2017-18 Spurs season review: Grading the coaching staff
The San Antonio Spurs coaching staff had to navigate through many challenges this season, which made it a peculiar one.
Overall, the staff did what they could to salvage the season and still make the playoffs. Their collective performance has a group warrants some level of praise.
Coach Gregg Popovich:
The availability of Kawhi Leonard was a major talking point throughout the season, and frankly proved to be a distraction as the focus was always on Leonard instead of what was happening on the floor.
With this being said, he had to deal with a short handed roster all season. Having to move forward without your best player, especially one of Leonard’s caliber, is a tough situation for any coach. Even though so much went wrong this season, he still managed to coach the team into the playoffs.
Coach Becky Hammon:
One of the biggest stories in the NBA is Hammon’s upcoming interview with the Milwaukee Bucks for their vacant head coaching position. While some have questioned whether she is qualified or not, her work is unquestionably appreciated by the players on the team. Recently, Pau Gasol wrote a piece in the Players’Tribune advocating for Hammon and her readiness to be a coach in the NBA.
It’s clear she is contributing and connecting with players.
Coach Ettore Messina:
Messina is also a candidate for the heading coaching job in Milwaukee, and faced the challenge of filling in for Coach Popovich after his wife, Erin, passed away during the playoffs.
The Spurs were able to avoid a sweep in the series, and he is a top candidate for a head coaching position.
Coach James Borrego:
Earlier this month, Borrego was named the new head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. He spent much of his career in San Antonio, initially serving as an assistant video coordinator before moving up the ladder to become an assistant coach. He is noted for having a strong track record of player development, and will get his chance to prove it as a head coach.
Coach Ime Udoka:
Ime continues to be a rock for the coaching staff. However, it is a shame he doesn't get more attention from teams looking to fill head coaching spots.
This offseason, he's gotten looks from a couple of teams but that fizzled out fast. He may be ready to lead his own team but another season with the Spurs will only increase his NBA stock.
Overall grade: A-.
Agree with me Spurs fans? Let me know on Twitter at @MarquezAnderson.