Gregg Popovich explains that a lot of patience has been required for mostly new team
The San Antonio Spurs are rolling right now and have recovered after a rough start to the season. ESPN’s Michael Wright asked head coach Gregg Popovich why he never showed frustration through the Spurs’ early season struggles:
“I just thought that they deserved a lot of patience with the group two-thirds new. I can’t expect them to catch on to everything right away and understand each other. So I knew that patience is like the first step in showing confidence in somebody or in a group. So if you expect everything quickly, that’s just not gonna work. It’s gonna hurt their confidence.”
Pop’s statement shows why he’s one of the best and most well-respected coaches in NBA history. His preach of patience to this new group that’s just getting acclimated to playing with each other can provide a confidence boost to his players.
The transition period clearly affected them to start the year as they fell to 11-14 in their first 25 games of the season. Since then, they have won seven of their last nine, and had a dominant two-week period. Over that stretch, the Spurs achieved another historic feat, becoming the second team in NBA history to rattle off five 25-point victories over a 6-game span.
Newly-acquired All-Star guard DeMar Derozan has now taken over as the team’s primary scorer and playmaker, leading the team in points (23.1) and assists (6.3). Despite having several new faces on the team, and losing some key players, either via trade or due to injury, the Spurs continue to be consistent as they have launched themselves back to playoff contention in the bloodbath Western Conference.
But seriously though, things like these shouldn’t surprise us anymore. The Popovich-led Spurs just won’t go down quietly.