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Danny Green launches rare Spurs heat check in win over Suns (VIDEO)

Apr 12, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

The Spurs are a well-disciplined team, one intentionally constructed largely of players devoid of personality who are happy to simply be cogs in the wildly successful San Antonio basketball machine.

And that’s how Gregg Popovich likes it.

But these guys are ballers at heart, and occasionally let some fun trickle into the game that isn’t exactly signed off on by their rigid head coach.

During Friday’s win over the Suns, Danny Green was feeling it. He had hit 10 of his 13 attempts from the field to this point in the game, and the Spurs had fought all the way back from an early deficit of 21 points.

So, he decided to let one fly — an ill-advised three early in the shot clock that clanked off the iron. It was a rare heat check for a Spurs player, and it didn’t go unnoticed by Popovich.

From Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:

Maybe the shot was a little contested. Maybe it was a little early in the shot clock.

Green saw something else.

“I saw a little daylight,” he said.

All coach Gregg Popovich saw was red.

“He gave me a little bit of ear,” Green said.

Popovich lamented his team’s 19-game winning streak earlier in the season because he believed it didn’t provide him with enough teachable moments. Green provided him with one in this victory, however — one that was achieved while resting both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, and one that ultimately clinched the number one overall seed for the Spurs throughout the postseason.

  1. thevikesarebest - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    The spurs are just like the patriots.they put up great regular season stats but choke when it matters most in the playoffs.atleast their tittles are legit.they are old news and be eliminated anytime.they might even lose in the first round.#oldchokers.

    • cariedmann - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      And how do you feel like you’d do against LeBron in game 7 of the Finals?

    • bucrightoff - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Yeah it really must suck that for the last 16 years Spurs fans can think of championship every single year. Literally the only team who can say that. But as you’re a TWolves fan it’s gotta be excited knowing you can draft another point guard in the lottery this year!

    • shadowgamesshades - Apr 12, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      How many rings do the Vikings have again?

    • redbaronx - Apr 12, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      @thevikesarebest – A lot of teams would like to “choke” like San Antonio. I knew your comment was stupid to begin with, but I didn’t know how stupid until I dug up some stats.

      Here’s a little wakeup call for you:

      * 5 Trips to the Finals since 1999
      * 4 NBA Championships since 1999. If you’re counting that’s a .800 win percentage in 4 out of 5 trips to the Finals.
      * #1 in Finals Win Percentage with a 16-6 record in Finals games. That’s a .727 winning percentage which is BETTER than their regular season win percentage!
      * Tim Duncan / Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are SECOND in all time playoff wins as a trio. #1 is Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, and Michael Cooper
      * Popovich is #1 in all time playoff wins as a coach with team
      * The Spurs are tied for 3rd place in all time Finals appearances behind the Lakers and Celtics

      You may have made one of the DUMBEST comments I’ve ever seen on these posts, and that’s saying a lot! You don’t get to be chokers with stats like that in the playoffs and NBA Finals!

      • redbaronx - Apr 12, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        Correction – my last bullet was supposed to be Spurs in 6th place not third in all time Finals Appearances.

      • denverhoopdreams - Apr 12, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        Vikes got told, and told again.

        It’s hard to take people who put a football team in their user handle serious on a basketball blog, and this correlation shows some causation for that.

      • pdub923 - Apr 12, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        Good stats. One correction: Your finals win % does not include last year’s Finals. They are now 19-10 for 66%. Still not too shabby.

      • redbaronx - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:45 PM

        Yup Pdub. I missed last years finals. I know a lot of teams would like 19-10 too in the Finals! Including the Minnesota Timberwolves which is probably where Vikes is from, and they have NEVER seen a Finals unless you count the Minneapolis Lakers…

  2. jmart7skol - Apr 12, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    You really think because these players are disciplined and because Pop runs a tight ship that these players are entirely lacking of personality? that’s a little bit lazy Brett, and pretty ignorant.

  3. retxedfred - Apr 12, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    The Spurs, with all their weapons and the discipline, will win it this year. And i’m not even a Spurs fan!

  4. jollyjoker2 - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    spurs choked last year – they had the heat dead and couldn’t hit a free throw at the end of game 6 ….grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  5. ProBasketballPundit - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:46 AM

    This is a nice post because Popovich’s coaching deserves WAY more attention than it gets. Hard to believe he has only won coach of the year twice. One note: that shot by Danny Green was a higher percentage shot than many of the 3′s he took in the Finals, and he didn’t get chewed out for those. Of course he buried most of them…

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