Popovich named Coach of the Month, Manu could return on Friday


This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was chosen by the NBA as the Western Conference Coach of the Month after leading the Spurs to an 11-2 record in February.

Gregg Popovich was named Wests' Coach of the Month for February.

During the month, Popovich led the Spurs to an 8-1 record on their Rodeo Road Trip, tying the league record for winning percentage on a nine-game road trip.

The Spurs had an 11-game winning streak that extended into the month, despite playing without Manu Ginobili and T.J. Ford for extended periods during the month.

It marks a record 13th month when Popovich has been selected as the NBA’s Coach of the Month, and broke the previous mark he shared with Pat Riley, who won the award on 12 occasions during his career.

Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra was honored as the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for February.

Meanwhile, Ginobili could be back in the Spurs lineup sooner than expected.

Popovich said that Ginobili will be a game time decision (via Spurs Nation) for Friday’s game against Charlotte as he recovers from a strained left oblique muscle.

The injury, which occurred February 18 against the Los Angeles Clippers, has caused Ginobili to miss the Spurs’ last four games after missing 22 games earlier in the season with a fractured fifth metacarpal in his left hand.

Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard missed Thursday’s short practice as he recovers from a minor strain in his right calf. He is not likely to play Friday against Charlotte, Popovich said.

Manu could be back in the lineup on Friday against the Bobcats.

“(Kawhi) got on a treadmill a little bit today,” Popovich said. “We scripted a little bit of offense, but there was no contact or anything.”

Danny Green also missed practice after banging through what he termed several formidable Chicago screens during the course of the game against the Bulls.

“His shoulder got a pretty good stinger,” Popovich said. “Nothing is dislocated, but he got a sprain and he didn’t practice today. He’s been working through the pain and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Gary Neal had no problems playing on a sore hamstring. He scored 13 consecutive points and 15 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter to lead a late San Antonio rally that came up just short in the Spurs’ 96-89 loss to the Bulls.

Popovich said that Neal reported no lingering effects of the injury on the day after the game.

“No, he felt pretty good,” Popovich said. “He didn’t feel his hamstring at all. He did a great job last night, as a matter of fact.”

Popovich reported that Tony Parker “got a little dinged” at one point in Wednesday’s game but had no ill effects and should be ready for the Bobcats.

The Spurs are not expected to re-sign forward Eric Dawson, whose 10-day contract has expired. Dawson is expected to head back to Austin to join the Toros.

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5 thoughts on “Popovich named Coach of the Month, Manu could return on Friday

  1. Popovich did a great job in leading the Spurs to a great record despite Ginobili missing a lot of court time, his trust on rookie Kawhi Leonard and role players like Danny Green, Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter paid off. Now, they need to get and stay healthy for the stretch run.

  2. Gregg Popovich is great coach, he has done a fine job in San Antonio for a very long time! Congrats and keep it up Pop! Go Spurs Go!

  3. Congrats Coach Pop, It is not that he doesn’t care about his accomplishments that he achieves like some articles portrait him as. I think he just considers it his job and what he gets paid to do. Now the stretch run as Daniel07 point out, the most important 20 games of the year, but first the most important two weeks of the year before the trade deadline ends. Here comes the hardest part of our schedule, games within our own division. I hope its not as tough as the road trip.

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