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Popovich honored as year's best coach

The Sports Xchange
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--San Antonio's Gregg Popovich was named the 2011-12 NBA Coach of the Year. Popovich, who also earned the honor in 2002-03, totaled 467 points, including 77 first-place votes, from a panel of 119 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.

In his 16th season as head coach of the Spurs, Popovich guided San Antonio to a 50-16 (.758) record that tied for the league's best. With Popovich at the helm, the Spurs ranked second in the league in scoring (103.7 points per game) and point differential (plus 7.2).

In the second half of the season, however, the Spurs were the league's most dominant team, posting an NBA-best 26-6 (.813) record while averaging league highs in scoring (108.3 points per game) and point differential (plus 10.8). In the process, Popovich guided the Spurs to their 15th consecutive postseason berth, which is the longest active streak in the NBA.

The Spurs finished the season winning 10 straight games, 24 of their last 27 and 38 of their last 45. San Antonio won at least 50 games for the 13th consecutive season -- all under Popovich's tenure -- surpassing the Los Angeles Lakers (1979-80 to 1990-91) for the longest streak in NBA history. The Spurs also set a franchise mark with three double-digit winning streaks.

--The Spurs have a chance to put a hammerlock on the series Saturday night at Utah. A 3-0 lead has been insurmountable in NBA history.

Not that the Spurs are putting any added emphasis on this potential back-breaking contest.

"We don't look at what game it is," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said after Wednesday's 114-83 win. "The first game is pretty important. The second game is important and so on and so forth. You just can't think that way. You want to play as well as you can every night.

"You win or you lose and you worry about the next game. Let it go. We won't take any great satisfaction from this game because we know they had a poor night and that it is not going to happen very often."

QUOTE TO NOTE
"One thing you've always known about the Spurs: They're going to play the same way, and get it done the same way. It's a team that doesn't get rattled, keeps their composure and has Obi-Wan as a coach." -- Forward Stephen Jackson.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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