SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs are a win away from making the playoffs for the 21st consecutive year despite a season marred by injuries.
Before the Spurs tipped off against the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, head coach Gregg Popovich said the season has been one of his more rewarding ones as a coach.
"Just take Dejounte (Murray), for instance, the way he has progressed. He is really a rookie. He didn't play last year, basically because of his injuries. He was injured in the summertime," Popovich said. "We throw him the ball -- when did I give it to him? Two months ago or something like that. 'You're going to start now.' He's got so much to learn. He's doing well. "
Popovich went on to praise LaMarcus Aldridge.
"LaMarcus' year has been fantastic and I can go on and on," Popovich said.
As rewarding as the season has been for Popovich, road games have proven to be tough for the Spurs. With one road game left, on Wednesday in New Orleans, the Spurs are 14-26 away from home.
"They have put themselves in a good position," Popovich said. "If anything, we're angry at ourselves for not being in an even better position. We've been pretty poor on the road. We are usually one hell of a road team and that is one thing that escaped us this season. With any kind of success on the road or a little bit of good fortune, we would be in a really good spot."
But it's something that can be turned around during the playoffs.
Popovich admitted still playing for a playoff spot in the final two games of the season is a little unusual for his team.
"It is a different position," Popovich said. "We haven't really been in that kind of a position very often."
The Spurs also know that, when and if they get into the playoffs, it's a clean slate for the team.