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Spurs fan: Gregg Popovich for Coach of the Year
If anyone deserves the Coach of the Year award this season, it's San Antonio Spurs' Coach Gregg Popovich - and I'm not just saying that because I am a Spurs fan. The pick of the year this year is definitely "Coach Pop", as he is affectionately known.
Pop has always had ultimate faith in his team, even after last year in the semi-finals when the Spurs lost 4-0 to the Phoenix Suns. Coach Pop has brought his team a long way since last year. No one would have thought they would end up the number one team - not even me and I'm a fan.
Coach Pop got to work making things right with his team and this meant a lot of changes for the Spurs. He addressed the fitness of the team as well as playing style and he drafted some new, fresh talent. He completely threw out the offense and brought a new dimension to his core team.
As a basketball coach myself (youth girls' basketball), I can fully understand the serious nature of making major changes in your team. Sometimes, however, these major changes are necessary sometimes to bring out the best in a team. Sometimes a coach has to go against the grain and see farther than others, even the fans, can see in order to bring the team to a win.
As Pop threw away the Spurs' old offensive methods, they brought in a new offensive style that included a more aggressive and faster-paced style that works with taking and making the first open three-point shot. They had a season of winning streaks, exciting home games, a successful Rodeo Road Trip, and some injuries later in the season to follow with a comeback.
Key players Tim Duncan(notes), Tony Parker(notes) and Manu Ginobili(notes) were in for some game-changing training from Pop this season, along with additions like rookie Gary Neal(notes), which all added up for good times for the Spurs this year.
Through it all, Coach Pop has been the heart of his team and their spirit and discipline shows through each game they play. My vote for Coach of the Year is Coach Gregg "Pop" Popovich. Here's hoping!
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