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In Denver, No One Could Hear The Popovich Scream



Photo: David Zalubowski (AP Photo)

The San Antonio Spurs had pushed the much more talented Denver Nuggets to a final seventh game in their first round match up. After shooting strong scoring efforts from their opponents' stars, Gregg Popovich's team stormed back in the second half and eroded a strong double-digit lead down to a one-possession game. Following a floater from Jamal Murray to put the Nuggets up 90-86, DeMar Derozan tried to respond with a short-range shot of his own, but Torrey Craig got their for the block. San Antonio was down four with less than 30 seconds remaining. All this incredibly resilient team had to be at least at least having a chance to keep their postseason alive.

As the clock was winding down, LaMarcus Aldridge just watched Nikola Jokic dribble the clock down to less than 10 seconds and pass the ball to Jamal Murray, who put up a shot that drained the final five seconds away. This was clearly the game plan as Popovich, along with two other assistants, could be seen screaming at players to foul Jokic and send him to the line. But the Denver crowd did its job and pumped so much noise that the message never reached Aldridge's ears. Even if Jokic only makes one of those baskets, it's still a two-possession game that requires a level of pace that San Antonio just doesn't play with. That being said, it is jarring to see a team led by one of the greatest coaches in NBA history just lay down on the tracks as the train is coming. Popovich clearly understood the mental error lost the game, and was a bit responding to a question about it in his postgame press conference.

In case there was any doubt on Popovich's end, Aldridge cleared things up with reporters and confirmed that he, in fact, could not hear Pop's desperate pleas to foul.

With so much modern technology being available to limit the damage or constant travel on players, it's not often that child of advantage gets utilized in today's game. It's something that will definitely come in handy against the Nuggets' second-round series against the Trail Blazers. Of course, given how loud the crowd in Portland can be, it's highly likely that this child or late-game tinnitus finds a way to affect both teams equally.


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