Skip to content

Spurs coach Popovich says he wouldn’t want his team to go through another 20-game win streak

Mar 16, 2013, 8:30 PM EDT

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

The Spurs went on an absolute tear to finish the 2011-12 season, and rode a 10-game winning streak into the postseason.

After sweeping the Jazz and then the Clippers in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the streak reached 18 straight, and two games into the Western Conference finals against the Thunder, it was up to 20, with the Spurs needing just two more wins to reach the NBA Finals.

Once the streak came to an end following a 20-point loss in Oklahoma City, so did San Antonio’s season. The Spurs never recovered, and lost four straight games to be eliminated from contention.

Gregg Popovich remembers the strain the streak put on his team during the most critical time of the year, which is why he said he wouldn’t want to be a part of another streak like that in the future.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

“I don’t want to win 20 games in a row [again]. Now that might sound … ‘Well, who wouldn’t want to do that?’ [But] it’s too much of a grind. I was hoping for a loss [in last season's playoffs]. I thought about doing things to make sure we get a loss here and there, but you can’t do that to your team.”

Pop, though, was careful to explain that a 20-game win streak for the Spurs — in comparison to the 20 consecutive victories that Miami lugged Friday night into Milwaukee — created such a weight because of when it was happening, with half of those W’s coming during the playoffs.

Reason being: “When you win that many games in a row,” Pop contends, “… you’re very likely going to lose [up] to three games when that thing is done. It’s just such a letdown. And in the playoffs you can’t afford that. Not against a team that is as young and talented as Oklahoma City.”

It’s an interesting way of looking at it, because one would think that by putting together a streak like that to end the season and then continuing it into the third round of the playoffs, a team would be peaking at just the right time.

Popovich knows the ins and outs of the game and the mental ways different things can affect his players better than anyone, however, so we’ll just have to take his word for it that a winning streak of that length entering the postseason isn’t the best way to navigate the path to a title.

Latest Posts
  1. Pistons waive Hasheem Thabeet

    Oct 20, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

    Detroit Pistons Media Day Detroit Pistons Media Day

    Detroit also cuts Brian Cook, Josh Bostic and Lorenzo Brown

  2. Lakers waive Jeremy Tyler, who’s China-bound

    Oct 20, 2014, 12:22 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Lakers Media Day Los Angeles Lakers Media Day

    Door even more open for Ronnie Price and Wayne Ellington to make roster

  3. LeBron James reveals (?) his recruiting pitch

    Oct 20, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day Getty Images

    How did LeBron get Kevin Love, Shawn Marion, Mike Miller and James Jones to join the Cavaliers?

  4. Five favorites to win NBA 2014-15 MVP

    Oct 20, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 1 Getty Images

    Smart money should go on LeBron James, but there will be serious challengers.

  5. ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 preview: San Antonio Spurs

    Oct 20, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    2014 NBA Finals - Game Five Getty Images

    If they can stay a step ahead of father time the Spurs are the bar to clear to win an NBA title.

  6. 67RIEFNS No. 22: Disappointing second-year players looking for redemption

    Oct 20, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    2013 NBA Draft Lottery 2013 NBA Draft Lottery

    Anthony Bennett, Otto Porter, Alex Len, Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, C.J. McCollum among those looking to bounce back after underwhelming rookie years

  7. Joakim Noah wants Tom Thibodeau to do yoga with him

    Oct 19, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptq2njewnzjmmgrhmwvjyjm2mtnjzju3ymqwzgm4zmmy AP

    Tom Thibodeau is not the yoga type.

  8. Cavs coach David Blatt will treat Monday’s preseason minutes like the regular season

    Oct 19, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    LeBron James LeBron James

    LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love will take the floor together for the first time since the preseason opener.

  9. NBA’s 44-minute game clocks in at under 2 hours, players barely notice (VIDEO)

    Oct 19, 2014, 7:01 PM EDT

    NETS V CELTICS NETS V CELTICS

    Experimental preseason game between Nets and Celtics took place Sunday.

  10. Nets coach Hollins on 44-minute game: ‘The change will be for the guys who don’t start’

    Oct 19, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Brooklyn Nets v Sacramento Kings - NBA Global Games Beijing Getty Images

    Hollins won’t adjust starters minutes as he coaches the Nets during the experimental game Sunday.

Featured video

What are impacts of NBA's new TV deal?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. B. Beal (3752)
  2. L. James (3616)
  3. D. Rose (3615)
  4. J. Lin (3471)
  5. N. Noel (3455)