Popovich not smiling during Spurs’ winning streak

Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich discuss tactics.

Soobum Im/Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs have the best record in the NBA and are riding an 18-game winning streak. But that still doesn’t make coach Gregg Popovich smile.

With just eight games remaining in the regular season, he might actually like to see his team lose.

"I think he’ll be happy if we lose any time soon," Spurs guard Tony Parker told the IndyStar after beating the Pacers on Monday.

Popovich has never been the type of coach who celebrates or relaxes until the job of winning an NBA championship is done. You don’t have to remind him what happened after the Spurs blew a comfortable lead with just seconds remaining in Game 6 of last season’s NBA Finals.  

"We’ve never set any numerical goals," Popovich said. "We’ve never set any goals to win a division or X number of games in a row. We just talk about trying to be the best team we can be by playoff time."

Spurs power forward Tim Duncan knows Popovich better than anyone and said the streak only makes his coach more antsy.  

"He’s a teacher and wants to teach," Duncan said after the Spurs won their 16th straight on Friday. "He wants the good and the bad. Even through this streak, he’s been on us a tremendous amount, making sure we don’t rest on just the wins, but we’re learning from game to game."

Popovich has rested his "Big Three" for big games before, but would he do it to lose intentionally?

"We’re still going to try to win the game," Parker said. "We’re not going to lose on purpose."

The Spurs hold a three-game lead over the Thunder for the top spot in the Western Conference. Will the streak end with they visit Oklahoma City on Wednesday?

Follow Louis Ojeda Jr. on Twitter @LouisOjedaJr.