The Gregg Popovich decision making is second to nobody. Some of it can cost games or some of it win for the team. He did these things to be more competitive in the future. With the game against the Blazers, he sat out Dejounte Murray with 6:27 left in the game. Since then Dame Lillard went to score 18 straight points and almost made a comeback. For Pop, Murray already meets the required minutes for his playing time. They had restrictions, the medical staff wants the point guard to be fully healed. Dejounte makes Lillard a “good” player when he guarded him. The Spurs limited the Blazers to 38 points in the next two quarters after strike for 33 in first period.
In the past, Popovich made crazy decisions in a late-game substitution. The most recent thing we can’t forget is in 2013 Finals that he put Diaw over Duncan. Then Chris Bosh gets an offensive rebound before Ray Allen made a game-tying three. Prior to this, he released Stephen Jackson comes playoff time. But these moments were only fueled San Antonio to make a comeback season on a high note. They made a hell of a run to take the team in the finals and finally win.
In 2000 playoff, Popovich decided to let Duncan out of the playoffs because of a knee injury. Even they are the defending champion than to risk his man. Making Tim Duncan healthy again, the Spurs win four more titles. In 2012, he did not send his big three and Kawhi in a game against the Miami Heat. On which the Spurs played four games in five nights. The league fined him 250000 dollars for giving the rest to his guys. The game was covered by NBA TV.
Nobody can do like he did to sacrifice the defense to be more efficient in the offense. He inserted Matt Bonner to starting five just to put Serge Ibaka away from the rim. When the series was tied in 2 apiece in 2014 West Finals, the Spurs win the next two games. In-game three of the 2014 finals, he went to Boris Diaw as a starter and the Spurs win the next three games resulted in a championship.
Popovich already noted that this coming back to back games Dejounte Murray will sit out in one game. He was protecting the Spurs insurance to be better in the future. He did this before with Kawhi Leonard until his team realizes that they need more endorsement. That thing will not happen in San Antonio, his uncle wants it to be in Los Angeles so that’s why they created a drama to force their way out.
Other coaches let their players stay in the court to chase records even the game already decided. In San Antonio there is no chasing of triple-doubles, 30 point games or consecutive played games. They just play the game to meet the bigger picture of it. To make the team better, in the long run, the longevity of every individual.