Popovich Not Happy With Spurs Defense As Of Late

By Michael Rehome

Mar 24, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reacts to a foul called during the first half against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs will be involved in a dog fight tonight as they face the Denver Nuggets at the AT&T Center.

As the Spurs have been deemed as defensive minded in the past, in recent weeks, head coach Gregg Popovich has not been happy, as he told Spurs’ Nations’ Jeff McDonald.

“I’m very disappointed in our defensive execution the last two or three weeks, after we raised our stock from being a middle-of-the-road defensive team last year to one of the top two or three this year,” Popovich said on March 16.

“Then in the last three weeks, we decide to toss it like it’s not important.”

There are games that you could possibly through in there that Popovich is referring too.  Against the Utah Jazz, where the Spurs won in overtime, Manu Ginobili seemed to miss his assignment as he flew by Marvin Williams as he tied the game up.

McDonald goes on to state:

During the past three games — wins over Golden State and Utah and especially in a 96-95 loss at Houston on Sunday — the Spurs have produced performances more in line with the defensive renaissance Popovich sought and, in large part, has received this season.

Speaking about defense, the Spurs are going to have to find a way to stop a Nuggets team that just saw their 15 game winning streak snapped by the New Orleans Hornets.  The Spurs are ranking 3rd in defensive effeciency, way up from their 20th ranking of a year ago.

This is the week the Spurs can prepare and really buckle down on defense as three-high octane teams come visiting the AT&T Center– the Nuggets (tonight), Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat.  These teams are ranked in the top 5 offensively.

With the loss to the Rockets, there was an encouraging point that can be taken out from the game.  The Houston Rockets are the leagues highest scoring team, the Spurs held them 10 them 10 points below their average.