With home-court advantage throughout the playoffs locked up, you would think San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich would sit his stars for the final two games of the season and start preparing for the playoffs.
But then again, don’t try to guess what Pop will do.
Popovich elected to play his Big Three in Monday’s loss to the Houston Rockets to keep them in rhythm when the NBA Playoffs begin this weekend. Instead, Popovich chose to give other role players the night off to rest and heal some injuries from the long 82-game season.
Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills all got the night off with health still being the number one priority for Popovich and the Spurs. With a knee injury scare to Tim Duncan last Thursday and Tony Parker dealing with injuries throughout the season, it is expected Popovich will sit the pair when the Spurs end the regular season at home against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
Some say you are playing with fire when maintaining your form because by doing so, you are also putting the health of your players at risk. Spurs fans remember when Popovich decided to play Manu Ginobili in the final game of the 2010-11 season which resulted in Ginobili breaking his arm. San Antonio would lose their first round playoff series to the Memphis Grizzlies 4-2.
But now it seems Popovich is more aware of resting his players, but will still follow through with his plan of keep his guys rhythm steady.
For now, there is just one more meaningless game for the Spurs to play before they start to play the ones that matter.
The playoffs can’t get here soon enough for Popovich and the Spurs.