Last time Gregg Popovich sat Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all for one game the league slapped a $250,000 fine on the Spurs. That was for a nationally televised game against the Heat where the three were healthy but needed rest.
All three will be out again Monday night when the Spurs take on the Bulls.
Parker will be out due to swelling around the knee, the team announced Monday not long before the game.
Duncan (knee) and Ginobili (hamstring) have missed several games in a row with their injuries. While we’re at it, Stephen Jackson is out as well for personal reasons with the blessing of the team.
Is Parker really injured? I don’t know, but don’t expect a fine this time, the Spurs can sell them as legit injuries. This is the result of David Stern fining the Spurs last time — if I were going to rest guys now I’d use the injury excuse to keep the league at bay. The injury may be legit, but I trust nobody at this point.
Parker has been playing better than anyone in the league not named LeBron lately — he has averaged 26.4 points a game on 58.4 percent shooting with 9.6 assists a game his last 10 games. Even the Spurs, who just seem to plug in reserves you’ve never heard of that can play, will miss him a lot.
We’ll have to see if these injuries impact Duncan and Parker’s ability to play in the All-Star Game this weekend.