Reporters trying to get at why the Spurs looked dominant on defense in Games 2 and 3 and then stagnant in Game 4 put the questions gingerly to head coach Gregg Popovich after the Rockets handed the Spurs a 125-101 drubbing. The Spurs took a similar loss in Game 1 — what is the difference that makes these huge swings in how the two teams compete from night to night?
Answering, Popovich revealed a key to the much-admired Spurs system — transition defense. “Our bible begins with transition defense and if it’s not there you’re just not ready to go. If you had seen the clips of our transition defense you would have traded all the players and fired me by the end of the game. It was that bad.” He did give some credit to the other side: “But they were that intense, they were that focused, they were that professional and we were not.” Pop, one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, is likely to keep his job of course. Game 5 is Tuesday 8pm in San Antonio. On TNT.