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Gregg Popovich: Guys ‘Played Like Dogs’, Calling Out Richard Jefferson?

The Spurs lost Game 1 of their Western Conference 1st round series to the Mavericks 100-94. The game was close but close is not good enough when you’re trying to win an NBA title and beat a loaded team like the Mavericks. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who’s never shy about speaking his mind, let loose after the game. He was pissed about the team’s sloppy play including allowing too many put-backs and turnovers. Mostly though, I think he was really upset about the poor play by Richard Jefferson. Here’s what he said after the game:

“That’s just a sloppy game, there’s no reason for that. So I was very disappointed in us not being very sharp and I think we’ve got to have a few more people step up and play worth a damn. I thought we had a lot of guys that played like dogs.”

Jefferson played 32 minutes scoring just four points on 1-4 shooting. He committed two turnovers and was dominated by Caron Butler who finished with 22 as the second leading scorer for the Mavericks. Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan played relatively well (their weakness was combining for 11 turnovers), Tony Parker played well for George Hill who has an ankle injury, and Antonio McDyess stepped up. Unless Pop’s upset with Matt Bonner, Keith Bogans, or Roger Mason — all important pieces but nonetheless role players — he was pointing the finger at Richard Jefferson. We know Popovich strives for excellence and tries to push his players so you have to figure that’s exactly what he was doing here. He’s no stranger to playing mind games.

Gregg Popovich Rips Pau Gasol Trade

It was only a matter of time before someone said what everyone was thinking — the Lakers ripped the Grizzlies off. They acquired a premium player like Pau Gasol, who pretty much single-handedly got the Grizzlies into the playoffs a few times, for the likes of nearly nothing. Kwame Brown, Javaris Critenton, Pau’s brother Marc, and a pair of first-round picks isn’t exactly a king’s ransom. About the only thing there worth any value would be the draft picks, but you figure the Lakers are getting Pau so those picks will probably be late first-round, like 25th or so. So when you think about it, what did the Lakers give up? Not a whole lot. And that’s what makes Spurs coach Gregg Popovich so peeved:

“What they did in Memphis is beyond comprehension,” said Popovich. “There should be a trade committee that can scratch all trades that make no sense. I just wish I had been on a trade committee that oversees NBA trades. I’d like to elect myself to that committee. I would have voted no to the L.A. trade.”

I wonder what he has to say about the Shaq trade huh? Guess Pop feels a bit threatened — as well he should. The Spurs might be the defending champions, but now the Lakers provide some serious competition. I’ll still give the nod to San Antonio, but the gap has certainly closed. The playoffs are going to be quite exciting, to say the least.

Spurs Have won 13 Straight, But Gregg Popovich Isn’t Happy

When a team wins 13 games in a row, even if you’re De La Salle high school football, you’re generally pretty elated about it. You’re obviously not going to be celebrating unless the 13th game won you a championship — but it’s still something to feel good about. That is, unless you’re Gregg Popovich.

The Spurs had just got done beating the Clippers 93-84 Tuesday night in San Antonio, and judging by his post-game interview, you would’ve thought he was Doc Rivers.

The Spurs’ execution, Popovich said, was poor.

Their focus? “Poor.”

Attention to detail? “Poor.”

“We blew an opportunity to progress and get better,” Popovich said, matter-of-factly. “That’s the goal, to get better every practice and every game, and we wasted that tonight … It doesn’t mean a damn thing. What means something is getting better.”

Luckily Timmy D’s with me, a W’s a W’s a W

“I don’t think we took a step backward … We might have taken one to the side a little bit, but it’s a win. We just move on to the next one.”

Now, which reporter’s going to be crazy enough to ask Popovich where he’s going if the Spurs win the NBA title?

Disneyland!! The film room!!