Spurs coach Gregg Popovich praises 0-17 Sixers

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The Spurs rested Tim Duncan and Tony Parker for Monday night’s contest against the Sixers, and as a result, a Philadelphia team that has yet to win a game was within five points with a minute and a half to play.

San Antonio held on, of course, and the Sixers dropped to 0-17.

But Gregg Popovich had praise for the way his team’s winless opponent competed afterward.

From Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News:

Pop on 76ers’ ongoing struggles: “I’ve seen lots of teams, at every level, just give in and give up. These guys came at us with everything.”

Part of this, of course, is due to the fact that Sixers coach Brett Brown was an assistant coach under Popovich for many years before nabbing the job in Philly, and obviously there’s a lot of respect there.

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The question will be how long the effort stays at the level we’re seeing in the first month of the season.

Philadelphia will win a game or two eventually. Once that happens, Brown’s biggest challenge will be to keep guys engaged later in the season, when there’s nothing left to play for except individual statistical accomplishments.