Gregg Popovich Wins 2014 NBA Coach of the Year
San Antonio Spurs: Gregg Popovich is named the 2014 NBA Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.
Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
On Tuesday, April 22nd, the NBA announced that Gregg Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, had won the 2014 NBA Coach of the Year.
Congrats to Coach Pop on being named the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year! http://t.co/IJAeQzvvgh #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/lwE1xemkJ1
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 22, 2014
This is Coach Pop’s third such honour, a record he shares with Pat Riley and the winningest coach in NBA history, Don Nelson.
As expected, Popovich took very little credit for himself, and claimed that the players and the staff were deserving of the award.
Here’s how COY presser will go: Pop will credit his assistants, his players, the guy who sells popocorn in section 125, and maybe @Monroe_SA
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) April 22, 2014
While it is true that it helps to be able to rely on players with the intelligence and leadership skills that Tim Duncan and Tony Parker clearly have, it would be harsh on Coach Pop to overlook everything he has done with this team. Despite losing key assistants the last few years (Mike Budenholzer, Jacque Vaughn, etc.), the Spurs managed to put up their 538th (approx.) consecutive 50 win season and their first 60 win season since 2011.
Lets take a look at some highlights from this season on Popovich’s coaching resume:
– 19 game winning streak, once the team was back to pretty much fully healthy
– Navigated injuries that forced him to use 30 different starting fives
– Tony Parker missed 14 games, Kawhi Leonard missed 16, Tiago Splitter missed 23, no one played in all 82
– No player averaged more than 30 minutes per game. 11 regular players averaged double digit minutes per game
– Finished 1st in the NBA in assists per game, three point percentage, assist ratio, and net rating.
– Despite all of the above, the Spurs still finished with an NBA best 62-20 record
– Only team to rank in top six in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
Does Popovich Deserve Coach of the Year?
…All stats courtesy of NBA.com…