SAN ANTONIO -- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich stepped into history on Monday in becoming just the seventh NBA head coach to reach 1,100 wins, by virtue of San Antonio's 96-91 triumph over a depleted Dallas Mavericks squad.
Milestone aside, Popovich discussed the victory only the way he could.
"That was a pathetic performance on the part of the Spurs," Popovich said. "They had some guys out. We had some guys out. But they had a lot more out than we did. I felt we showed a lack of humility, a lack of respect for the opponent. A very pathetic performance at both ends of the court, both in execution and in grunt, fiber and desire. It was an awful performance."
Then Popovich walked away, never taking questions, before poking his head back into the room seconds later.
"Oh, and they deserved to win the basketball game," Popovich added. "I forgot to say that."
The Spurs did play Monday's game without starting point guard Tony Parker and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, as the team decided to rest the duo as it preps for a three-game road stretch from Nov. 23-26 to Charlotte, Boston and Washington.
Danny Green managed to finish the game as the only starter on the positive side of plus-minus.
Playing without three starters and five of their top seven players, the short-handed Mavericks led by as many as eight points in a game that featured 10 lead changes. Seth Curry burned the Spurs for 17 points in the first half, hitting 5-of-6 from deep, as the Mavericks entered intermission leading 49-48.
Curry scored just six more points in the second half on 3 of 8 shooting from the floor.
"Most coaches are happy just to win. A win is a win and they're just happy," Gasol said. "Then the next day you come and you clean up a couple things, and then you move on. I love the attention to detail. I love the not settling for good enough. If we want to win a championship, we're going to have to be excellent. We're going to have to be better for more minutes. It's one of the many lessons to be learned in this league and this life. You can never let your guard down. You have to approach the game the same way, regardless, and I don't think we did a good job of that tonight."
Manu Ginobili mentioned that Popovich was disappointed mainly with "distractions and lack of physicality," and he agreed with the coach's critique.
"It was a very poor game. We didn't bring the energy that we needed to bring against any NBA team," Ginobili said. "Probably the fact we had a couple days off; that we are seeing Dallas struggling and hurt didn't help to bring the concentration and the attention we needed. They got up at halftime -- most of the game, actually -- and they got confident, and that's what happens in the NBA. Every team has a lot of talented guys that can get hot, that can make things happen. We were kind of irresponsible. We were not as sharp as this league demands you to be every game, and we almost lost the game.”
Despite Popovich's scathing postgame remarks, the Spurs can walk away with a couple of positives, namely the performances of reserve guard Patty Mills (17 points on 6 of 11 shooting) and David Lee, who finished with 12 points. In addition, several youngsters, including Murray, Bertans and Bryn Forbes, received valuable minutes and live game experience, which could prove beneficial later in the season.
"I think Pop was pretty consistent," Lee said. "I don't think he was real thrilled with us tonight, either, and let us know about it. Rightfully so. Watching the film, every guy had a couple plays where he could have been better. That's basketball. You're not always going to play your best. Most important is that we go on the road and play against a really good Charlotte team and a really good Boston team, and we have to play much better than we did played tonight."