Golden State Warriors: 5 Takeaways From Second-Round Loss To Spurs

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2. Gregg Popovich is a Coaching Master

May 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (left) instructs point guard Tony Parker (9) against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter in game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Spurs defeated the Warriors 94-82. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Jackson is, just like the rest of this incredible Warriors team, an amazingly talented young part of this rising star. Gregg Popovich, like his squad, has been an NBA fixture for a long time now, and is extremely experienced.

After the point guards, the next most important face-off in this series was between the coaches. Jackson, “The Preacher,” instilled his team with the confidence to knock off  the Spurs.

Would anyone else have the guts to make the call to pull Tim Duncan, the best power forward to ever play, and one of the best players ever, out of a game when their team is fighting off an attempt at a late-game surge?  By one of the most offensively talented teams in the NBA?  No, probably not.  Pop did, and it worked, much to the Warriors’ chagrin.

At the end of the day, he leaned on Tiago Splitter down low, and went small on the perimeter. Despite his questionable call taking a certain infamous three last week, for example, he likes to lean on Manu Ginobili late in the game.

He’s an NBA chess master.  And it showed.