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Pop Pleased With Nando’s Professionalism

Take a second to think of a job where you are constantly being asked to wait patiently and then you are given minimal notice that an opportunity has come.  Along with this minimal notice, you are given little margin for error.

I would like to introduce to you the life of a bench player in any athletic sport. 

You are expected to deal with it professionally to earn your chance on an NBA team.  When you get called to the big team, you are expected to watch and take mental reps for weeks on end and at the drop of a hat, be able to maintain the high level of production that the starter was giving.

For the bench of the San Antonio Spurs being able to step in, when “the Big Three” of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are having off nights and deliver is not a nice luxury to have, but the standard expectation.

This season all three members of “the Big Three” have missed significant time due to injuries, including Tony Parker’s current ankle injury, the bench has stepped up big. 

The game versus Cleveland Cavaliers it was Nando De Colo’s turn to step up with Parker on the sidelines.  After the game, Coach Gregg Popovich had the following to say regarding Nando play.

"I thought Nando (De Colo) did a great job because he's been sitting so much and he got a shot to get out there on the court today, in both halves, and played very well. Not just because he made shots, but because he was ready to play and compete. That's a good professional attitude to have."

The perseverance that Nando has shown while going back and forth to Austin is what the Spurs are looking for.  They want players who are constantly fighting to get better and ready at the drop of a hat to take a game over when “the Big Three” are not producing. 

He played big in the infamous "Restgate" game versus Miami earlier this season and in the last home game against Cleveland, he totaled 11 points, 4 rebounds, 0 turnovers and shot 3-4 from the three-point line in 24 minutes of play.

The bench has shown in the past that it is more than capable of handling business during the regular season.  Now with that experience, the next step is to show you can handle the big stage during the NBA Playoffs. Something Nando will have to do soon in his young NBA career.

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