With the playoffs looming, teams are trying to do what they can to assure that injuries to their main players do not happen. It is no surprise when fans hear the news that their team’s starters are sitting out of games due to ‘rest’.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is not shy and does not care whom his team is pitted against to rest his players. Do you know where I am going with this? Last season when the Spurs made a trip to Miami to take on the Heat, in what was a highly anticipated match-up between two teams that would end up being a preview of the NBA Finals, Popovich sent several starters home.
Popovich decided to send four players (Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Danny Green) back to San Antonio. To make a long story short, there was a fine handed down for him doing such a thing. In his eyes, he did not do anything wrong.
(H/T Jeff Caplan NBA.Com Hangtime Blog)
“If you’re playing four games in five nights and you need to rest somebody, I think that’s a call that I’ll make,” Popovich said. “I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again, I’m sure.”
What makes Popovich the coach that he is is what he does in looking out for his players and their health. The Spurs are not a young team. On back-to-backs, their bodies take a beating, especially Spurs captain Tony Parker.
The spurs have four games left in the regular season. Parker did not suit up against the Minnesota Timberwolves due to an injury. The Spurs will be facing teams that will be making their way into the playoffs. The question is, do the Spurs need to play Parker for the rest of the regular season or should they shut him down and let him rest before the playoffs begin?
You ask this question to any Spurs fan and their answer may be to rest him. I agree. Parker is the engine that keeps this team running. When he is on the floor his penetration and relentless attack to the rim makes him a tough match-up for anyone to stop. When teams collapse on him, his intelligence shines more as he is able to get his teammates involved. But doing this relies on one thing, staying healthy.
If you have not watched a Spurs game or even seen Parker play, you know that he is on the floor more than anyone. He takes beatings, there are marks on his body that prove it. He does not stop.
When Parker does have a chance to rest more than four days, he is averaging 23 points per game. If he is getting just three days, 12 points per. The Spurs have clinched their division with four games left in the regular season.
I feel that the Spurs should rest Parker for the remainder of the season. With the way Patty Mills has been playing as of late, it will not hurt the team at all if they were to make this call.
What do you say Spurs fans? Do you feel that the Spurs should shut Parker down for the rest of the regular season or do you want to see him end the regular season playing?