NBA DAILY DRIBBLE: Is there anything Pop can’t do?


NBA: Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs

NBA results, November 15, 2017

Boston Celtics 109 – Brooklyn Nets 102

Toronto Raptors 129 – Houston Rockets 113

San Antonio Spurs 97 – Dallas Mavericks 91

Three things that happened in the NBA today

1. Pop fastest to win 500 road games

The San Antonio Spurs continue to keep the ship afloat while Kawhi Leonard recovers. They held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks in a tight one in Dallas.

The Spurs were challenged by the Mavericks in this game. But LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills led San Antonio to a key run in the fourth quarter to pull away for good.

With this win, Greg Popovich earns his 500th career road victory as a coach. He’s the fastest coach to reach the mark, winning it in only 835 away games. That’s 41 fewer games than Pat Riley needed to reach the mark.

Pop continues to be the benchmark for coaches in the NBA. His longevity with the Spurs, the culture he has implemented, as well as his ability to get the best from all his players is what makes him a legend on the court.

But off the court, he’s known for his humor, candor and all-out honesty. His players love him like a father. He’s an icon in the league and the city of San Antonio. What makes Pop so special is that he recognizes that basketball is not life. It’s just a part of the bigger picture. That’s why when he speaks about the political climate in the US, it reverberates beyond the realm of basketball.

There’s an on-going joke about Pop running for the 2020 elections. By that time h’s probably run out of coaching milestones to achieve. He’s got a healthy amount of backers, plus he’s got his first ad out already.

2. Mask on, Kyrie

Two games ago, Kyrie Irving had to leave the game early when he got hit on the face by teammate Aron Baynes. He one game but is now back with an added accessory.

Kyrie Irving is playing with a face mask to protect the fracture he suffered with the accidental elbow.

The last time Irving played with a mask on, he was pretty good. Back in 2012, he dropped 41-5-5 in Madison Square Garden in his first time wearing a protective mask. He played with the mask on for 19 games and finished that run with a 40-point game against his current team.

Against the Brooklyn Nets, Irving was pretty awesome as well. He led the Celtics with 25 points and five assists. He hit some clutch baskets to help the Boston build enough of a cushion and got some MVP chants in the closing minutes of the game.

Kyrie was a superhero for the Cavaliers the last time he wore a mask. He can replicate that in a new city this time around.

3. Dennis Smith Jr. continues to fly high

Ben Simmons is making a lot of noise with his stellar play. Lonzo Ball is still rolling with the hype train. They aren’t the only rookies in the league. Dennis Smith Jr. is quietly having a solid season of his own.

Against the tough Spurs defense, Smith Jr. scored a career high 27 points and continued to hurt the rim.

So far this season, he’s averaging 14.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists. He’s looking like the point guard of the future that the Mavericks envision.

Photo from USA Today

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