Top Spurs assistant Ettore Messina will continue to serve as the club’s interim head coach for Game 5 of its series against the Warriors on Tuesday, the team announced today. It will be Messina’s third game as head coach this series.
Messina is filling in for Gregg Popovich, who is away from the team mourning the death of his wife Erin. The Spurs will give Popovich as much time as needs, so it’s not clear if we’ll see him again on the sidelines this season.
The Spurs currently trail the Warriors 3-1, with Messina having helped lead the team to a victory at home in Game 4. In order to further extend the series, San Antonio will need to pick up a victory in Oakland, which will be no easy task — the Dubs haven’t lost a home playoff game since Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, having won 11 in a row since then.
Messina is on the Hornets’ list of candidates to interview for the head coaching job in Charlotte. If the Spurs had been swept, Messina likely would’ve met with the Hornets within the next few days, but that interview will remain on hold until San Antonio’s season is over.