Gregg Popovich says Spurs will keep playing up-tempo, like in bubble

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
0 Comments

The Spurs were a middle-of-the-road team in terms of pace most of the last regular season — 15th in pace and 15th in percentage of offense generated in transition.

Then in the bubble, the Spurs — without LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles due to injuries — got out and ran, five more possessions a game, and they were very efficient when they did. The Spurs went 5-3 in the bubble, but that was not good enough to make the West’s play-in. San Antonio’s amazing 22-year playoff run ended.

The Spurs have their big men back this season, but Popovich said on his media week Zoom call Tuesday the Spurs would keep on running.

On a roster with Dejounte Murray, Patty Mills, and Derrick White as the guards and Lonnie Walker at the three (coming off the bench behind DeMar Rozan for now), plus having just added Tre Jones in the draft, running is a good strategy. Aldridge will have a role in the half-court, but the Spurs are at their best when they play fast, and Popovich knows that is the future.

Playing fast is not likely to get the Spurs into the playoffs this year either in a ridiculously stacked and deep Western Conference. But if it’s laying a foundation for the future, it’s the right move.