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.
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.