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GameThread: Popovich will miss Game 3 following the death of his wife, Erin

Gregg Popovich is not coaching tonight following the death of his wife, Erin Popovich. Our hearts are with the Spurs’ coach and the whole organization.

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a sad, sad day in the NBA. As you’ve heard, Erin Popovich, wife of Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich, passed away yesterday at the age of 67. She and Gregg Popovich had been together for over 40 years. In turn, the deeply respected and beloved coach will miss tonight’s pivotal Game 3, the first game in San Antonio. The Spurs look to avoid a dreaded 3-0 hole, while dealing with the unimaginable.

At times like these, it feels silly to preview a game, or to write down a few words. But, sports often have the power to heal. San Antonio, hosting their first playoff game of this season, will be behind their coach, showering him and his family with love and respect, even though Popovich himself won’t be in the building. Perhaps the fans can find some small measure of comfort by banding together, cheering on their team. Perhaps Popovich and his family can find some small solace in the outpouring of support he has received from every corner of the NBA universe.

The Warriors, on the other hand, have to find a way to stick with the game plan, keep their hot streak going, and try to go out and play their suddenly revitalized, reenergized brand of basketball. But you get the feeling it’s going to be a surreal, emotional night at AT&T Center.

Let’s hope for a fun, entertaining night of basketball. Let’s hope that the players can lose themselves in their work. Let’s hope everyone can lose themselves a little bit, and purely enjoy the game.

Either way, much respect to Gregg Popovich. As Kerr said, “Pop might be the most admired man in the NBA.” All our thoughts are with him and his family tonight.

In purely basketball news: JaVale McGee, who was listed as questionable for tonight’s game, WILL play.