Ettore Messina will step in as the San Antonio Spurs head coach for Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors, while Gregg Popovich remains out after the passing of his wife.
Due to the death of head coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin, assistant coach Ettore Messina stepped in for the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the first-round series against the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs played a close matchup at home but fell in the latter half of the game, 110-97, leading to a 3-0 series lead for Golden State. It marked just the ninth time the Spurs lost at the AT&T Center this season.
For Sunday’s Game 4, Popovich will not return to the bench, according to an announcement from the Spurs, via ESPN’s Marc J. Spears. Instead, Messina reassumes the main role on the coaching staff, while everyone else slides up one spot on the bench.
Spurs say Ettore Messina will serve as head coach for tomorrow’s Spurs-Warriors Game 4.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) April 21, 2018
There is no word on when Popovich will return to the team.
Messina leads the team into a pivotal Game 4, which could send San Antonio home with a loss, marking the second consecutive postseason they were swept out of by the Warriors (2017 happened in the Western Conference Finals). Golden State has played without Stephen Curry, who suffered a knee injury in the regular season, while Kawhi Leonard remains out for the Spurs due to a right quadriceps injury. Neither are expected to play in this series.
The Spurs and Warriors will clash at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Can the Silver and Black manage to edge out a victory, to avoid elimination in Game 4?