said plays to the league office for review.
The Spurs went on to force a winner-take-all Game 7, with the advancing team facing the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Semifinals.
But the Nuggets are hoping that the officials will be more cautious in calling the rubber match, as Poeltl’s alleged illegal or moving screens could not only injure players but also hurt their chances of winning the series.