Southwest Notes: Bertans, Green, Popovich

Davis Bertans, who was traded to Washington during the offseason, says he still has love for the Spurs, as Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News relays.

“I am definitely grateful for the opportunity they gave me,” said Bertans. “Coming off two (knee) injuries, a lot of teams might have given up on me after the first one. Just having a chance to go there and learn from one of the best coaches in history, if not the best one (was great). Even though they traded me, I still love them for what they did for me.”

The Spurs initially intended to keep Bertans on their roster. Over the summer, they had the mid-level exception available and had agreed to sign DeMarre Carroll with that tool. Then, Marcus Morris wanted to come to town and the team pivoted to using the MLE on the forward and crafted a sign-and-trade for Carroll that sent Bertans to Washington.

Morris eventually backed out of the agreement, but the deal to send Bertans elsewhere was already in motion.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Jeff Green, who inked a contract with the Rockets, has previously played with both James Harden and Russell Westbrook and he’s happy to team up with them again. “It’s going to be special to see those two guys, the way they’ve grown. It’s been wonderful. As a fan of the game it’s been great to see. I’m excited to be w/ them again,” Green said (via Fox 26 Houston’s Mark Berman on Twitter).
  • The Spurs‘ 22-year playoff streak could come to an end this season and not everyone is surprised about the potential outcome, as Orsborn relays in a separate piece. “It happens to the best of them,” said Robert Horry, who won two titles with San Antonio. “It happened to the Celtics, it happened to the Lakers. People don’t understand how dominant the Spurs have been over the years, but it was bound to come to an end.”
  • There has been plenty of speculation about Gregg Popovich retiring from coaching Team USA after the Olympics this summer, but Jerry Colangelo, who is the managing director of USA Basketball, said he hasn’t had any conversations with Pop about it yet. “It’s really going to be how he feels, [with] age, health [factors],” Colangelo said (via Orsborn in the same piece). “This doesn’t pertain to him, but I would say this about most people, most coaches: If you lose your fire, it’s probably time to step away. But as long as you have that desire and fire in your belly, why not [continue]?”
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18 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Bertans, Green, Popovich

  1. x%sure

    Pops started out in the FO and can return to that. Missing the playoffs twice would not look good.

    • Would actually be the first year they missed they playoffs. Almost made it out of the first round against the nuggets too, going to 7 games. So hold your horses there. Though I do hope if he does retire from coaching he’ll stay in some capacity with the front office.

    • Missing twice would not look good?

      Yeah, 22 consecutive playoff appearances and five titles are all going to become tainted by two non-playoff seasons. Come on man, Pop CS coach another five years with minimal success and still be as highly regarded as he is today.

      • x%sure

        It would look like his call this spring. He could stay on for much longer but why?– There would just be more talk that he is finished, then he would be “ousted” whether true or not.

        LMA & DDR are not comeback players. International duties, roster, blah blah. It’s his call. Not every coach has the FO option. Riley likes it.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      People don’t seem to realize how Westbrook is arguably having the best season of his career, which is saying a lot for a guy who averaged a triple-double in each of the last three seasons. They continue to throw shade at him because of their personal dislike for Russ as a person, while ignoring how he has made it impossible for Harden to win the MVP because they will split all the votes that go to the team.

      • I give no fox

        I don’t think you realize how average a season Westbrook is having. I’m willing to wager you will be able to count his mvp votes on one hand or less. By both standard and advanced stats, he is having arguably his worst season as a pro

        • Certainly his worst season since his second. It’s gonna be another hard crash in the playoffs.

          • At the beginning of the season it looked like RW was crashing and burning. Terrible shooting, bad positional D. He seems to have had a resurgence though, only driving and shooting his elbow bank shots.
            The absence of Capela means he’s cut down on his awful drive and dish turnovers too. He just cannot pass to a big. He throws it at their knees.

            • RenAvi

              This is how you can tell someone whatches and knows a thing or two about basketball. See above not so much.

              • I give no fox

                So I need to watch every rockets game to know that Westbrook isn’t getting many mvp votes? So what he has improved his last handful of games. His stats are still down and you can’t just ignore a third of the season because it fits your narrative. Russ is passing your old school eye test, impressive. He’s still having one of his worst statistical seasons of his hall of fame career. Sorry, numbers are numbers. You don’t win mvps without them.

        • RenAvi

          If you watched basketball and not cable tv you’d see he’s having one of the best seasons of his career. The stats aren’t the same because your back court mate is James freaking Harden. Your stats are going to suffer, but his game has improved by the subtraction of his previous bad shot selection. Neither Harden or WB will get the necessary to win because they’re on the same team. People with eyes that can see can see that.

          • x%sure

            Everyone has eyes but opinions vary. Madhouse participation can have more sway than anything.

            Capela & Westbrook never had a connection, one reason one was traded. The Rockets in particular can be analyzed because they are so specific and their style has matured.

  2. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Jeff Green had 17 points in his first game, not bad.

    Of course it was against the worst team in the NBA.

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