Tony Parker says Gregg Popovich isn’t happy about Spurs winning 18 straight games
After the team dispatched the Indiana Pacers on Monday, the red-hot winning streak the San Antonio Spurs have been on reached 18 games in a row. One would assume without thinking too hard about it that any head coach in the NBA would be thrilled over such a torrid streak of excellence. But as far Gregg Popovich is concerned — as interpreted by point guard Tony Parker — a winning streak of such magnitude isn’t always the greatest thing.
Instead of asking Pop — realizing it wouldn’t accomplish much nor would it get any question answered about it — reporters asked Parker how he felt Popovich was handling the winning streak (via the Indy Star):
Point guard Tony Parker couldn’t help but be amused when asked how Popovich is handling the Spurs’ 18-game winning streak — a franchise record set with ease in Monday’s 103-77 road win over Indiana at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“I don’t know. I think he’ll be happy if we lose any time soon,” Parker said.
Someone uttered the word “sabotage.” Parker laughed and said, “I’m pretty sure. He’s going to rest like half of the team.”
Since resting starters — much to the chagrin of former commissioner David Stern at times — is a frequently employed gambit by Popovich, it wouldn’t be surprising in the least for Pop to sit the team’s stars for entire games. With eight games remaining on its regular schedule and a 3 1/2 game lead for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference over the Oklahoma City Thunder (who have nine games left on the schedule), odds are Popovich will indeed make resting and recharging a key aspect of the stretch run.
Pro Basketball Talk notes that such streaks by the Spurs aren’t unprecedented. The Spurs won 20 games in a row in 2012 between the conclusion of the regular season and the first few rounds of the playoffs. San Antonio was then dispatched by Oklahoma City with the Thunder rattling off four straight wins after the Spurs won the first two.
With that in mind, it’s a safe assumption to believe that Popovich would love for the Spurs to drop a game or two before season’s end. As everyone knows, the worst part of a streak is that it is inevitably broken. Sometimes with dire results.
Winning streaks in the end aren’t an altogether bad thing. A lengthy run of wins always is preferable than dropping a few games in a row down the stretch. Just ask the team the Spurs beat on Monday, the Pacers, about what can come of that kind of streak.