Gregg Popovich has reached the “I don’t care what people think” phase of his career… actually that might have started Day 3 of his tenure in San Antonio, but the coach is taking it to new levels lately.
Patty Mills has taken on a bigger role with the Spurs this season, in part because of Tony Parker’s injuries, but he has responded with the best, most consistent play of his career. He is averaging 9.8 points a game, is hitting 40 percent of his threes and is doing a good job running the Spurs offense.
He’s doing so well now, why didn’t Popovich play him more last year? Popovich answered that in a very Popovich way to the San Antonio Express-News.
“He was a little fat ass. He had too much junk in the trunk. His decision making wasn’t great, and he wasn’t in great shape. He changed his entire body. He came back svelte and cut and understood you have to make better decisions, point-guard type decisions. He did all those things better and he earned it. He’s been real important to us, obviously.”
Mills is in noticibly better condition this year, and any coach or player in any sport will tell you that you make much worse decisions when you are tired. Mills is earning the minutes, fitting in the system beautifully.
But Pop, that’s a little harsh.