The San Antonio Spurs will resume the 2019-2020 season with a scrimmage against the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA bubble today.
Before the game, Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich spoke with the media about how the NBA has created a safe environment for resumed play and what he’s looking for from younger players on the team.
“The league’s done a great job of preparing us here in Orlando,” said Popovich. “It’s probably the safest place in the world I would imagine.”
Asked what message it sends to the country if the NBA can execute a safe restart for players and staff, Popovich said, “we want to get back to work. We want to do what we’re all used to doing. It’s energized the country to play the games we all love as long as we can do that safely.”
Popovich and some veteran Spurs players have said the team will be relying on some of the younger players to take more responsibility with the losses of LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles to injury.
Popovich spoke about what he generally looks for in younger players wanting to increase their roles on the team.
“The ability to learn,” said Popovich. “If a young player is picking up what you’re trying to teach and taking it over to game situations. The next thing is work ethic, who really loves the game.”
He said he notices when players put in more hours in the gym and want to get better. He also said “how players relate to teammates“ is something he looks at, to see whether a player could be a leader on the team, or just a follower.
The Spurs and Bucks scrimmage tips off at 2 PM CT.