San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich once again ripped his team for their effort, this time criticizing their performance in a loss on Thursday night.
The Spurs lost for the first time on the road this season, a 95–91 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Popovich said some of his players didn't bring any effort in the game.
"I don't remember playing tonight. No Knute Rockne speeches. It's your job. If you're a plumber and you don't do your job, you don't get any work," Popovich said. "I don't think a plumber needs a pep talk. A doctor botches operations, and he's not a doctor anymore. If you're a basketball player, you come ready. It's called maturity. It's your job."
San Antonio, who shot only 40% in the game, fell behind by 18 points in the second half before mounting a comeback in the fourth quarter. The loss means that the Spurs fell one victory short of matching the NBA's best road start set by the Golden State Warriors last season.
"We played 24 minutes again, as we have for about the last 10 games," Popovich said. "We go through the motions in the first half. I think we shot one free throw in the first half. We shot four or so the second half.
"That's the disappointing part: We're not a very consistent team, and we haven't learned as a group that the game is 48 minutes. We also have some people playing very poorly."You have to participate in your own recovery. Some players have to play better."
It's the second time this season Popovich has openly criticized the team's play. After a 96–91 victory over the Dallas Maverick on Nov. 21, Popovich said the team's performance was "pathetic" and that the Mavericks deserved to win the game.
San Antonio (18–5) next takes on the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.
– Scooby Axson