The struggling San Antonio Spurs dropped their second straight game by 30 or more points on Friday, and the blowout losses are beginning to wear on the players.
"Guys feel embarrassed and deflated, and rightfully so," Spurs guard Patty Mills said after Friday's game, according to ESPN's Michael C. Wright. "It's the big picture. It's who we represent when we put these jerseys on. It's who we play for.
"It's much bigger than that, and we need to understand that we are here just for a short time amongst this organization that will be here for a lot longer than we are. We've got to take pride in that."
Friday marked the second-worst home loss in franchise history and only the second time San Antonio has dropped consecutive games by 30 or more points. It last occurred on Nov. 25 and 27, 1987 against the Indiana Pacers (133-102) and Detroit Pistons (143-111).
Prior to this season, Popovich's Spurs had allowed 135 or more points in just two outings across his entire tenure. They've now done so a league-high four times through 22 games this season.
"It's a game where you try to continue to get better at all aspects," Popovich added. "We're obviously discombobulated on offense. So a lot of that has to do with me. I've got to do a better job there. I think defensively, we've obviously got to shore up our effort and our wisdom at that end of the court. So we've got a lot of work to do."
The Spurs now sit 14th in the Western Conference with a 10-12 record. It was at the end of the 1996-97 campaign when San Antonio last found itself in possession of one of the final two seeds in the West. As a result, they landed the No. 1 pick in the draft and selected future cornerstone Tim Duncan.