Popovich: Spurs had ‘worst transition defense in the history of basketball’
There are many reasons why the San Antonio Spurs lost in the first round of last year's playoffs. Tony Parker didn't play very well. Kawhi Leonard was uncharacteristically inefficient. Manu Ginobili looked 73 years old.
But the biggest reason was probably their poor transition defense, and it's a problem that's carried over into the preseason. Here's what Gregg Popovich had to say about it before San Antonio lost to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, per ESPN:
This is Popovich in his prime, using hyperbole as a motivational tool. San Antonio didn't actually have the worst transition defense in basketball history (has anyone seen the Philadelphia 76ers?), but if his players believe what he says then they'll make sure to correct it sooner than later.
“Transition D has still been a problem,” Popovich said. “Our transition D still looks like it did in Game 6 and 7 against the Clippers last [season] in the first round. Worst transition defense in the history of basketball in those two games.”How bad was it? Well, the Clippers outscored the Spurs 33-4 on the break in Games 6 and 7. “So it’s been an emphasis to start this season,” Popovich said. “Because if we’re gonna be one of the worst offensive-rebounding teams in the league, which we always are, we better be one of the best transition-defense teams. Usually we are. But we weren’t last year in general, and it really showed in the last couple of games in the Clippers series.”