VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Boxing/MMA
Fantasy Sports
More
Betting Tools

 
Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named NBA coach of the year on Tuesday, making him just the third coach in league history to win the Red Auerbach trophy three times in his career.

Advertisement
Popovich has received the league's top coaching honor in two of the last three seasons, joining Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to win the award three times.

In a career full of masterful coaching performances, Popovich may have delivered his best in season No. 18.

The Spurs entered the season still thinking about the devastating loss to the Miami Heat in last summer's classic NBA Finals. Once again thought to be too old to challenge LeBron James and the mighty Heat, the Spurs took the defending champions to seven games but couldn't quite close it out for the franchise's fifth NBA title.

''Suffice to say that I've thought about it every day,'' Popovich said at training camp in October. ''I'm wondering if it will go away. I'm anxious for it to happen, but it hasn't happened yet.''

They showed up to training camp still stinging from that defeat, and Popovich had to get to know a new-look coaching staff after losing longtime assistants Brett Brown and Mike Budenholzer to head coaching jobs in Philadelphia and Atlanta.

Then he led the Spurs to a league-best 62-20 record, which gives them home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. And he did it while deftly navigating a season filled with nagging injuries to several key players. Tim Duncan was the only starter to play in at least 70 games. No Spur averaged 30 minutes per game and Tony Parker led the team with a modest 16.7 points per game.

Despite all of that, the Spurs won at least 50 games for the 15th straight season and topped 60 for the fourth time in that span, an unprecedented run of sustained excellence in the modern era.

He added free agent Marco Belinelli, juggled the lineup to keep veterans Duncan and Manu Ginobili fresh for the playoffs and used his role players often enough that they enter the postseason brimming with confidence. The Spurs lead the Dallas Mavericks 1-0 in their best-of-seven series, with Game 2 on Wednesday night in San Antonio.

''He's a gentleman,'' Belinelli said. ''Everybody knows that he's the best coach in the league. So to say that is not really important. But maybe some people, they don't know he's really a great guy, a great gentleman. He really helps guys, helps each other. He wants to help everybody. Great person.''

Popovich garnered 59 first-place votes and 380 total points in voting conducted by a panel of media members. Phoenix's Jeff Hornacek (37 first-place votes) finished second and Chicago's Tom Thibodeau (12) finished third in the voting, with Charlotte's Steve Clifford and Toronto's Dwane Casey rounding out the top five in a season so strong that Miami's Erik Spoelstra did not make the top 10.

''I think he should be the coach of the year this year,'' Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said of Popovich at the end of the season. ''You talk about everybody else, but coming back off of a Finals loss and what he's got them to do, with injuries too, he should be considered. He probably says he won't want it, but I think he's done a great job. He's been able to keep his system going.''

---

Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Mejia: BIG3 Snapshot
Blake Griffin opts out, becomes free agent
Magic sees Lonzo as piece of Lakers' plan
Clips' Paul re-elected NBPA president
Sacramento waives G Arron Afflalo
Fultz ready to turn 76ers into winners
Rebuild-a-Bulls: No Butler signals reset
Pistons G Caldwell-Pope suspended
Former NBA player Marcus Camby sued
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2016 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 3058
Alex Smart + 3019
Stephen Nover + 1413
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Jim Feist 56 %
Alex Smart 55 %
Stephen Nover 55 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 3478
ASA + 2054
The Gold Sheet + 2021
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 2873
Bill Marzano + 1936
Paul Bovi + 1015
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1596
Kevin Rogers + 1511
Gary Bart + 1104
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership