TORONTO -- Gregg Popovich hates 3-pointers. The San Antonio Spurs head coach said as much during the 2014 NBA Finals, despite the fact that much of his team's success was based on spreading the floor with long-range shooters. In Toronto on Wednesday he reiterated his stance: You have to shoot 3s, but he'd rather not.
"I still hate it," Popovich said. "I'll never embrace it. I don't think it's basketball. I think it's kind of like a circus sort of thing. Why don't we have a 5-point shot? A 7-point shot? You know, where does it stop, that sort of thing. But that's just me, that's just old-school. To a certain degree, you better embrace it or you're going to lose. And every time we've won a championship, the 3-point shot was a big part of it. Because it is so powerful and you've gotta be able to do it. And nobody does it better than Golden State, and you know where they're at. So it's important. You can't ignore it."
The Spurs start two traditional big men in LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan, they're one of the slowest teams in the league and their 3-point attempts have dipped from 22.5 to 18.8 per game this season. Is there a way to counteract what the 23-0 Warriors are doing with size?
"No," Popovich said. "We all think about that all the time, right? Because nobody is as powerful with that 3-point shot as Golden State is. To date, none of us has figured it out.
"The 24-second shot makes it kind of tough," he continued. "You say, 'Well, you have an advantage at the other end, use your big guys.' If there wasn't a 24-second clock, that would work a whole lot better."
Let's keep this in mind when San Antonio finally meets the Warriors in late January, and potentially in the conference finals. The Spurs probably shouldn't get in a run-and-gun battle with Golden State, but they can't just grind it out, either. If there is an answer, it probably lies somewhere in the middle.