No matter how much you manage minutes and plan for back-to-back games, the grind of an 82 game schedule is bound to catch up to you. Except the injuries haven't occurred to who you normally expect. Duncan, Ginobili and Parker are relatively healthy, having played in 35 of the Spurs 38 games this season. (Quickly, knock on wood before anything happens to them.) It's the injuries to Green and Splitter that we should be fearful of.
Well, maybe not.
Even though the silver and black will be without Tiago Splitter or Danny Green for at least the next four weeks, there's no need to panic. Pop and R.C. have built their roster perfectly for this scenario. Not only can the Spurs rely on their "next man up" mentality, but they can do it without upsetting the rotation, while slightly showcasing their bench assets as possible trade bait.
Last year's playoff run for the Spurs displayed an array of talent outside of Duncan, Parker, and Ginboli. Kawhi Leonard, along with Splitter and Green, became go-to guys and household names at the end of last season. Teams saw, in great detail, what they were capable of.
Now, with two of their young starters out, the Spurs organization now has some minutes freed up to show off what else they can offer.
Jeff Ayers, Patty Mills, and Aron Baynes will all see a little more playing time come their way over the next few weeks, which could become a "trade asset showcase" of sorts.
The thought that any sane NBA front office would give up an impact player for the likes of Jeff Ayres or Aron Baynes is ridiculous and shouldn't leave the ESPN Trade Machine realm. But maybe within the next four weeks, Baynes or Ayres can impress the coaching staff and front office enough to feel comfortable with parting with the likes of Boris Diaw and/or Matt Bonner, who both have expiring contracts and would demand more value in return in any trade.
Or maybe the extended playing time for Baynes, Ayres and Mills will just continue to give us a preview of the not so distant future of the Spurs.