San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich is just three wins away from becoming the winningest coach in NBA history, a major personal achievement. It's also been something of a team goal, with him needing just 26 wins entering the season.
With that record now in reach, it could mark a potential turning point for this year’s team. After all, while they're technically still in the play-in race, other teams like Sacramento and New Orleans attempted to get better right away by acquiring former All-Stars.
Meanwhile, the Spurs made moves for the future and less for the present, suggesting they’re ready to pivot. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at four ways the Spurs should shift strategy after Coach Pop gets the coveted record.
1. The Spurs should emphasize development even more
Over the final third of the season, the name of the game for the Spurs should be player development. Although it has been all season, it should become their top priority after Coach Pop surpasses Don Nelson in wins.
San Antonio has already taken steps towards this by trading Bryn Forbes, Derrick White, Thaddeus Young, and Drew Eubanks. Those moves cleared out playing time for younger players like Tre Jones, Joshua Primo, Devin Vassell, and Zach Collins.
Additionally, because they're expected to be rotation players next season, all four should see significant minutes after the All-Star break. Meanwhile, players such as Joe Wieskamp and Devontae Cacok should also see increased playing time as the regular season winds down.
To do that, Popovich should consider resting starters here and there and providing opportunities for the young bench. They should probably look more toward next season rather than trying to pick up a few more wins this year with the playoffs out of reach.