Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

Music: Like the bulk of Austin Mahone’s Instagram account, this one’s a selfie. In a white tank top, hair coifed up real big, Mahone arranges... By Matt Stieb 7/22/2014
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
7 Public Art Projects Worth Searching For

7 Public Art Projects Worth Searching For

Arts & Culture: You’re likely familiar with the high-profile works of public art on view around downtown San Antonio: the gigantic, red swoop of... By Sarah Fisch 7/23/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Spuriosity

Spuriosity: Western Conference props, academic paper suggest Pop truly is tops

Photo: , License: N/A


Linsanity made its Alamo City debut last week when the Spurs routed the New York Knicks in a 118-105 contest that, despite the star power on display, was somewhat bereft of drama. Although finishing the game with 20 points and 3 steals, Jeremy Lin was eclipsed on the hardwood by All-Star point-guard Tony Parker who utilized his speed to pace San Antonio with 32 points and 6 assists. But perhaps the loudest ovation of the night came at the end of the third quarter when Spurs skipper Gregg Popovich stormed off the court after getting ejected for angrily questioning a foul call.

After leading the Spurs to a stellar 8-1 record on their February rodeo road trip, Coach Popovich was named the NBA's Western Conference Coach of the Month. This was the 13th instance that Coach Pop received that distinction, surpassing Pat Riley's 12 taps. Prior to San Antonio's subsequent game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Pop was surprisingly reflective. "Last year was a huge disappointment to us," Popovich told reporters before the lackluster 108-120 home loss. "To win 60 games and then basically lose Manu on the last game of the year; when should I have sat him? I don't know. I'll ask myself that forever probably."

Pop's value was also on display at the nation's leading sports stat geeks gathering at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Cambridge, Mass. An emphasis was placed on bridging the gap between hoops and moneyball with research papers offering interesting tidbits such as home teams being statistically better offensive rebounders in clutch moments, or that players at home tend to struggle at the foul line in crunch time. Although focusing primarily on team construction, Robert Ayer's intriguing paper "Big 2's and Big 3's: Analyzing How a Team's Best Players Complement Each Other" posited Pop as the most effective coach in the game with an impact rating of +23.19. Former Spur Avery Johnson surprisingly came in second with a coefficient of +20.28, with Phil Jackson, regarded as the greatest coach of all time, registering only +15.26.

All of this helps confirm what Spurs nation has known for years. Despite his lack of experience as an NBA player, and regardless of the eerie patriarchal vibe that he brings to the franchise, Popovich has been as important to the Spurs as any member of the "Big 3" outside of Tim Duncan. While Coach Pop has long maintained that he will ride off with Duncan into the sunset, he has recently displayed a willingness to sit in the saddle a bit longer to help usher in the post-Duncan era. This perfectly illustrates Pop's notoriously stubborn nature, and looking back on four championships even this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Manuel Solis covers the Spurs with Ryan Sachetta for the Current. Follow them online at blogs.sacurrent.com and catch their print column here every other week.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus