Now that the San Antonio Spurs have defeated the Houston Rockets, no coach has ever beaten another NBA coach in the playoffs more often than Gregg Popovich has beaten Mike D’Antoni. That stat is neither here nor there, it merely exists. It doesn’t validate the Spurs any more than they’re already validated, and it doesn’t undo anything that the Rox accomplished this year. D’Antonio is an excellent coach whose system blazed the trail for modern NBA offenses. He’s a stand-up guy who gives credit when it’s due. Pop has complimented him many times, admitting that he has learned from D’Antonio’s teams. Still, when I think of that stat, it brings to mind the Oscar winning (best actor, best cinematography) 2007 film, There Will Be Blood.
The movie features the irrepressible (read: horrible human being) Daniel Plainview who, although he’s humiliated by Eli Sunday early in the story (think Game 1 of the series) overcomes his adversary and, when Eli comes crawling to him to ask for help — well, I suppose you could say Daniel rubs his nose in it. It’s probably the most famous scene in the movie, and it certainly contains the most quotable line.
Here, thanks to the work of Andrew Garvin, is Pop in the role of Plainview, and Mike as Eli.
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