Tag: Ray Allen

Gregg Popovich

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: ‘Good fortune plays a huge role’ in winning a championship


The Spurs beat the Heat to win the 2014 NBA title, in a five-game series that showed just how deserving San Antonio was of that championship crown.

The team was completely dominant from an offensive standpoint, beating Miami handily in the last three games by 19, 21, and 17 points.

But looking back to Game 1, no one yet knew how the series would play out. And LeBron James leaving in the fourth quarter after suffering cramps from dehydration was something that’s happened only one time to him in his entire career. Obviously, San Antonio was able to cruise to victory without James on the floor.

Some would say that was a fortunate turn for the Spurs, and Gregg Popovich knows better than anyone just how critical of a role luck can play on a team’s road to championship success.

From Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News:

“A lot of times winning a championship, people don’t believe — well, I guess the last team standing is probably the best team — but good fortune plays a huge role,” he said. “What’s good fortune? It’s a guy off the bench having a great series. It might be a call or a non-call by an official. It might be an injury. It could be a lot of different things: The way the ball bounces as it ordinarily wouldn’t do in this or that circumstance.

“When we lost in Game 7 to Dallas here in the second round a few years back we were a pretty darn good team and we were capable of winning the championship. The year that Fisher hit the point-four on us we were a pretty good team and I think we were capable of winning a championship. Well, those teams that did win something happened at the opposite end of the spectrum, fortune-wise, that helped them get there. It’s just the way it is.

“In Game 6 of the second half against Oklahoma City last year you wouldn’t have predicted we’d win that game, down nine going into the second half of that game without Tony. And it happened because it’s a game and everything isn’t pre-ordained. Winning championships has something to do with fortune and circumstances and that repeat thing just hasn’t gone our way in that sense.”

This came as part of a discussion about why the Spurs have never won titles in consecutive years; San Antonio’s championships came in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014.

The good fortune Popovich mentions that aided the team last year pales in comparison to the bad luck that befell his squad the year prior. The Spurs were on the verge of locking up the 2013 title in Game 6 against Miami, only to see Ray Allen hit one of the greatest shots in NBA history to send the game to overtime, where the Heat ultimately prevailed before winning the series in seven games.

Mark Cuban: Don’t expect any Mavericks to score 20 points per game

Game 5: Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs

In 16 of the last 17 seasons, the Mavericks have featured a 20-point-per-game scorer. Heck, a couple of those years featured two 20-point-per-game scorers.

Between Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley, Dallas has not lacked a clear go-to scorer.

That’s about to change – at least if Mavericks owner Cuban gets his wish.

Cuban, via Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News:

“I’m not expecting anybody on our team to be a 20-point scorer,” the owner said as the Mavericks introduced six new players at a news conference. “Not Dirk. I don’t want him to be a 20-point scorer. Seriously. Monta (Ellis) has that capability. Chandler (Parsons) has that capability. Dirk has that capability. Richard Jefferson’s got that capability. Jameer (Nelson could score) 15. Raymond (Felton) could do 15, if that was the focus, but that’s not our focus.

“That’s the cool thing. There are going to be times when we overpass. And that will be the challenge.”

Since the 2000-01 season, of the 70 teams with top-five offenses each season – and that’s the type of potential these Mavericks have – 62 have produced a 20-point-per-game scorer:

(Click here to view a larger, interactive, version of the chart)


