Gregg Popovich Is Statistically A Huge Fan Of Early Timeouts
Throughout his Corridor of Fame profession, Phil Jackson was infamous for his unconventional teaching strategies. He cherished to make his gamers do yoga and meditation and browse esoteric books on philosophy and self-actualization, and he hardly ever hesitated to leverage the media to ship not-so-subtle messages to his group when he felt they had been underperforming.
He was additionally a giant fan of forcing his gamers to combat by tough stretches throughout video games as a substitute of calling timeouts to regroup. Gregg Popovich is in some ways the antithesis of Jackson and his enigmatic techniques, however none extra so than in his technique towards timeouts.
Not solely is Pop liable to name a fast timeout quickly after tipoff if his gamers aren’t executing their sport plan successfully, he’s approaching record-breaking proportions in that division.
By way of Chris Herring of FiveThirtyEight.com:
Popovich, the longest-tenured coach in American skilled sports activities, has by no means been shy about burning an early timeout to get his level throughout. Actually, the Spurs have known as 50 p.c extra timeouts throughout the first two minutes of video games than the subsequent closest group over the previous 10 common seasons, in line with analysts Vincent Johnson and Ken Woolums of ESPN Stats & Information. Popovich has known as an NBA-high 5 timeouts inside the first two minutes of a sport this season — an eye-popping quantity on condition that greater than a 3rd of the groups within the league haven’t used even one such timeout — and is at present on tempo to name greater than he ever has in a single season.
Herring goes on to level out that the Spurs’ struggles with out Kawhi Leonard — who has been battling an harm all season and still has no set return date — may very well be on the coronary heart of this development.
San Antonio at present holds the No. 7 seed within the Western Convention, nevertheless it has just lately fallen so far as 10th because the multi-team scramble to safe playoff positioning has precipitated a chaotic shuffling within the standings. It now has a two-game lead on ninth-place Denver.
Nonetheless, nothing is ready in stone, and this might doubtlessly be the primary season in 20 years that the Spurs don’t make the playoffs, whereas additionally breaking their streak of successful 50 video games or extra. Some further timeouts within the early going are actually a mirrored image of that urgency as San Antonio desperately tries to complete out the season and discover out what awaits them.
(By way of FiveThirtyEight.com)