Gregg Popovich apparently has failed in his attempt to get Danny Green to grow “four or five inches,” the kind of detail failure that one would expect in a less experienced coach.
But the eminence grise of the San Antonio Spurs does not work only a superficial level, so after some negotiating, he has convinced Golden State’s Kevin Durant to “not be so good” for Game 2 and any subsequent games of the Warriors-Spurs series.
This, then, solves his conundrum after Game 1 and provides an answer to those who asked him to evaluate Green’s performance in Game 1. In other words, if he couldn’t make Green better, he could make Durant worse.
And there you have it. The series is now dramatically different going forward. All Popovich had to do was talk to Steve Kerr, remind him of his injury list and his prodigal Kawhi problem, convince him out of charity to a mentor in need to ask Durant to tank a bit, and because Kerr is a warlock, he managed to pull it off in a meeting with Durant on Sunday.
At least that’s the only way it could have happened. After all, the Green-gets-taller thing failed miserably, if only because medical science isn’t that clever or unethical – yet. Plus, there was no guarantee that a talker Green makes him any more effective defensively against Durant in Game 2. Shin or femur extensions can often render someone less agile, like a newborn giraffe, so there was clearly high-risk, low-return here.
But Durant? We all said he was a swell guy, just because he deferred some money in his current deal to help the Warriors keep their core together, so it only made sense that he’d do Kerr a solid, even if it was really doing Popovich a solid at Kerr’s expense.
And by now you surely must have deduced that this was all a transparent lie. Popovich didn’t ask, Kerr didn’t agree, Durant didn’t agree, and the Spurs have the same problem for Game 2 that they had in Game 1 – the Warriors when properly fueled are simply better, and by a considerable margin.
But in truth, Popovich at least should have asked. I mean, what’s he got to lose aide from a playoff series, right?