Season Team Offensive rating rank Offensive rating Scoring leader Points per game
2013-14 LAC 1 112.1 Blake Griffin 24.1
2013-14 POR 2 111.5 LaMarcus Aldridge 23.2
2013-14 DAL 3 111.2 Dirk Nowitzki 21.7
2013-14 HOU 4 111 James Harden 25.4
2013-14 MIA 5 110.9 LeBron James 27.1
2012-13 OKC 1 112.4 Kevin Durant 28.1
2012-13 MIA 2 112.3 LeBron James 26.8
2012-13 NYK 3 111.1 Carmelo Anthony 28.7
2012-13 LAC 4 110.6 Blake Griffin 18
2012-13 DEN 5 110.4 Ty Lawson 16.7
12/1/2011 SAS 1 110.9 Tony Parker 18.3
12/1/2011 OKC 2 109.8 Kevin Durant 28
12/1/2011 DEN 3 109.2 Ty Lawson 16.4
12/1/2011 LAC 4 108.5 Blake Griffin 20.7
12/1/2011 CHI 5 107.4 Derrick Rose 21.8
11/1/2010 DEN 1 112.3 Carmelo Anthony 25.2
11/1/2010 SAS 2 111.8 Tony Parker 17.5
11/1/2010 MIA 3 111.7 LeBron James 26.7
11/1/2010 HOU 4 111.3 Kevin Martin 23.5
11/1/2010 OKC 5 111.2 Kevin Durant 27.7
10/1/2009 PHO 1 115.3 Amar’e Stoudemire 23.1
10/1/2009 ATL 2 111.9 Joe Johnson 21.3
10/1/2009 DEN 3 111.8 Carmelo Anthony 28.2
10/1/2009 ORL 4 111.4 Dwight Howard 18.3
10/1/2009 TOR 5 111.3 Chris Bosh 24
9/1/2008 POR 1 113.9 Brandon Roy 22.6
9/1/2008 PHO 2 113.6 Amar’e Stoudemire 21.4
9/1/2008 LAL 3 112.8 Kobe Bryant 26.8
9/1/2008 CLE 4 112.4 LeBron James 28.4
9/1/2008 DAL 5 110.5 Dirk Nowitzki 25.9
8/1/2007 UTA 1 113.8 Carlos Boozer 21.1
8/1/2007 PHO 2 113.3 Amar’e Stoudemire 25.2
8/1/2007 LAL 3 113 Kobe Bryant 28.3
8/1/2007 GSW 4 111.8 Baron Davis 21.8
8/1/2007 NOH 5 111.5 Chris Paul 21.1
7/1/2006 PHO 1 113.9 Amar’e Stoudemire 20.4
7/1/2006 DAL 2 111.3 Dirk Nowitzki 24.6
7/1/2006 WAS 3 110.1 Gilbert Arenas 28.4
7/1/2006 UTA 4 110.1 Carlos Boozer 20.9
7/1/2006 SAS 5 109.2 Tim Duncan 19.99
6/1/2005 DAL 1 111.8 Dirk Nowitzki 26.6
6/1/2005 PHO 2 111.5 Shawn Marion 21.8
6/1/2005 SEA 3 111.1 Ray Allen 25.1
6/1/2005 DET 4 110.8 Richard Hamilton 20.1
6/1/2005 TOR 5 109.5 Chris Bosh 22.5
5/1/2004 PHO 1 114.5 Amar’e Stoudemire 26
5/1/2004 SEA 2 112.2 Ray Allen 23.9
5/1/2004 SAC 3 110.5 Peja Stojakovic 20.1
5/1/2004 DAL 4 110.3 Dirk Nowitzki 26.1
5/1/2004 MIA 5 110.2 Dwyane Wade 24.1
4/1/2003 DAL 1 112.1 Dirk Nowitzki 21.8
4/1/2003 SAC 2 110.3 Peja Stojakovic 24.2
4/1/2003 SEA 3 107.3 Ray Allen 23
4/1/2003 MIL 4 106.5 Michael Redd 21.7
4/1/2003 MIN 5 105.9 Kevin Garnett 24.2
3/1/2002 DAL 1 110.7 Dirk Nowitzki 25.1
3/1/2002 MIL 2 108.8 Ray Allen 21.3
3/1/2002 GSW 3 108.3 Antawn Jamison 22.2
3/1/2002 LAL 4 107.2 Kobe Bryant 30
3/1/2002 MIN 5 106.1 Kevin Garnett 23
2/1/2001 DAL 1 112.2 Dirk Nowitzki 23.4
2/1/2001 LAL 2 109.4 Shaquille O’Neal 27.2
2/1/2001 SAC 3 109 Chris Webber 24.5
2/1/2001 MIN 4 109 Kevin Garnett 21.2
2/1/2001 SEA 5 108.9 Gary Payton 22.1
1/1/2000 MIL 1 108.8 Ray Allen 22
1/1/2000 LAL 2 108.4 Shaquille O’Neal 28.7
1/1/2000 UTA 3 107.6 Karl Malone 23.2
1/1/2000 DAL 4 107.1 Dirk Nowitzki 21.8
1/1/2000 HOU 5 106.7 Steve Francis 19.9

Unsurprisingly, a plurality of the exceptions are Spurs teams. Gregg Popovich’s squads move the ball, spreading the scoring.

Which is exactly what Cuban wants for his Mavericks.

Friday And-1 links: Wizards reach out to Ray Allen again. Why not?

2014 NBA Finals - Practice Day And Media Availability

Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• The Washington Wizards checked in again to see if Ray Allen maybe changed his mind and would want to come play for then next to Paul Pierce, reports friend-of-this-blog J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Honestly, this isn’t going to happen. Either Allen is going to hang them up or he’s going to play for Cleveland and go for a ring. It doesn’t hurt to ask if you’re the Wizards — and it really doesn’t hurt to leak it and say to the fan base “look how hard we’re trying” — but Allen is not going to a cold weather city where the team is not a strong title contender. Sorry.

• There have been rumors of a Minnesota/Chicago trade coming out of Minnesota, Kevin Martin for Mike Dunleavy Jr./Tony Snell. There’s not enough beer at Octoberfest to make the Bulls agree to that deal.

• Good on Kevin Love for being involved in the “It’s On Us” campaign to stop sexual assault, particularly on college campuses.

• Deron Williams says the Nets are flying under the radar this season. He knows they play in Brooklyn, right?

A man has been arrested in connection with the burglary of Paul George’s home while he was playing in a playoff game last season.

• A little off topic, but a great read from a former NFL wife on what their life is like and what the teams tell them. NBA wives tell similar “just don’t disrupt or distract the team” stories.

• A Q&A with Magic rookie Elfrid Payton.

• After watching Andrew Drummond on Team USA this summer Pistons teammate Jodie Meeks said he has the goal of making the national team for the 2016 Rio Olympics. We should all dream big.

• Jonas Jerebko wants to be the stretch for the Pistons need this upcoming season. We should all dream big. (To be fair he did shoot 41.9 percent from three when he got on the court last season and if he can evolve into that role Stan Van Gundy will play him.)

• The Spurs gave a make good (training camp) contract to power forward Josh Davis, who went undrafted out of San Diego State.

• Mehmet Okur will be a special consultant for the Utah Jazz this season.