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Gregg Popovich named NBA Coach of the Year

May 1, 2012, 2:35 PM EDT

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, DeJuan Blair, Gregg Popovich AP

The announcement came Tuesday afternoon with a press conference to follow where Gregg Popovich will be uncomfortable answering media questions.

Spurs headman Gregg Popovich has been named NBA Coach of the Year. Mike Monroe of the Express-News was first with the report but the league has now confirmed it.

And it’s a good call. When the Spurs were winning titles last decade they were a great defensive team that had enough offense to beat you, but as his core aged the role players shifted that formula no longer worked. So in the past couple years Popovich has helped the Spurs evolve into an offensive powerhouse — they play at a faster tempo, they move the ball and guys work off the ball, the steps are taken to get guys the ball where they can succeed (Tim Ducan where he can drive or go to the bank, Matt Bonner spacing the floor, Tony Parker off picks and getting to make decisions). Popovich has been a master at putting guys in places where they can succeed and he has been at his peak with that the past couple years.

There were other guys who had great years. Second place in the voting went to the Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau, who did a better job this season than last when he won the award — he was without Derrick Rose much of the year, not to mention Rip Hamilton and he got role players to win the East. Frank Vogel got as much out of the Pacers roster as could be expected and he came in third. Lionel Hollins of Memphis finished fourth and Doc Rivers of the Celtics fifth in the voting.

You can’t really be unhappy with Popovich as the call. He earned it this year, he has earned a bunch more as a lifetime achievement award. This is a good call.

  1. astrosfan75956 - May 1, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Great guy, Great coach.

  2. 00maltliquor - May 1, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Very much deserved. You can make the case for Thibodeau as well and it would have been nice to see a split decision/ co-C.O.Y. but if you had to choose out the two Pop’ needed it more. All those years of being great and no C.O.Y. it was about damn time.

    • pudgalvin - May 1, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      Well, except he was coach of the year in in 2003.

      • 00maltliquor - May 2, 2012 at 2:44 AM

        Really? Don’t remember that. Good lookin’ out.

  3. david8726 - May 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Well deserved. The Zombie Spurs surprised everyone this year, and no doubt he was a huge part of their success.

  4. Gordon - May 1, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    He’s the only guy that deserved the award as much as Thibs. Pop is a HOF coach. Keeps that team in title contention every year.

  5. zblott - May 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    I would hope so – he’s the only coach who actually did something drastically different with his team in a drastically different sort of season, and it paid off.

  6. thraiderskin - May 1, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    good call…

  7. savvybynature - May 1, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    As a Spurs fan, it’s still difficult to think of them as an “offensive powerhouse.”

    I hope they can keep it up. They have some great shooters but little or nothing comes easy in the playoffs.

    Either way he has given his team a chance and managed minutes masterfully. Well deserved, congrats to Pop and go Spurs!

  8. 4thquartermagic - May 1, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Thibodeau lost both D-Rose and coach of the year on Saturday.

    That being said, Popavich is an all-time great coach and deserved the award.

  9. metalhead65 - May 1, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    popvich is a great coach but he still had more to work with than Vogel of the pacers. he got as much out the pacers as was expected really? who expected them to have as good a record as they did? yes they were expected to be better this much better? aside from granger name somebody else on that team? duncan and company might be older but they syll have 3 all stars on that team.

    • 00maltliquor - May 1, 2012 at 5:25 PM

      I expected the Pacers to have the record they did.

  10. rosesacl - May 1, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Between Popovich and Vinny Del Negro, good for popovich.

    • southbeachtalent - May 1, 2012 at 5:02 PM


      • pudgalvin - May 1, 2012 at 7:33 PM

        Never though I’d thumbs up you southbeach, but there ya go.

  11. moseskkim - May 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    With Indiana, they’ve done a great job of adding talent. Paul George has become highly overrated by analyists but he’s improved. They needed an established scorer and though risky, they got west. He’s been the missing piece. George hill and barbosa have been good additions as well. It’s not really what Vogel has done. Pop has integrated young while monitoring the oldies’ minutes. Great chemistry and amazing what they’ve been able to do. Pop or thibs. Can’t go wrong either way

  12. albie23 - May 1, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    I think Thibs should have won that award. He kept his team in it throughout all the injuries.

    • pudgalvin - May 1, 2012 at 7:38 PM

      Hard for me to understand how a guy who had his starters miss a total of 72 games (averaging a missing starter per game, which is kind of crazy) yet still finished with the best record in the league isn’t the coach of the year. Spurs has what, 30, not counting games he just sat his guys?

    • 00maltliquor - May 2, 2012 at 2:59 AM

      Can’t find a fault in your thinking, albie23. I understand you 100%.
      But I gotta go with Pop’ for the simple fact that I didn’t even think the Spurs with that roster they had going into the season were even going MAKE the playoffs, much less be #1 out west. The Bulls did however have a TON of injuries, including to the starters, most namely the reigning MVP Derrick “fragile: handle with care” Rose, but even with all those injuries at least everyone knew they were still good enough to at least make the playoffs.

  13. Justin - May 1, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    I agree that Popovich deserves it more than anyone. To me all the matters is who won it all and not as much who got 2nd or 3rd. But looking at who landed in those spots I think Scott Brooks for the Thunder should have received a little more attention. I’m not a Thunder lover but I have seen them play quite a bit and that is a well coached team.

  14. ambitoos - May 1, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Congrads POP. You definitly deserved it. Now go all the way in the playoffs because you deserve that also. This coming from a Laker fan.

  15. rooney24 - May 1, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Congrats to Popovich. I just wish the TWolves hadn’t fallen into so many injuries down the stretch, so Adelman could have gotten talked about a little more. He wouldn’t have won it, but he was doing very well until injuries showed the lack of depth on the team.

  16. glink123 - May 1, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    total joke.

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